- Albion are beaten 4-0 by Arsenal at Meadow Park
- Result is a first defeat of the season for Hope Powell’s side
- Kim Little, Vivianne Miedema, Danielle Van De Donk and Jordan Nobbs all on target for Arsenal
- The Seagulls are next in action at home to West Ham United on 13th October
Goals from Little, Miedema, Van De Donk and Nobbs secured a comprehensive win for the Gunners, as Hope Powell’s side were beaten for the first time this season.
The Albion head coach spoke in her pre-match media briefing about the task facing her side, and how the game would be considerably more difficult than the contest against Chelsea a fortnight ago. She was more than proved right in a display of ruthless efficiency from the hosts.
Powell made seven changes to the side that beat Charlton Athletic 3-0 in the Continental League Cup last Sunday, with Fern Whelan, Fliss Gibbons, Emily Simpkins and Kayleigh Green the only players remaining from the line-up that beat the Addicks.
Arsenal headed into the game after being in Champions League action against Fiorentina on Thursday evening, and made just the two changes from three days previously.
The Gunners showed no signs of fatigue though and broke the deadlock with nine minutes on the clock courtesy of Little, as the Gunners skipper latched onto Miedema’s through-ball and fired her shot beyond Megan Walsh.
The hosts continued to have the majority of possession, and Fliss Gibbons did brilliantly to clear away a Lisa Evans cross before Leah Williamson headed wide from the resulting corner.
Chances were few and far between for Powell’s side, but Green did call Pauline Peyraud-Magnin into action with a shot from distance.
Albion did well to contain the Gunners for large spells of the half, but went 2-0 down in the 39th minute through Miedema. The Netherlands international ended a free-flowing Arsenal move with a powerful close-range effort that left Walsh with no chance.
Powell switched things around at the break and brought on Lea Le Garrec for Simpkins, and the French midfielder was involved in the thick of proceedings straight away by shooting straight at Peyraud-Magnin from distance.
But the reigning champions struck again with 57 minutes on the clock courtesy of Van De Donk, who linked up well with compatriot Miedema and calmly slotted the ball past Walsh to effectively kill off the match as a contest.
Three became four with 20 minutes left, and Nobbs got in on the act with a shot from just inside the area which bobbled past Walsh.
The hosts were not in the mood to rest on their four-goal lead as the weather conditions deteriorated late on, and substitute Beth Mead saw her fierce strike cannon off the woodwork.
It finished 4-0 and Powell’s side will take solace from the fact they are unlikely to face a much tougher task all season. Next up is the visit of West Ham United to The People’s Pension Stadium after the international break on 13th October.
ALBION: Walsh, Lundorf, F. Whelan, Williams, Gibbons; Bowman, Simpkins (Le Garrec 46), Connolly; A. Whelan (Nilden 74), Green (Le Tissier 66), Brazil.
SUBS NOT USED: Harris (GK), Barton, Kerkdijk, Umotong.
Tickets for our next home FA WSL encounter against West Ham United on Sunday 13th October, kick-off 2pm, are available to buy in advance at a price of £4 for adults and £2 for over-65s and under-18s (including a £1 online booking fee – tickets purchased in person or over the phone have an additional 50p booking fee).
To get yours, visit tickets.BrightonAndHoveAlbion.com or call the Albion Booking line on 0844 327 1901 (calls cost seven pence per minute plus your network access charge).