We remain Group C leaders in the Women's Champions League following a solid 3-1 win over FC Zurich at Emirates Stadium
Jonas Eidevall made seven changes to the side that faced Liverpool, with Jordan Nobbs, Mana Iwabuchi, and Jen Beattie earning their first starts of the campaign. The boss was soon vindicated for his team selection as Lina Hurtig's first two goals for our club, and a first-half wonder strike from Nobbs secured our win.
We started the half on the front foot, dominating possession in Zurich's half thanks to our quietly-confident skipper Kim Little, and the Swiss champions gave debutant Kaylan Marckese little to worry about between the posts. Beattie made an immediate impact via a Steph Catley free kick, and the Scot's header on target required a routine save from the FCZ keeper.
In fact, as well as standing firm at the back, our centre-back duo of Beattie and Wubben-Moy provided significant amounts of creativity going forward, with the latter even getting a strike on target from open play.
One of our best chances of the half came just before the half-hour mark, as Lina Hurtig produced a Cruyff turn at the corner of the box to find space and unleash a shot that skimmed the crossbar.
Another fresh starter, Jordan Nobbs, gave a creative and assured performance from start to finish that earned her the Player of the Match award. An early, perfectly-weighted ball over the top from her nearly unlocked Vivianne Miedema in the penalty box, but Zurich cleared the danger.
The deadlock was broken just before half-time, courtesy of Nobbs and her terrific first-time volley, which came off the inside of the crossbar and bounced over the line.
We doubled our advantage over the Swiss champions swiftly after. A superb show of skill from Iwabuchi allowed her free reign in the box to chip the ball delicately into the path of Lina Hurtig, who headed home for her first goal in an Arsenal shirt.
Zurich set up for the second half positively and enjoyed some healthy spells of possession, which didn't prove dangerous until the 77th minute. The visitors momentarily stunned us with a well-taken goal from Seraina Piubel, who turned to celebrate excitedly with her teammates, substitutes, and coaching staff by the side of the pitch
We regained our composure and responded immediately, however, through Hurtig once more. Some neat play from our midfield gave substitute Stina Blackstenius a shot on goal, and the rebound was snapped up by her Swedish compatriot who fired home for a brace.
What it means
After two matches played, we remain top of our Champions League group after Lyon held Juventus to a 1-1 draw.
We have a while to wait before we're back in European action, as we head to Italy to face Juventus on November 24. Before then, a packed Meadow Park awaits for our WSL clash with West Ham.
Starting XI: Marckese, Maritz, Wubben-Moy, Beattie, Catley ('58), Little (C), Nobbs, Iwabuchi ('74), Hurtig, Miedema, Mead ('58)
Substitutes: Zinsberger, Reid, McCabe ('58), Walti, Maanum ('58), Earl, Foord, Blackstenius ('74), Agyemang
Copyright 2023 The Arsenal Football Club Limited. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source.