Beth Mead scores twice as Arsenal thrash Liverpool


Beth Mead scored twice as Arsenal thrashed Liverpool to climb above Manchester City and return to the FA Women’s Super League summit.

Key moments

Kim Little opened the scoring at Prenton Park before Mead scored once in each half and Dominique Bloodworth headed in a fourth.

Courtney Sweetman-Kirk pulled one back from the penalty spot but Vivianne Miedema wrapped up a dominant Arsenal win to put the Gunners a point clear at the top.

Little opened the scoring on 20 minutes, getting across Sophie Bradley-Auckland to turn Katie McCabe’s left-wing cross in under Anke Preuss.

Mead then doubled the lead two minutes later, arriving unmarked at the back post to meet Vivianne Miedema’s cross and fire in from a very tight angle.

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Beth Mead celebrates after scoring the third goal against Liverpool.

Liverpool’s best first-half chance fell to Sweetman-Kirk on 24 minutes, after Daniels’ inch-perfect low cross, but Pauline Peyraud-Magnin was out quickly to save one-on-one.

After a period of Arsenal pressure after the break, Mead then fired in her second on 65 minutes – finding space on the right of the area before picking out the far top corner.

As with the first half, another goal followed just two minutes later – this time Bloodworth diving in to head past Preuss from Katrine Veje’s low cross.

Sweetman-Kirk pulled one back from the spot on 76 minutes, firing coolly into the top corner after Veje brought Daniels down in the area.

But Miedema sealed victory with five minutes remaining, beating Bradley-Auckland to a long ball and curling in from the edge of the area.

What they said:

Arsenal’s Beth Mead: “They were funny goals today. The first they didn’t even know had gone in and were checking the net for holes – I mean, I was the only one celebrating, not even my team-mates realised.

“My second goal, I have to be honest, I can’t really claim as a shot. It was meant to be a cross and took a bobble. I seem to be becoming a regular scoring those goals, so everyone thinks they are shots, but I can’t claim that. My one against Brazil was a shot, but that today was definitely a cross!

“I’m really enjoying playing out on the wing. I’ve spent most of my career playing as a No 9 so it’s new for me, but I’m really, really enjoying playing there at the moment.

“The pitch was a tough one to play one – we’re a team that likes to pass and play quickly and we were probably having to take an extra touch. We needed to get into the swing of things but eventually we got going and the goals came.

“We can’t complain too much, because we did play some good football but I guess we like playing on carpets now – when it’s a bit bumpy we’re not used to it!”

Liverpool’s Laura Coombs: “We’re really working on becoming stronger but there are little bits that seem to keep letting us down. Today that was defending wide areas – literally every goal was a carbon copy so we’re really disappointed with that.

“There are positives to take. We were struggling today for squad members and people had to step into roles they don’t usually play – and I thought they did really well. We’re looking more threatening when we go forward too at least.

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“We conceded five last time [against Arsenal at the start of the season] as well, but today it didn’t feel like the scoreline reflected the performance.

“We were staying in the game for longer and that’s an improvement and what we need to build on.

“It’s definitely something we need to work on [twice conceding in quick succession]. We’re really disappointed because you know after a goal both teams are at their most vulnerable so it’s really disappointing for us that happened.”

Stats

Liverpool 1
Sweetman-Kirk 76 (pen),

Arsenal 5
Little 20, Mead 22, 65, Bloodworth 67, Miedema 85

Liverpool (4-2-3-1): Anke Preuss; Leighanne Robe, Sophie Bradley-Auckland, Amy Rodgers, Jemma Purfield; Laura Coombs, Christie Murray; Yana Daniels, Kirsty Linnett, Courtney Sweetman-Kirk; Rinsola Babajide
Substitutes: Ashley Hodson for Babajide 66, Annabel Blanchard for Daniels 83, Missy Bo Kearns for Linnett 85
Substitutes not used: Fran Kitching, Niamh Fahey

Bookings: Linnett 78

Arsenal (4-2-3-1): Pauline Peyraud-Magnin; Lisa Evans, Leah Williamson, Louise Quinn, Katrine Veje; Danielle van de Donk, Dominique Bloodworth; Katie McCabe, Kim Little, Beth Mead; Vivianne Miedema
Substitutes: Danielle Carter for Mead 68, Jessica Samuelsson for Evans 74, Viktoria Schnaderbeck for Williamson 83
Substitutes not used: Sari van Veenendaal, Jannin Arth

Referee: Helen Conley
Attendance: 570