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Miedema breaks WSL record with hat-trick as Arsenal hammer Tottenham

Vivianne Miedema celebrates with her Arsenal teammates after scoring her third and the team’s fifth against Spurs.
Photograph: Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

Not content to pass the record for Women’s Super League goals scored, Vivianne Miedema’s first-half hat-trick ensured she did so in style, taking her tally to a staggering 52 goals in 50 games in a 6-1 crushing of rivals Tottenham.

The Dutch all-time record goalscorer levelled the 49 goals scored by the former Manchester City forward Nikita Parris, in 110 games, against Brighton last week, overtaking City striker Ellen White (48 in 104) in the process, to put her primed and ready to pounce in the north London derby.

Where it took 70 minutes for Arsenal to undo a resilient Spurs defence in the FA Cup three weeks ago, eventually scoring four, this time by half-time Joe Montemurro’s side were 5-0 up.

A stunning free-kick from Republic of Ireland winger Katie McCabe gave the home team the lead in the fourth minute and from then Arsenal remained resolutely camped in the opposing half.

Quick guide

WSL roundup: City held at Reading, United win again

Manchester City‘s difficult start to the season continued as they were held to a 1-1 draw at Reading. Norwegian forward Amalie Eikeland put the Royals in front after just three minutes at the Madejski Stadium, heading home a corner at the near post. 

The hosts held their lead until half-time, with Grace Moloney denying Georgia Stanway from a City corner, but Samantha Mewis got City level on 56 minutes. The US international picked the ball up on the left and cut infield past two defenders before firing the ball into the far corner.

Mewis’s international teammate Rose Lavelle sent a late effort narrowly wide, but Gareth Taylor’s side had to settle for a point. After just five games, City are seven points behind leaders Arsenal and five behind local rivals Manchester United, who won 4-2 at West Ham.

Alessia Russo put the visitors ahead after 20 minutes, then set up Tobin Heath to power home a second three minutes later. Emily van Egmond pulled one back for the Hammers, only for Russo to restore the two-goal cushion before half-time for Casey Stoney’s side.

Rachel Daly scored her first West Ham goal with seven minutes to play, lobbing Mary Earps from the edge of the area. Substitute Christen Press (pictured) made sure of victory with her first Manchester United goal, sweeping home at the far post four minutes later.

United move up to third, behind Everton only on goal difference after their perfect start came to an end with a 2-2 draw at home to Brighton.

The visitors took a surprise lead, but Izzy Christiansen levelled and Valérie Gauvin’s second-half header put Everton ahead. Aileen Whelan grabbed a point for Hope Powell’s side, turning Fiss Gibbons’ low cross into the roof of the net with 12 minutes to play.

Bottom club Bristol City‘s miserable start continued as they lost 4-0 at home to Birmingham. Claudia Walker’s long-range effort was the pick of the Blues’ goals with Rachel Corsie, Mollie Green and Christie Murray also on target. Niall McVeigh

Photograph: John Walton/PA
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Three minutes later Miedema had the record. Sweeping down the left wing she slipped a pass to her compatriot Danielle van de Donk. The latter, sensing the run of her teammate, flicked the ball on with the side of her foot into the path of the advancing Miedema who collected and fired across goal and into the far corner.

A loud cheer went up from the Arsenal staff in a quiet and cool Meadow Park and there were even a couple of high-fives and a small smile from the stalking forward who rarely celebrates.

With Arsenal playing with some serious swagger, despite severely depleted forces, a lofted long ball from centre back Leah Williamson found Australian forward Caitlin Foord who rolled the ball past Becky Spencer.

Then it was Miedema’s turn again. A McCabe free-kick was this time slipped to the Netherlands forward on the right and her on-target shot deflected off defender Alanna Kennedy and in.

After Tottenham, who have failed to build on the point they earned in a 1-1 draw with West Ham on the opening day of the season, went four down and struggled to push out of their own half, co-managers Juan Amoros and Karen Hills pulled off Gemma Davison and Lucy Quinn to help prevent the almost comical collapse taking place in front of them.

Caitlin Foord scores Arsenal’s sixth goal.

Caitlin Foord scores Arsenal’s sixth goal. Photograph: Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

Five minutes later, though, the 24-year-old Miedema had her third, picking up Foord’s pass on the left and smacking her shot past Spencer. This was a playful performance from Miedema who, as Arsenal stretched their legs, began to play with the Spurs players as a cat would with a barely-alive mouse, diving back to force a throw deep in her own half one minute and cooly dancing around three midfielders before slipped the ball backwards or pulling players away and out of position the next.

“We always talk about her goals and her finishing but the amount of work she does off the ball, creating space knowing when to trigger the press is incredible,” said Montemurro. “When people can come to see our games again I urge people to watch the work she does off the ball and that’s the mark of a great player.”

A bench of four, including two youth team players and goalkeeper Lydia Williams making her return to the match day squad following injury, reflected the biggest trouble Montemurro currently faces as they attempt to compete in three competitions. Seven first team players are currently sidelined and with this Arsenal’s third season in a row to be hampered by a debilitating injury cross the manager conceded there was a “massive internal review” taking place at the club.

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Then, it was six, Beth Mead whipping a low cross in from the right and Foord’s shot deflected off right back Ashleigh Neville and in.

There was hope for Spurs when substitute Lucia Leon went down a little too easily under pressure from McCabe but Manuela Zinsberger dived the right way for Rianna Dean’s resulting spot-kick and right-back Ashleigh Neville put the rebound over.

With 13 minutes remaining though Spurs had their consolation, a first goal against the Gunners in their last three attempts, Leon heading past Zinsberger from a corner.

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