The home side leapfrog Manchester City for top spot, on goal difference and surpassed the WSL scoreline of 9-0 when Liverpool beat Doncaster Belles in the top flight back in 2013.
Arsenal striker Vivianne Miedema scored six times and also provided four assists in an outstanding individual performance. The Dutch forward also scored the most goals in a single WSL game and has now scored 22 goals in 13 starts this season.
Lisa Evans scored a brace, while Jordan Nobbs, Leah Williamson and substitute Emma Mitchell also got on the scoresheet.
Yana Daniels scored Bristol City’s consolation who bundled in the rebound, after her penalty was saved by Manuela Zinsberger.
Both sides faced just under a week ago in the Continental League Cup when Arsenal beat Bristol City 7-0.
Story of the Match
The home side made a dream start as they opened the lead through Lisa Evans close-range header, who did extremely well to meet Miedema’s whipping cross.
Leah Williamson doubled Arsenal’s lead as her thumping header went straight past Sophie Baggaley, after some fantastic work from Miedema yet again - down the wing and delivered a cross to find Williamson.
Jordan Nobbs effort was brilliantly saved by City keeper, whose effort was tipped over from the edge of the box on to the bar. It didn’t long for Miedema to get into the scoresheet as she does exceptionally well inside the box before striking low into the left corner.
After a low cross into the box from Beth Mead, finds Miedema who tapped home at the far post and scored her second goal of the game.
The Netherlands international completed her hat-trick four minutes later, after claiming the rebound after her own shot took the last deflection.
Bristol City almost pulled a goal back at the start of the second half when Yana Daniels strike crashed back off the crossbar from the edge of the box.
Miedema then scored her fourth goal of the match, when Danielle Van de Donk found Arsenal’s no.11 who strikes home into the top corner.
Gunners’ seventh came from Nobbs who converted her effort from close range as Miedema turned provider once again.
Miedema made it eight as scraped Evans’ through ball past Baggaley. Arsenal’s no.11 returned the favour as she continued to be a threat down the left and bounced back from a challenge before finding Evans in the box, who cushioned her volley to make it nine.
The match reached double figures as Miedema bagged her sixth goal of the game as she curled her effort into the bottom corner.
Substitute Emma Mitchell made it 11, fired home from inside the box.
The visitors earned a penalty in the closing stages when Zinsberger took down Daniels and the Arsenal keeper saving the initial spot kick, but Daniels slotted home the rebound for a late consolation.
Takeaways from the match
Arsenal taking goal-scoring opportunities
The result ended up being really good for the team and also really well to make up the goal difference amongst their title rivals. After having some couple of tough games especially last week against Liverpool, they were happy to show their qualities with a big score line which Arsenal really need and could prove to be important at the end of the season.
They did set up themselves at half-time to maintain the momentum and showed their ultimate respect to Bristol City by playing their own game as well as getting the goals Arsenal needed to get the victory. Most important of all, the hosts did not take the foot off the pedal as they needed to work on their goal difference which was kept on the player's mind. There were some games this season where the Gunners slightly dropped off and today, they didn’t.
Teams don’t know how to handle Miedema
If you can’t Miedema, it does come to Arsenal’s strength as many players like Jordan Nobbs and Beth Mead to name a few are all brilliant in front of goal and also goal scorers too. If Miedema drops off, the opposing team are not sure what to do and they receive space in front of goal then Arsenal’s no.11 is also able to help with some assists like she did today. There is so much strength and depth in this Arsenal side and will be interesting to see the role Miedema will play in the team for the rest of this season as they look to be spread the goals within the team.
The gulf between the top and bottom sides
The gap between the top and bottom sides looks to get bigger as we got the three powerhouses – Arsenal, Chelsea and Man City and then the lesser teams so to speak that actually don’t have the financial budget and resources to bring the high level of calibre players in. We have seen that today with Bristol City as they don’t have the finances to bring high level international players in so there is going to be that divide. It is a problem as we don’t like to see these kinds of score lines.
The way the women’s game is going and already professionalised, we wouldn’t see it as much but teams like Arsenal need to remain professional and continue to push on.
Stand Out Player
Vivianne Miedema – Another stand-out performance from the Netherlands international as she was involved in most of Arsenal goals with six goals and four assists. She proved herself yet again that she is a world-class striker as she is so composed in front of goal and such a joy to watch as a spectator.
She seemed to have so much space in front of goal and it was easy at times for Miedema. The best part of Miedema’s play is that she doesn’t stay centrally and was able to pull out on the left and right flank- so versatile and teams find it hard to handle Miedema.