Arsenal 3-0 Tottenham: Arsenal are back at their best
Photo by Edward Payne

An empty Tottenham Hotspur Stadium hosted the Women's Super League North London Derby, but it was full of return for Arsenal against a struggling Tottenham side.

Arsenal certainly stepped up to the occasion and played vintage Joe Montemurro football. Quick passing, swift movement, overlapping fullbacks and Vivianne Miedema scoring a worldie. 

The Gunners finished with 68% possession and 26 shots on goal to Tottenham's 10. Rehanne Skinner's Spurs are now winless in seven games and Arsenal have managed to keep a clean sheet their last four wins.

Though Spurs managed to match Arsenal's intensity in passing and kept composure playing out of pressure, their ball into the final third was always to a red shirt. 

  • Story of the match

This bit hasn't changed drastically from previous North London Derbies, Arsenal dominated and Tottenham failed to have a spark on their attack. 

With Leah Williamson benched because of injury, Lia Walti slipped into the centre-back role next to Lotte Wubben-Moy and Kim Little dropped from her usual position to play a holding midfielder role where the Swiss usually is.

Most of Arsenal's attack came from the wings where the Gunners overloaded the Spurs defence with both their wingers, fullbacks and occasionally a midfielder. 

Miedema gave her side the first sight of goal when a promising attack down the left wing finished in the side netting in the fifth minute of the match, a warning for Spurs for what was to come. 

Just four minutes later another attack down that left wing. Danielle van de Donk rushed what could've been a brilliant volley from the penalty spot and her attempt on goal was a comfortable save for Becky Spencer.

On the start of their attack, Arsenal almost have an attacking line of four players. When the ball was carried from the defence, one or two of the players from that front line would drop to collect the ball. 

This would drag a Tottenham defender out of position and then the Gunners would exploit this space left behind and get the ball to the wings to drive forward.

Photo by Edward Payne
Photo by Edward Payne

Caitlin Foord's goal came from exploiting space down the right wing. Jordan Nobbs received the ball in the midfield, spun around and laid it off to Foord who carried the ball inside.

Noelle Maritz overlapped and once she released the ball, Foord kept moving centrally to eventually get the ball back from the Swiss fullback for a first time finish. 

Becky Spencer managed two brilliant back to back saves to deny Nobbs, but a resulting corner kick saw Arsenal double their advantage 10 minutes from the break.

A planned corner kick routine left Miedema free on the penalty spot and from a Katie McCabe delivery, the Dutch striker lobbed a perfect volley over Spencer and into the back of the net.

The second half started similar with Tottenham unable to create any effective attack against a sound Arsenal defensive press.

Alanna Kennedy broke through the high press to begin a promising attack, but her cross into the box was overhit and out for an Arsenal goal-kick. 

McCabe skied her free-kick just at the top of the box nine minutes into the second half, but avenged herself just minutes later when she picked a poor Abbie McManus pass back and cooly slotted home to the far post past Spencer to get her third goal of the season.

Photo by Edward Payne
Photo by Edward Payne

Spurs had another brilliant chance on goal when Manuela Zinsberger found herself out of position, but the Arsenal keeper come up with three consecutive saves in the 77th minute to keep a clean sheet.

Arsenal continued to dominate and saw out the match comfortably, while also failing to capitalise on various goal scoring opportunities that could've helped their goal difference in the WSL.

  • Stand out player

Kim Little composed the midfield and the tempo of the match. She was crucial to holding the ball for Arsenal, spinning effortlessly away from Tottenham players. The Scottish captain was playing out of position in a deeper lying role than her usual spot, but she slotted into Walti's place seamlessly.

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