Arsenal legend Little’s top five moments
PUBLISHED: 17:00 06 July 2020
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Arsenal Women’s captain Kim Little celebrated her 30th birthday a week ago today.
Little is a club legend and played in 12 of Arsenal’s 15 Women’s Super League matches during the shortened 2019-20 season, accumulating 1,056 minutes.
The Scottish international also netted five times as the defending champions finished third behind Chelsea and Manchester City and we look at her top five moments for Arsenal to date.
First goal v Chelsea
Little scored her first goal for the club aged 17 in a 4-1 win against Chelsea at the Emirates Stadium.
Lianne Sanderson stroked a perfectly weighted pass to the over-lapping Kelly Smith, who crossed for Little to tap into the net for Arsenal’s fourth goal of the game.
It was a very special night not just for Little but for the club as they scooped their 10th league title in 15 years.
Karen Carney scored a brace and Smith netted the second from the penalty spot.
Manager at the time Vic Akers said of Little’s performance: “Make a note of this kid, she’s going to be a big player.”
Little played in every league match during the 2008–09 season bar one, scoring 24 goals.
And Arsenal finished the campaign at the top of the table after winning 20 games drawing one and losing one.
Little also played in the 5–0 Premier League Cup Final victory over Doncaster Rovers Belles and scored in the FA Women’s Cup Final as Arsenal beat Sunderland 2–1 in front almost 25,000 fans at Pride Park in Derby.
Little later described 2008–09 as her most memorable season, as Arsenal won a treble.
FA Cup final against Sunderland
Arsenal went into the FA Cup as big favourites to beat Sunderland on May 4, 2009 at Pride Park Stadium in Derby.
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Katie Chapman put Arsenal ahead after Sunderland goalkeeper Helen Alderson could only parry Gemma Davison’s shot.
But the Premier League side missed several chances before Little sealed the win in injury time with a neat turn and finish after controlling a high ball.
Kelly McDougall got a consolation with the last kick of the match as Little put in one of her finest performances in an Arsenal shirt, creating a number of chances for her side as she pulled the strings from midfield.
The trophy was the 30th of Vic Akers’ spell as manager and came in his penultimate match in charge of the side
Little has also had a spell in the USA with Seattle Reign, now known as OL Reign and she also went on loan to Melbourne City in Australia.
She suffered a fracture to a fibula during a 5–0 win against Chelsea in October 2018 but she has returned from that injury better than ever before.
During the 2012 season, Little was the league’s top scorer with 11 goals as the Gunners retained the Women’s Super League title.
Chelsea performance April 2012
Little scored a brace as Arsenal beat Chelsea 3-1 on April 26, 2012 as she raced through the defence to cheekily dink a shot over the advancing Sarah Quantril.
Katie Chapman’s header doubled the Gunners’ lead, but substitute Kate Longhurst cut Arsenal’s lead until Little’s second goal deep into injury time sealed it for Arsenal.
Arsenal could have won by a wider margin on the day as Carly Telford in the Chelsea goal made some spectacular saves before she had to be replaced due to injury.
Tottenham Hotspur away, 2019-20
The very first competitive North London derby took place on November 17, 2019 at the new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
And the Women’s Super League crowd record was smashed for the second time during the 2019-20 season as 38,262 fans witnessed the match.
Little didn’t only score the opener but her leadership got the Gunners through a tough afternoon at the home of their rivals.
Tottenham were the better side in the first half as Kit Graham saw her effort saved by Manuela Zinsberger before she hit the post from just outside the box.
Little broke the deadlock with a clinical finish into the bottom corner on 66 minutes as she jinked past the static Tottenham Hotspur defence.
ANd Vivianne Miedema’s close-range finish wrapped it up in the 82nd minute as Arsenal claimed the bragging rights.
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