In our final fixture at Meadow Park in 2022, our Gunners returned to winning ways by defeating Everton 1-0 on an exceptionally brisk afternoon.
A wonder goal from Vivianne Miedema was enough to bring home the three points but it could easily have resulted in a more commanding scoreline, had it not been for a host of near misses.
Jonas Eidevall made just one change to the side that drew with Juventus, as Jen Beattie returned to the backline with Lotte Wubben-Moy, and Katie McCabe took the armband.
McCabe was at the heart of many of our early chances down the right wing, alongside Laura Wienroither and Vivianne Miedema, and our centre-back pairing often found space to surge down the pitch and break Everton's block.
Following consistent passages of attacking play, we eventually broke the deadlock before the half-hour mark as Vivianne Miedema shook off her defender in the box and unleashed a perfect strike into the top right-hand corner to give us a well-deserved lead.
Caitlin Foord went very close shortly after, forcing a low block from Emily Ramsey in the Everton goal. Following one of our countless corners in the first half, a goalmouth scramble nearly resulted in a second but the Toffees somehow managed to clear the danger, and we headed down the tunnel a goal to the good.
We started brightly after the break and some lovely link-up play between Stina Blackstenius and Foord nearly led to us doubling our advantage. Our Aussie winger's strength and lightning footwork continued to trouble the Toffees’ defence - as did Miedema, whose performance earned her a Player of the Match nod.
Leah Williamson officially made her return from injury in the 68th minute, as she came on to replace Jen Beattie, and this substitute appearance was her 200th appearance for the club.
Despite registering a total of 33 shots across the 90 minutes - varying from free-kicks, long-range efforts and six-yard-box chances - we were unable to build on our 1-0 lead.
However, our slender advantage was only properly tested in the dying minutes, as Everton piled on the pressure through a series of deep deliveries from set pieces, but Manu Zinsberger's clean sheet remained intact.
What it means
After Manchester United and Chelsea also won their fixtures, we move into third place for now on goal difference.
Our final WSL fixture of 2022 sees us visit Aston Villa away, but before then is Juventus under the lights at Emirates Stadium on December 7.
Arsenal: Zinsberger (GK), Wienroither (Maritz, 68), Wubben-Moy, Beattie (Williamson, 68), Catley, Walti, Maanum, Miedema, McCabe (C), Foord, Blackstenius (Nobbs, 77)
Unused subs: Marckese (GK), Souza, Iwabuchi, Agyemang
Everton: Ramsey (GK), Graham, Sevecke, George, Stenevik (Maier, 84), Holmsgaard, Bennison (Galli, 74), Bjorn (C) (Weir, 86), Park, Snoeijs, Beever-Jones (Sorensen, 74)
Unused subs: Brosnan (GK), Wilding
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