on the right track. After being humiliated by the fleet, beating the feet of defending champions Barcelona in their first Women’s Champions League game, Arsenal rebounded with a compound performance to survive the Hoffenheim test with a 4-0 victory at Meadow Park .
Domestically unbeaten Arsenal in the Women’s Super League (WSL) received an education from the Catalan club last week but were much better at home, surviving a tough test against a well-built and lively squad to reset their European Championship. campaign.
The score was harsh for the visitors, who for much of the game gave their hosts and will regret their failure to capitalize on both a tie in possession and a flurry of chances in the second half.
After seeing how the harassing Barcelona press dismantled Arsenal’s possession game, Hoffenheim used similar initial tactics and were once again able to disrupt the home side’s pass in a first half of relatively few clear openings .
However, where Barcelona had forced errors, Arsenal seemed calmer as they enjoyed the comforts of home, keeping visitors at bay in a first equal and producing two incisions.
The first goal finally came from the penalty spot. Beth Mead’s pointy toe pushed a bouncing ball past the swinging leg of Michaela Specht, which collided with the Arsenal forward. Referee Stéphanie Frappart whistled; Captain Kim Little intervened and found the corner 12 yards away.
Moments before halftime, Arsenal doubled their lead. Good preparation work moved the ball to the left sideline, with a cross raised in the box. Vivianne Miedema provided a nice cushioned header for teammate Tobin Heath, darting past the last defender and shooting point blank.
Shortly after halftime, it was Miedema’s turn, to poach in trademark fashion after a Jordan Nobbs reader was rescued, sending a bullet while jumping like an anxious frog at the house of about a meter.
Hoffenheim’s best fate came midway through the second period after conceding a third, forcing goalkeeper Manuela Zinsberger to make a succession of superb saves, with Katie McCabe further forced to intervene out of her own line after a corner.
Despite his team’s healthy advantage, Jonas Eidevall became frustrated as Hoffenheim, with referee Stephanie Frappart warning the Arsenal manager after being exasperated by his inability to act on a questionable legal challenge on Noelle Martiz .
Still, the German team couldn’t convert any of their chances and Arsenal added a fourth five minutes from time.
This sealed a much needed continental form reset for Arsenal, who will next face HB Køge in a month’s time. The Danish team were beaten 2-0 by a dominant but wasteful Barcelona in the second round of the group stage.