By Alex Henderson
Arsenal Ladies cruised into the Quarter-Finals of the Uefa Women's Cup on Saturday after hitting the Austrian champions Neulengbach for six.
Karen Carney's double and a goal apiece for Julie Fleeting, Kim Little, Yvonne Tracy and Gemma Davison secured a second win in two days for Vic Akers' side. However, the 2007 winners will probably need to beat Lyon on Tuesday night to avoid the big guns in the last eight.
Lyon are hosting this section of the qualifying stage and top Arsenal's group on goal difference after an 8-0 win against Zurich. Unless Arsenal avenge last season's Quarter-Final exit at the hands of the French side, they are odds-on to face a two-legged test against their 2007 Final opponents, Umea.
That issue will be resolved early next week. For now, Akers and his side can reflect on a job well done against Neulengbach. The Austrians gave Arsenal a few problems early on - as they did when the sides met at this stage last season - but the Gunners' class eventually told and the goals flowed once again.
Kelly Smith had already gone close before Fleeting, making her return to the side, broke the deadlock after 20 minutes. Alex Scott started the move from a throw-in before Smith received the ball on the edge of the box and fed Fleeting. The Scot made no mistake from close range, smashing her shot past Bianca Reischer.
Little doubled Arsenal's lead after 32 minutes. Smith hammered in a shot and Reischer's save was deflected into the path of Little, who netted with a instinctive volley. It was her fourth of the competition after a hat-trick in the 7-2 rout against Zurich on Thursday,
Neulengbach had threatened briefly with Rosana Dos Santos testing Emma Byrne but Arsenal were now well on top and, but for a dubious offside decision, they would have added a third goal before the break. Fleeting chested down a Carney corner and found the net despite going to ground under a challenge. However, the lineswoman raised her flag, convinced that Fleeting had intended to pick out Smith, who was standing in an offside position. The 'goal' was chalked off and Arsenal fumed.
Their mood improved when Carney struck 10 minutes into the second half. Fleeting showed fantastic vision to pick out Carney with a pass from just outside the area and Carney finished with aplomb.
Smith limped off with a dead leg with 19 minutes left but Arsenal kept their foot on the pedal and added a fourth four minutes later, Carney doubling her tally. Tracy scored her first goal in European football with five minutes left, finding the net after Reischer had punched away Faye White's header, and Davison rounded the night off in style with a smart right-foot volley after Rachel Yankey's pinpoint cross.
|3.||FC Zürich Frauen||2||0||0||2||3||14||-11||0|
- Chapman 59
- Fleeting Goal!
- Fahey 85 Yellow Card
- Tracy Goal!
- Carney Goal! Goal!
- Davison Goal!
- Smith 71
- Little Goal!
- Flaherty 85
- Ludlow 59
- Yankey 71
- Bianca Reischer
- Nadine Prohaska 84
- Ines Faustenhammer
- Nina Burger
- Monica Hickmann Alves Yellow Card
- Katrin Entner
- Maria Gstöttner
- Rosana Dos Santos Augusto
- Natascha Celouch
- Birgit Gumpenberger 89 Yellow Card
- Celia Liese Brancao-ribeiro 72 Yellow Card
- Lisa Hoyda 89
- Nicole Watzinger
- Nadine Novotny 84
- Daniela Tasch 72
- Jasmin Fischelmaier