Saturday 3 June 2017

Gunners hit Bristol for five to finish Spring Series unbeaten

Arsenal scored five goals with no response from Bristol City to end the Spring Series without defeat

FA WSL 1 match
15:30, Saturday 3 June 2017
Stoke Gifford Stadium

Arsenal finished their campaign as the only unbeaten side in the FA Women’s Super League Spring Series with a triumphant 5-0 victory at Bristol City.

Goals from Louise Quinn, Jordan Nobbs, Chloe Kelly, Danielle Van De Donk and Beth Mead secured the win, but it wasn’t enough to land the title as victories for Chelsea and Manchester City saw the Gunners finish third.

Despite the hosts having the first chance of the game, Arsenal soon created a string of chances with Dominique Janssen finding the side netting and Nobbs having a shot deflected just over the top.

From the resulting corner, Anna Patten played the ball into the box and central defender Quinn steered her header past Caitlin Leach.

Nobbs needed only four minutes of the second half to get on the scoresheet, finishing with a right-footed rocket into the top corner after being set up by Jodie Taylor.

The Vixens almost pulled a goal back just after the hour mark but Van Veenendaal used both hands to beat out a ferocious strike from Hayley Ladd.

Kelly put the outcome beyond doubt when she turned home from close-range in the 73rd minute, before substitute Van De Donk added the fourth with a left-footed shot five minutes later and then set up fellow sub Mead to score the Gunners’ fifth.

Arsenal defender Louise Quinn said:

"We knew the title wasn't in our hands but we were determined to do what we could and I thought we executed the game very professionally.

"Bristol make it hard because they defend well and defend the spaces but it was a great way to finish the season.

"There are so many positives to take from the whole campaign and we are the only team in the league to go through the Spring Series unbeaten.

"We are obviously sad we couldn't take the title but the whole campaign has been about learning and seeing where we can go with this team."

Bristol City skipper Hayley Ladd said:

"It wasn't the way we wanted to end the season but I think a lot of it comes down to tired legs and psychologically not being as sharp as we should have been.

"It's been quite an intense six or seven weeks for us and the manner in which we lost wasn't what we wanted.

"Some of our younger players haven't experienced anything like this before but maybe it had to happen for them to move on and learn from that.

"Our performances have been positive and our supporters have been incredible with record-breaking numbers here, so I'd like to thank them for that."

Bristol City 0

Arsenal 5

Quinn 27, Nobbs 49, Kelly 73, Van De Donk 78, Mead 83

Bristol City (4-3-3): Caitlin Leach; Flo Allen, Hayley Ladd, Millie Turner, Jas Matthews; Chloe Arthur, Jodie Brett, Aimee Palmer; Olivia Fergusson, Lauren Hemp, Claire Emslie.

Substitutes: Emily Syme for Palmer 73, Ellie Wilson for Matthews 80, Lily Woodham for Fergusson 81

Substitutes not used: Aimee Watson, Lily Agg, Frankie Brown, Georgia Evans

Bookings: None.

Red cards: None.

Arsenal (4-3-3): Sari Van Veenendal; Anna Patten, Louise Quinn, Lotte Wubben-Moy, Dominique Janssen; Leah Williamson, Fara Williams, Jordan Nobbs; Chloe Kelly, Jodie Taylor, Heather O’Reilly

Substitutes: Beth Mead for Taylor 59, Danielle Van De Donk for Williams 70

Substitutes not used: Anna Moorhouse, Danielle Carter, Jemma Rose, Alex Scott

Bookings: None

Red cards: None

Referee: Samuel Allison

Attendance: 1,050