Arsenal bounced back from their last gasp defeat to Manchester United last time out with a hard fought 1-0 win over Everton in the WSL.
A stunning solo effort from Vivianne Miedema proved decisive against a stubborn Everton side, with Emily Ramsey in inspired form in the Toffees goal.
Arsenal looked a little blunt going forward in a flat opening 20 minutes, with Everton’s effervescent Jess Park carrying the greatest threat for either side, creating a couple of openings for the Toffees with some fabulous feet and bursts forward from deep.
It took a piece of Miedema magic to breathe life into the fixture for the Gunners. The forward worked the space for herself inside the Everton box with a trademark feint to send Karen Holhgaard and Lucy Graham the wrong way, before expertly angling the ball into the top corner.
The goal seemed to spring Arsenal into life; Ramsey tipping a Caitlin Foord effort around the post after being picked out by Miedema as the hosts upped the intensity.
Miedema was really oozing confidence, first finding Stina Blackstenius with a delicious flick, before testing Ramsey with a low drive from range.
Katja Snoeijs sliced over for Everton with the Toffees’ first clear sighting of goal, and Blackstenius saw an effort from a corner cleared off the line as the first half concluded with the hosts narrowly ahead.
The Gunners came oh so close to doubling their advantage 10 minutes into the second half following a goal mouth scramble, but Miedema was denied twice by Ramsey and then by a last ditch goal line clearance.
Everton were still in the contest and their best opportunities often came on the counter attack or from set pieces as they attempted to pull themselves back into the game. Aggie Beever-Jones had one of the Toffees’ most promising openings of the second half, rounding Manuela Zinsberger after a quick break away, but the Arsenal goalkeeper recovered to push away for a corner, with the angle against the Chelsea loanee.
Lotte Wubben-Moy saw a header from a corner well saved by Ramsey as the Gunners pushed for a second, and the Everton keeper was at it again two minutes from time, superbly tipping a Foord effort over the bar
Everton almost levelled as the clock struck 90 but Lucy Graham and Holmgaard both saw goal bound efforts blocked as the Gunners hung on to all three points .
GK: Manuela Zinsberger – 6/10 – Saved well from Beever-Jones as the Everton forward burst through on goal in the second half.
RB: Laura Wienroither (68′ for Maritz) – 6/10 – Picked out Foord with a deep cross in the build up to Arsenal’s opener. Combined well with McCabe, not tested a great deal defensively.
CB: Jen Beattie (68′ for Williamson) – 7/10 – Making her first WSL start of the season, almost got on the scoresheet with a couple of half chances from set pieces. Steady defensively.
CB: Lotte Wubben-Moy – 7/10 – Saw a header from a corner well saved by Ramsey. Played Arsenal into trouble on a couple of occasions but otherwise solid defensively and good with the ball at her feet.
LB: Steph Catley – 6/10 – Back in a more natural left back role following a stint at centre-back, caused problems with her set piece delivery and linked up well with Foord.
CM: Lia Walti – 7/10 – Picked out Blackstenius with a fabulous pass in the first half to almost send the forward through on goal. Tidy and effortlessly good on the ball.
CM: Frida Maanum – 7/10 – Sent a free kick a whisker over the bar and saw another stinging over fly narrowly over.
CM: Vivianne Miedema – 8/10 – Opened the scoring in style, sending two defenders the wrong way with a superb feint and finding the top corner.
RW: Katie McCabe – 7/10 – A typically tenacious display. Sent a well struck volley just over in the second half.
ST: Stina Blackstenius (77′ for Nobbs) – 6/10 – Saw an effort cleared off the line in the first half and glanced another just wide in the second.
LW: Caitlin Foord – 7/10 – Teed up Miedema in the build up to the Arsenal opener, and forced Ramsey into a low save shortly after. Lively and a constant threat throughout.
SUB: Leah Williamson (68′ for Beattie) – 6/10
SUB: Noelle Maritz (68′ for Wienroither) – 6/10
SUB: Jordan Nobbs (77′ for Blackstenius) – 6/10
GK: Emily Ramsey – 8/10 – Tipped a Foord effort around the post in the first half. Made two point blank saves to brilliantly deny Miedema when close range in the second, and an excellent low stop to keep out Wubben-Moy. Made another superb stop in the latter stages to deny Foord.
RB: Lucy Graham – 5/10 – Beaten by a piece of Miedema skill in the build up to the Arsenal opener. Spent a lot of the game chasing the lively Foord.
CB: Rikke Sevecke – 6/10 – Had a relentless time of it in the second half as Arsenal really pushed for a second, but remained relatively solid.
CB: Gabby George – 6/10 – Got forward down the left quite a bit from centre back. Good on the ball and solid defensively.
LB: Elise Stenevik (84′ for Maier) – 6/10 – Had a real battle with McCabe and combined well with Beever-Jones.
CM: Karen Holmgaard – 6/10 – Slotted into centre back to make a back three when Everton were in possession. Dived in to allow Miedema space for Arsenal’s opener. Broke up play well.
CM: Nathalie Bjorn (86′ for Wier) – 6/10 – Always an option for Everton, spraying play and building from the back well on a few occasions. Booked for a cynical foul in the second half, before being forced off with injury late on.
CM: Hanna Bennison (75′ for Galli) – 5/10 – Flashes of quality but largely kept quiet.
RW: Jess Park – 7/10 – Such a talent, so technically gifted. Everton’s liveliest player in the first half, creating a few openings for her side by riding a series of challenges, bursting forward and spreading play to the left. Quieter in the second.
ST: Katja Snoeijs – 5/10 – Sliced Everton’s clearest sighting of goal in the first half over. Put in a big shift but largely starved of service.
LW: Aggie Beever-Jones (75′ for Sorensen) – 6/10 – Looked dangerous at times and saw an effort from an angle well saved by Zinsberger.
SUB: Nicoline Sorensen (75′ for Beever-Jones) – 6/10
SUB: Aurora Galli (75′ for Bennison) – 6/10
SUB: Leonie Maier (84′ for for Stenevik) – N/A
SUB: Kenzie Wier (86′ for Bjorn) – N/A
Player of the match: Vivianne Miedema (Arsenal)