Lia Wälti and Katie McCabe sink West Ham and put Arsenal back on track

Arsenal bounced back from their heavy defeat by Chelsea last weekend with an efficient FA Cup fourth-round defeat of last year’s runners-up, West Ham. a shocking side-footed volley from Lia Wälti and a first-half goal from Katie McCabe ensured the Gunners remain within the hunt in four competitions and for a 15th FA Cup title.

“It was important to point out a reaction because last week we weren’t playing the way we would like to,” Wälti said, while their manager, Joe Montemurro, said he was pleased with the turnaround. “The maturity of this team is that it can slow games up when it needs to; it can control games when it needs too,” he said.

The second all-WSL tie of the FA Cup fourth round was within the end routine for Arsenal but West Ham have previously tested Montemurro’s free-flowing side. Their three league meetings since the Hammers launched a women’s team and entered the highest tier went Arsenal’s way but all were close – 4-3, 4-2 and, last , 2-1 last September. the shape of Matt Beard’s West Ham team, though, has been patchy, producing only seven wins in their 15 games since that defeat, and none back to back. Beard opted for 3 centre-backs with the britain Under-20 captain, Grace Fisk, who joined in December, slotting in alongside Gilly Flaherty and Katharina Baunach and his wing-backs dropped into a back five whenever Arsenal pressed forward. agen judi bola

For the visiting team this game had the added importance of following their bruising 4-1 home defeat by Chelsea within the WSL. Lose and that they would have gone into back-to-back games against Manchester City within the League Cup and WSL having suffered consecutive competitive defeats for the primary time in 20 months.

Any nerves, though, were settled early . With the Arsenal super-fan Maria going solo in her jovial chanting battle with the house crowd, the Gunners put pressure on the tight West Ham lines.

Just shy of the 20-minute mark they were one up after Kim Little raced into the bench , looked around and laid the ball back to McCabe, who cut inside from the left and lashed home.

Montemurro had relegated the wide players, Lisa Evans and Beth Mead, to the bench and pushed McCabe back to defence against Chelsea, sacrificing their potent width as they attempted to dominate within the middle, and it proved costly. Here they were restored to the starting XI and therefore the ir more natural berths and the impact was clear with McCabe and Mead linking well. the previous swung the ball to Mead at the rear post but her side-footed volley was over.

West Ham weren’t without chances of their own, Kenza Dali’s powerful cross with just a touch an excessive amount of in it for Julia Simic to be ready to direct her header on track . “It’s the toughest draw we could have gotten ,” Beard said. “But it shouldn’t deem me at half-time to point out five clips and lift my voice a touch bit for them to try to to it. i want to seek out out why it’s happening. It’s too repeatedly I’ve had to travel in at half-time and tweak things or show them exactly what we’ve asked them to try to to and why.”

Absorbing a spell of West Ham pressure after the break, Dali collected a clearance on the sting of the box and swiped her shot off the bar for a fine effort – Arsenal looking dangerous with every attack. the britain forward Mead punished the Hammers for not capitalising on their period of possession with a pinpoint delivery from a corner that Wälti beautifully converted on the volley with 17 minutes to play. it had been her first Arsenal goal.