We signed off the year in style on Wednesday night as we secured top spot in Group C with a dominant 9-1 victory over FC Zurich.
With five different goalscorers, including a hat-trick from Frida Maanum, we delivered a complete team performance from start to finish that saw us climb above Lyon by two points.
Kim Little marked her return from injury with a goal off the bench, while Leah Williamson stepped up as captain at the base of our midfield.
Despite losing key player Vivianne Miedema to injury in our last Champions League outing, we made a fast start against Zurich and opened the scoring after just 18 minutes through Maanum, who fired a stunning free-kick into the top left corner. It was a milestone goal too, marking our 150th under Jonas Eidevall to date.
Caitlin Foord doubled our advantage shortly after with a smart finish from a Stina Blackstenius cutback, before Foord turner provided for our third of the evening, picking out Maanum on the left wing to convert at the near post.
Foord provided another assist on the stroke of half-time too, this time picking out Stina Blackstenius to fire home into an open goal.
There was no let-up in the second half either, as Maanum drove towards goal and found the top left corner with a thumping strike from 20 yards, securing her hat-trick, before Blackstenius doubled her tally with a looping strike from the opposite side of Maanum.
Zurich pulled one back with Fabienne Humm converting from the spot following a foul from Williamson, but shortly after Foord restored our six-goal advantage, pouncing on a wayward backpass to fire between the keeper’s legs.
There was another moment to celebrate as Kim Little made her return from injury off the bench, and it didn’t take her long to make her mark, converting from 12 yards and sending the keeper the wrong way.
Substitute Iwabuchi also made an instant impact to score our ninth and final goal of the night with Foord teeing up the Japan international inside the area to drive the ball into the far corner.
What it means
The win saw us guarantee top spot in Group C having already secured qualification last week.
Our players will now enjoy a break over the Christmas period, before returning for our Women’s Super League clash against Chelsea on Sunday, January 15.
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FC Zurich: Romero, Riesen, Stierli, Vetterlein, Megroz, Dubs, Rey (65), Markou (46), Pinther (46), Humm (75), Pilgrim (56)
Bench: Friedli, Bollmann, Bernauer (56), Was (65), Enz, Piubel (46), Hobinger (46), Scharz (75), Schefer
Arsenal: Zinsberger, Martin, Wubben-Moy (62), Rafaelle, Catley (81), Walti (62), Williamson (c), Maanum (74), McCabe, Blackstenius (62), Foord
Bench: Marckese, Williams, Wienroither, Beattie (81), Nobbs (62), Little (62), Iwabuchi (74), Hurtig (62)
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