Vivianne Miedema nets 100th goal as Arsenal advance in Champions League
- Credit: PA
Arsenal advanced into the Champions League group stages with a comfortable 4-0 win over Slavia Prague and 7-0 victory on aggregate on a night that saw Vivianne Miedema hit her 100th goal for the club.
The Gunners started on the front foot as they went for the kill instantly when Nikita Parris was sent down the wing before she got her cross low into the box but nobody was there to meet it.
Parris was causing Slavia Prague all sorts of problems down the wing early on and she got another ball into the area inside eight minutes but Miedema couldn’t quite reach it to tuck it home.
On 10 minutes the Gunners should have been ahead when Miedema was played in after an excellent ball over the top from Anna Patten she took the ball down on her chest however her touch was poor and Slavia adverted the danger away.
Arsenal were pressing and pressing for the opener with the Netherlands international striker Miedema having another big opening a minute later when Beth Mead crossed for her but she couldn’t direct her header on target.
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Mead who scored a brace against Chelsea on Sunday looked sharp once more and she played a fantastic ball for Frida Maanum who’s cross was cut out for a Arsenal corner.
From the resulting corner Lotte Wubben-Moy got on the end of it but her header was well saved by Olivie Lukášová in the Slavia Prague goal who got down to her right.
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Patten started really well as Arsenal were putting their opponents under siege and she got forward inside 15 minutes but her shot was well saved by Lukášová once more in the home sides goal.
Arsenal were hurting Slavia Prague down the sides as Steph Catley crossed for Parris who just couldn’t quite get there to turn the ball into the net to break the deadlock.
Miedema had another fine opportunity when she met another cross on 20 minutes but she could only head over onto the roof of the net
The home side then had a rare opportunity when Mana Iwabuchi lost possession in the middle of the park to Tereza Krejcirikova who had a go from long range but failed to trouble Lydia Williams in the Arsenal goal.
Williams had to be alert on 33 minutes as Slavia Prague won a rare corner and as a result the keeper under pressure punched it away at the near-post.
Arsenal’s press was working well and once again with Miedema being played in on goal with 37 minutes on the clock but she was denied by the legs of Lukášová in the Slavia goal.
The Gunners had the final opportunity of the first half when Anna Patten was brought down on the edge of the area by Diana Bartovicova but the free-kick came to nothing as Parris scooped it over.
The second half started slowly with Jonas Eidevall making his first changes in the 59th minute with Lia Walti and Katie McCabe coming on for Maanum and Iwabuchi.
Arsenal did break the deadlock when Miedema latched onto a magnificent cross from Mead before sending a volley into the net to make it 1-0 on the night and 4-0 on aggregate.
It was nearly 2-0 two minutes later when Patten curled a shot just past the far post after cutting inside from the right once again linking up with Parris.
Mead and Miedema were linking up so well and again Mead picked Miedema out inside the area but she was denied by a fine save once again by the impressive Lukášová.
The Gunners doubled their lead on 70 minutes when Miedema collected the ball in the box after some sensational play that involved Patten, Leah Williamson and Mead before she slotted the ball into the back of the net.
Eidevall then made another change with Williamson coming off to be replaced by Jennifer Beattie for the closing stages of the game.
However Miedema did hit her century for the north London side as the ball was played into her from McCabe and the Arsenal number 11 controlled the ball once again before slotting into the back of the net.
McCabe then hit the post with 15 minutes to go as Slavia Prague tired before the Arsenal number 15 got in behind the back of the defence to crack her effort off the woodwork.
With one eye on Reading in the Women’s Super League on Sunday Eidevall then took of Miedema to be replaced by Teyah Goldie.
The Gunners were then awarded a penalty as Parris was taken down by the Slavia Prague defender in the box before Kim Little stepped up to slam her effort into the roof of the net to make it 4-0.
Arsenal would then take their foot of the gas slightly with Parris having the final opportunity of the game but she was well tackled by Veronika Pincová before she could get her shot away.
It was a professional performance from the Gunners as they now await the Champions League group stage draw this coming Monday.
Arsenal: Williams, Ratten ,Wubben-Moy, Williamson (Beattie 71), Catley, Maanum (McCabe 59), Iwabuchi (Walti 59), Little, Parris, Mead, Miedema (Goldie 75).
Unused substitutes: Zinsberger.