By Nik Brumsack at Meadow Park
- Davison 54
- Chapman Goal! Goal!
- Nobbs 86
- Yankey 46
- White Goal! Goal!
- Ludlow 54
- Carter 46
- Beattie 86
- Samantha Chappell
- Jones (C)
- Brusell Goal!
- Sophia Riccio
- Harding 80
- Elizabeth Ince
- Lillie Fenlon-Billson 86
- Gielnik 57
- Amie Flemming
- Jones 86
- Foster 80
- Hannah Keryakoplis 57
Chapman's two first-half goals set Laura Harvey's side on their way, before White struck twice in the closing stages after Katie Brusell had pulled one back for Liverpool.
Harvey had said in midweek that she plans to utilise her squad as they embark on a gruelling run of six matches in just 17 days. She made two changes from the side that beat Lincoln, with Gilly Flaherty and White replacing Alex Scott and Jennifer Beattie.
Knowing a win could see them crowned champions, Arsenal started with real attacking intent. Both Steph Houghton and Chapman went close in the opening stages, before White’s shot was well kept out by ex-Arsenal goalkeeper Sarah Quantrill.
The home side were not to be denied for long though, and scored the goal their start had deserved after 19 minutes.
Rachel Yankey, who became England Ladies’ most capped player on Wednesday, curled in a deep corner that was headed home by skipper Chapman.
The Gunners, and Chapman in particular, were rampant, and they added a second goal just three minutes later. White’s through-ball released the captain, and she drove an unstoppable effort into the roof of the net.
Then, straight from kick off, Quantrill did well to keep out White’s low drive before Little lobbed the rebound just off target.
After drawing criticism from Harvey for letting Lincoln back into the game last time out, Arsenal looked determined to have this game sealed up before the break.
Jordan Nobbs’ pass set up Yankey, whose low shot was parried to safety by Quantrill.
When Yankey did manage to beat the goalkeeper on the half-hour mark, her shot clipped the outside of the post.
The visitors were again saved by the woodwork just a minute later, when Nobbs’ shot crashed off the bar and away to safety.
Davison, Chapman and Little all went close to further extending the lead but were denied by a mixture of last-ditch blocks and the impressive Quantrill.
After a barnstorming first period, the second half started in a much quieter fashion, though substitute Danielle Carter and Little both went close to increasing the lead.
The home side were presented with a golden chance to seal victory on the hour mark, when White raced through but was again denied by a good save from Quantrill.
The goalkeeper had kept Liverpool in the game, and midway through the second half they halved the deficit, with a goal that came from nothing.
There looked to be little danger when Brusell picked the ball up 25 yards from goal, but the midfielder’s first-time hit went over Emma Byrne and flew into the net.
Arsenal were rocked and, after Byrne gave the ball away three minutes later, she redeemed herself well to save from substitute Hannah Keryakoplis.
The home side came back, and Carter came close to restoring the two-goal advantage. Cutting in from the left, her rasping drive looked destined for the net until Quantrill pulled off a stunning save to turn it over.
From the resulting corner, Chapman’s thumping header flicked the bar on its way over.
The game became more open in the final 10 minutes, as Liverpool poured forward in search of an equaliser.
Harvey had withdrawn Yankey and Davison, perhaps with one eye on Wednesday’s Chmpions League fixture in Barcelona. The introduction of Carter ensured there was still pace in the side though, and she looked Arsenal’s biggest threat on the counter-attack.
With just two minutes of normal time to play, the home side calmed any nerves to seal the win.
Little broke away down the left before crossing into the box for White to finally beat Quantrill.
White added another in stoppage time, firing home after Chapman had set her up.Copyright 2013 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 23 Sep 2012