Arsenal thrash Tottenham as Manchester United return to top of WSL table
A brace by Caitlin Foord helped Arsenal warm up for Wednesday’s Champions League quarter-final by thrashing local rivals Tottenham.
Jonas Eidevall’s side entered the derby after a frustrating 1-0 loss in the first leg at Bayern Munich on Tuesday but were back to their clinical best at Brisbane Road.
Stina Blackstenius got the rout started early before Foord, captain Kim Little and Frida Maanum all got in on the act to hand Vicky Jepson’s struggling Spurs a heavy loss despite Bethany England’s first-half penalty.
Victory for title hopefuls Arsenal moved them within two points of leaders Chelsea, who visit Manchester City on Sunday, with a treble still a possibility for the Continental Cup-winning side ahead of Wednesday’s Champions League last-eight second leg tie at the Emirates.
This was a memorable occasion for Tottenham's Kerys Harrop, who was included in the starting line-up and equalled Gilly Flaherty’s record of 177 WSL appearances.
After five minutes England captain Leah Williamson sent the ball forward for Blackstenius to run in behind Molly Bartrip and she caught Tinja-Riikka Korpela off guard with an early, powerful effort into the roof of the net.
Foord collected the ball on the left and dribbled at Ashleigh Neville before she curled home from 25 yards via the post to make it 2-0 after 29 minutes.
The deficit was reduced six minutes before the break when Neville had a shot blocked by the hand of Katie McCabe and England drilled into the bottom left corner from 12 yards against WSL debutant Sabrina D’Angelo.
In the 66th minute Amy Turner caught McCabe inside the area and referee Louise Saunders pointed to the spot for a second time, with Arsenal captain Little firing into the roof of the net.
Four minutes later Foord controlled at the back post and fired home with a little help from the woodwork again.
The scoring concluded when Maanum saw her lobbed shot take a deflection off Bartrip to loop over Korpela to make it 5-1.