Arsenal sailed through to the semi-finals of the FA Cup with a 5-1 win over their North London rivals, Tottenham Hotspur.
Rachel Williams’ left-footed stunner was soon cancelled out by goals from Mana Iwabuchi, Lotte Wubben-Moy, Caitlin Foord, and Nikita Parris. Although 1-0 down early on, the Gunners soon found their rhythm and put on a relentless performance.
Three minutes was all it took for the North London Derby to get fired up at Meadow Park. Spurs’ Williams put the visitors 1-0 up with a wonderful strike on her left foot, leaving Lydia Williams in goal with no chance.
On the 14th minute of play, Japanese international Iwabuchi drew her side level with a right-footed rocket into the top corner. Arsenal continued to display their now infamous high press, rattling the nerves of their rivals.
They were soon rewarded for their patient efforts, with Wubben-Moy putting her childhood club ahead 15 minutes from the whistle. Some scrappy play in the box now found Spurs behind.Embed from Getty Images
Now that Arsenal had found their stride, there was no way past them. Following some great play from Iwabuchi, Parris put it on a plate for Foord to make it 3-1. The Australian marked her return back to the starting XI with a clever flick past Becky Spencer.
Heading into the final minutes of the half, Spurs continued to absorb the constant attack of Arsenal. Full debutant Tobin Heath was submerged in the action down the left side, showing her World Cup-winning quality.
To seal the deal in the first 45, Parris wrote her name on the scoresheet with a neat finish on the right. Jonas Eidival would’ve had little to complain about in the dressing room going into the second half.
The pressure came piling on in the form of red in the second half, in the same fashion as the first. Fast-paced passes and runs made it difficult for Tottenham to get a hold back in the game.
Most of the play came in the Spurs half, rarely near the goal of Lydia Williams. Through a break in the middle, Kit Graham managed to get a firing effort towards goal, but her shot dragged just wide of the back post.
The Gunners soon responded with a Beth Mead and Foord link-up in the 72nd minute. A well-weighted pass found the feet of the No.19, who made no mistake with a first time hit to get her brace.
She was soon replaced by Viki Schnaderbeck who made her come back from a long-term injury.Embed from Getty Images
As the clock ticked on at Borehamwood, Spurs struggled to keep the ball away from their own box. Arsenal’s quest for a sixth goal continued deep into the 90, showing no signs of slowing down.
The whistle soon came to put Tottenham out of their misery and ended the game at 5-1. The sheer aggression and desire of Eidevall’s style has carried them to another goal-show. This time, it painted North London red.
PLAYER OF THE MATCH: MANA IWABUCHI
Lydia Williams; Lotte Wubben-Moy, Anna Patten, Leah Williamson, Jordan Nobbs (C), Lia Walti, Nikita Parris, Katie McCabe, Caitlin Ford, Mana Iwabuchi, Tobin Heath.
Becky Spencer; Shelina Zadorsky (C), Josie Green, Molly Bartrip, Tang Jiali, Rachel Williams, Ria Percival, Asmita Ale, Chi Ubogagu, Maeva Clemaron, Ashleigh Neville.