Jonas Eidevall hopes Arsenal can continue momentum with big week on horizon
Jonas Eidevall hopes Arsenal take great confidence from their 5-1 thrashing of Tottenham ahead of a season-defining week for the Women’s Super League title contenders.
The Gunners bounced back from defeat at Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarter-finals on Tuesday with a five-star showing at Brisbane Road.
Caitlin Foord hit a brace with Stina Blackstenius, Kim Little and Frida Maanum also on target for the visitors to ensure Bethany England’s first-half penalty for Spurs was merely a consolation.
It was the perfect preparation ahead of Wednesday’s last-eight second leg with Bayern Munich at the Emirates before a home clash with fellow title rivals Manchester City next weekend.
Caitlin Foord. Baller. pic.twitter.com/yY0tncItm0
— Arsenal Women (@ArsenalWFC) March 25, 2023
“Hopefully we go into the game on Wednesday with a good bit of self confidence and I think we should have that from our performances,” Eidevall insisted.
“Our performance against Chelsea in the Conti Cup (final) was very strong. Then both Liverpool and Reading was good in the league. Our second-half performance against Bayern was a very good performance and now here today was also a strong performance.
“It is not a team who have one or two strong performances. We have built good momentum coming into these two games against Bayern Munich and City. Now it is up to us to execute it.”
Given this fixture was sandwiched between two crucial Champions League ties, Arsenal could have taken their eye off the ball but they put sorry Spurs to the sword to stay in contention for the treble.
Blackstenius’ explosive fifth-minute opener set the visitors on their way in front of a large away following before Foord curled home from range.
England reduced the deficit for Tottenham with a penalty before half-time but Little’s 65th-minute spot-kick made the points safe.
Conti Cup winners Arsenal showed no signs of letting up though and Foord grabbed her second from close range while Maanum’s deflected lob was the icing on the cake.
Eidevall added: “You can’t prioritise one or the other because we’re at the stage with this league where it is so competitive.
“You need to try to do your very, very best to win these games. An away game here is always going to be a challenge so you need to be on top of your game.
“But Bayern is in the same situation. They are playing now against Wolfsburg and that is not a game they can take easy either.
“It is two teams with tough games and we will be ready to go on a little bit better grass pitch on Wednesday.”
Spurs interim boss Vicky Jepson was left frustrated with their second-half showing after they had pushed Arsenal close during the opening 45 minutes.
“When they go 3-1 up, it was probably the nail in the coffin,“ Jepson admitted.
“Then they built momentum and we had to ride the storm. We didn’t ride the storm as well as we would like to and we find ourselves 5-1 down.
“It is just one of those things. The first half we showed character, we showed grit and we created opportunities to get us back in the game, but second half as a collective we are all disappointed.
“We feel sorry for the fans because the final whistle goes in a north London derby and it should never be that scoreline.”
Later, Lucia Garcia scored twice as Manchester United moved to the top of the table with an emphatic 4-0 win over West Ham at Old Trafford.
A FOURMIDABLE PERFORMANCE 🔥🔥🔥🔥#MUWomen || #WSL pic.twitter.com/ZG0gMTuVjk
— Manchester United Women (@ManUtdWomen) March 25, 2023
United were frustrated during the first period and it took Katie Zelem’s penalty seven minutes into the second half for Marc Skinner’s side to make their breakthrough.
Garcia doubled United’s lead shortly after the hour mark and a late surge ensured a one-sided scoreline, with Hayley Ladd adding a third before Garcia grabbed her second in stoppage time.
The win was enough for United to move a point clear of Chelsea, albeit having played two games more, with Emma Hayes’ side set to travel to Manchester City on Sunday.