By Chris Harris
Arsenal Ladies booked their place in the Quarter Finals of the
UEFA Women's Cup with a comfortable 6-0 victory over Femina
Vic Akers' side take on Brondby on Sunday in a game which
will determine who tops the qualifying group - a draw will
suffice for Arsenal - but for now the English Double winners
can reflect on a job well done.
Julie Fleeting scored all five when the Ladies beat Russian
champions WFC Rossiyanka on Tuesday but Arsenal shared the goals
around this time. Jayne Ludlow grabbed a brace and Katie Chapman,
Rachel Yankey and Gemma Davison were also on target.
The rout started with an own goal after 21 minutes. Davison
found Alex Scott and her low cross into the area was deflected into
her own net by Femina defender Aranka Paraoanu.
Arsenal doubled their lead a minute later when Ludlow collected
a long pass inside the area and finished emphatically. Fleeting
immediately forced a double save from Gabriele Kovefi.
Mary Phillip went close with a 30-yard effort while Ludlow and
Lianne Sanderson both squandered chances as the Hungarians kept the
score down until the hour mark. After that, Arsenal rattled in a
further four goals.
Chapman was first to find the net, collecting a pass from Scott
before slotting the ball past Kovefi. Four minutes later Chapman
steered Yankey's free kick wide of the post when she should
really have scored.
Yankey got the goal her second-half performance warranted when
she guided Sian Larkin's pass beyond the keeper after 67
minutes. Five minutes later Ludlow doubled her personal tally,
volleying Yankey's corner into the net.
That made it 5-0 and there was more to come. With 14 minutes
left Kovefi was sent off for a foul on Sanderson. The England
striker picked herself up to take the penalty but substitute keeper
Istuanne Bauer saved her effort.
That raised a cheer among the Russian fans - who needed Arsenal
to lose for their own team's sake - but the sixth goal soon
came. Three minutes after the squandered spot kick, another perfect
corner from Yankey was tapped in by Davison.
Once again Ludlow assumed the captaincy with Faye White
recovering from knee ligament damage. Arsenal's two-goal hero
believes the team will be full of confidence ahead of Sunday's
clash with Brondby.
"We've got six points so we couldn't have asked for
more," said Ludlow. "The game took a little bit out of
our legs on Tuesday but we are looking forward to it. They beat us
last year so we want to put that right.
"We get on really well as a team, we have a good work ethic
and very talented players. There's a lot of hard workers too so
it mixes really well."
Ludlow also praised the playing surfaces for Arsenal's group
games in Russia. "The pitch is great here, better than what we
usually play on," she said. "There has also been good
crowd support here, especially when we played the Russian
Group Standings Team P W D L F A Pts Arsenal
2 2 0
0 11 4
6 Brøndby IF 2 2 0 0 7 2 6 WFC Rossiyanka 2 0
0 2 5 7 0 1. FC Femina Budapest 2 0 0 2 1 11 0
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