North London is well and truly red as Spurs fall in heavy defeat
Arsenal 10-0 Tottenham by Asif Burhan at Meadow Park
In their 28th-game of a hitherto glorious season, Premier League leaders Tottenham finally lost for the first time to the FA Cup holders Arsenal at Borehamwood yesterday.
Spurs manager Karen Hills had insisted that her team had a game-plan but admitted it would be “a team of semiprofessional players playing against professional athletes” from Arsenal.
The Women’s Super League side, for so-long at the vanguard of women’s football, had once again recruited from the National Women’s Soccer League in the United States, bringing in the threetime Olympic champion Heather O’Reilly, from Kansas City, and bringing back Scotland’s Kim Little from Seattle Reign. Little said that the fans called for a convincing victory and was pleased the team were able to deliver.
“The crowd were asking for a 10-0 win and we were able to do that today,” she said, despite “slightly difficult conditions with the pitch being a bit bobbly, it was very windy as well but I think we put in a very impressive performance today.”
Arsenal began with an attacking line-up which saw Fara Williams starting at centre back and despite dominating the early possession on a blustery day, it took them a quarter of an hour to test the Spurs keeper, Williams slipping Little through with a clever reverse free-kick and Toni-Anne Wayne standing up well to push her shot over.
Seven minutes later, FA Cup Final goalscorer Danielle Carter fired home the opening goal, shooting high across Wayne.
That opened the floodgates for the holders. Dominique Jansen headed home at the near post from O’Reilly’s corner before Carter added her second following a goalmouth scramble. Little then broke away to add a fourth before Danielle Van de Donk tapped in a fifth after more good work by O’Reilly.
Van de Donk curled home her second in the 59th minute after a clever back-flick by Carter left her unmarked in the area. Carter and Jodie Taylor were replaced up front by England u19 star Chloe Kelly and new signing Beth Mead.
Within minutes both had scored, Kelly slotting home from the right of the area before playing through Mead who volleyed home spectacularly.
Irish winger Katie McCabe added a ninth from close-range before Van de Donk looped the ball over Wayne to complete her hat-trick.
Arsenal will learn the identity of their quarter-final opponents this morning with the ties to be played next Sunday at 2pm.