JONAS EIDEVALL reckons Arsenal’s dominance of Chelsea was reminiscent of Barcelona’s past defeats of the Blues.
Beth Mead and Alessia Russo were among the scorers during the Gunners’ storming 4-1 victory at the Emirates on Sunday.
Beth Mead got Arsenal off to a flier netting her first goal at the Emirates this season
Alessia Russo was named player of the match after netting twice during the Gunners’ 4-1 watched by a crowd of more than 59,000
Jonas Eidevall says Arsenal dominated the ball in manner that was similar to Barcelona during their wins against Chelsea in the Women’s Champions League
Their performance and defeat of their rivals was watched largest crowd at a WSL game to date with more 59,000 spectators at the stadium.
At the ground where she injured her knee last November, Mead and player of the match Russo were on fire along with their team-mates.
Goals in the game played this afternoon included two scored in two minutes as they threw down a title gauntlet going level on points with the league leaders.
Eidevall, whose Gunners are currently second, said: “The way we managed the ball against Chelsea, I haven’t seen any team apart from Barcelona doing that well against them.
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“It’s our strongest performance so far this season but in football if you want to win anything it’s about being consistent in performances.
“What is telling for me when you see the reaction – yes we’re happy – but at the end of the day it is our finishing position in the league that will matter.”
Bullied was the word Emma Hayes used to describe how Chelsea fared in the first clash between the two sides this team
Their London rivals, who they have not beaten away on four occasions in the WSL, had just five shots on target netting four of them.
Blues boss Hayes said: “That’s as bad as I’ve seen us for a long time. The better team won by a country mile.
“They bullied us. They dominated in the duels, all phases of our play were poor. “That (performance) was not our best, that’s probably us at our very worst.”
It took just eight minutes before the deadlock was broken by Eidevall’s side
Mead underlined her return to form unleashing a shot into the top of the net after being teed up by Victoria Pelova.
It was her first goal scored at the Emirates this term.
Chelsea, skippered by Sam Kerr with Millie Bright currently recovering from an injured knee, looked to hit back swiftly.
They did so with Johanna Rytting Kaneryd slotting into the bottom corner five minutes after Mead’s opener.
However some observers will have questioned whether the goal should have stood with Kerr appearing to obscure goalkeeper Manuela Zinsberger’s view.
Arsenal continued to keep up the pressure in a
They went 2-1 up as Amanda Ilestedt headed home with Ann-Katrin Berger failing to claim the ball with her attempted catch from a 36th-minute corner kick.
Russo made it 3-1 slamming home after a powerful run in the 38th-
Hayes made a triple substitution with Fran Kirby among those entering the fray in the second half.
Chelsea’s only goal of the game came via Johanna Rytting Kaneryd’s first-half equaliser
But things didn’t any easier for the visitors.
Lauren James was subbed off shortly after treading on Lia Walti’s foot off the ball following an aerial challenge on Lotte Wubben-Moy
The challenge on Walti saw James get a yellow card with the Chelsea forward among six players cautioned during the game.
The hosts won a late pen when Russo was upended in the box by Berger with the keeper coming off her line to claim the ball.
And Russo’s spot-kick and brace sealed an emphatic victory ahead of the derby clash with Tottenham this Saturday.
Emma Hayes felt Chelsea lacked control across the pitch during the match
Following the result, Hayes added: “Even when we did well to win the ball back, we gave it away again.
“It’s so difficult as a coach when you have no control in a certain way and I felt we lacked that across the pitch.
“I have a dressing room that will acknowledge that and own it.”