WSL

Arsenal 7-0 Aston Villa - : Player ratings as Gunners storm to victory in the WSL

Ali Rampling
Arsenal were comfortable winners over Aston Villa
Arsenal were comfortable winners over Aston Villa / Paul Harding/GettyImages
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Arsenal closed the gap between themselves and Chelsea at the WSL summit to a single point with a thumping 7-0 victory over Aston Villa on Sunday.

A brace from Vivianne Miedema, a Rachel Corsie own goal and strikes from Beth Mead, Lotte Wubben-Moy, Stina Blackstenius and Nikita Parris saw the Gunners romp to victory, with the WSL title race set to go down to the final day of the season.

Aston Villa have made a recent habit of frustrating top teams in the WSL, but Arsenal broke the deadlock inside ten minutes. Leah Williamson sliced open the Villa midfield with a fabulous pass, Mead cushioned the ball into the path of Miedema, and the Dutch forward's effort squirmed through the gloves of Sian Rogers.

Miedema and Arsenal had a second four minutes later with a ferocious strike from the edge of the box.

While there were question marks over Rogers for Arsenal's opening goal, she proceeded to turn in an inspired performance for the remainder of the opening 45, making a series of impressive saves to keep out Caitlin Foord when one-on-one, tipping a Mead effort onto the bar and denying Miedema a hat-trick.

The crossbar then denied the Netherlands international a treble in the second half as Miedema worked the angle herself with some fabulous footwork. Her shot thundered off the woodwork and into the net off the unfortunate Corsie.

Mead deservedly got herself on the scoresheet on the hour mark with a stunning swerving strike from range. Lotte Wubben-Moy added a fifth five minutes later, turning home Stina Blackstenius' cross from inside the six yard box.

Blackstenius got on the scoresheet herself as clock ticked down with an outrageous finish with the outside of her right foot. Fellow substitute Nikita Parris netted her 50th WSL goal from the just before full-time after being brought down by Laura Blindkilde to make it seven and conclude the scoring.


Arsenal vs Aston Villa player ratings - WSL

1. Arsenal (4-4-2)

Vivianne Miedema
Miedema was on the scoresheet for Arsenal / Paul Harding/GettyImages

GK: Lydia Williams - 6/10 - Hardly had a touch of the ball - let alone a save to make.

RB: Noelle Maritz - 6/10 - Completely untroubled defensively, came close to getting on the scoresheet with a bending effort in the first half.

CB: Leah Williamson - 8/10 - Instrumental in Arsenal's first two goals with a pair of probing forward passes, finding the gaps between the Villa lines. Distribution was superb throughout.

CB: Lotte Wubben-Moy - 7/10 - Won everything at the back, ensuring Lydia Williams had next to nothing to do. Got on the scoresheet with a poacher's finish.

LB: Steph Catley - 7/10 - Tore forward whenever possible and linked up so effectively with McCabe.

RM: Beth Mead - 8/10 - Teed up Miedema for Arsenal's first. Showed great feet to work the opportunity for herself as she rattled the crossbar in the first half, before getting on the scoresheet in the second with a superb strike. Bursting with energy, a constant threat.

CM: Lia Walti - 7/10 - Cool as you like on the ball as the Arsenal midfield duo dictated the game.

CM: Kim Little - 8/10 - Close control was exquisite throughout, spent the afternoon effortlessly picking passes.

LM: Katie McCabe - 7/10 - Denied by a good Rogers save in the second half, combined well with Catley to cause constant chaos down the left.

ST: Vivianne Miedema - 8/10 - Two goals inside the opening 12 minutes from near identical positions on the edge of the box - the second one a real fizzing effort. Here, there and everywhere, picking the ball up in pockets of space so effectively and absolutely running the show.

ST: Caitlin Foord - 7/10 - A rare start as a central striker for Foord. Stretched the Villa backline with her willingness to run in behind, denied a goal by a good Rogers save, set up Miedema for Arsenal's second.

SUB: Stina Blackstenius - 7/10 - An assist and a really well taken goal in just over half an hour on the pitch.

SUB: Nikita Parris - 7/10 - Netted her long awaited first Arsenal league goal - and 50th in the WSL - from the penalty spot after being brought down.

SUB: Jordan Nobbs - N/A - Forced off in tears 10 minutes after entering the fray, appearing to suffer a knee injury.

SUB: Laura Wienroither - 6/10


2. Aston Villa (4-1-4-1)

Sian Rogers
Rogers made a number of big saves for Villa / Paul Harding/GettyImages

GK: Sian Rogers - 6/10 - Kept her place in the side following last week's impressive display despite the returning Hampton. Should have done better with Miedema's first, but made excellent saves to keep out Foord, Mead and Miedema.

RB: Sarah Mayling - 5/10 - Struggled to deal with the combinations of McCabe and Catley who relentlessly bombarded her in the second half.

CB: Rachel Corsie - 5/10 - Made a strong last-ditch tackle to keep out Little in the first half, could do little about her own goal. No let up all afternoon against Arsenal's forward line. Moved into midfield for the final 25 minutes.

CB: Anita Asante - 5/10 - Had quite a busy afternoon. Struggled a bit pace wise when Arsenal ran in behind, good when in possession.

LB: Maz Pacheco - 4/10 - Had a tough time of it up against the lively Mead, with many of Arsenal's best chances coming from the Villa left.

DM: Olivia McLoughlin - 5/10 - Question marks over her defending in the build-up to Arsenal's second, Miedema given all the space in the world. Had to be brave to constantly demand the ball deep in her own half - sometimes she kept it, sometimes she didn't.

RM: Alisha Lehman - 5/10 - Limited in her opportunity to have an attacking influence on the game as Villa spent much of the game in their own half. Replaced after 56 minutes.

CM: Laura Blindkilde - 6/10 - Full of energy, looked Villa's tidiest and most composed player in possession.

CM: Ramona Petzelberger - 4/10 - The Villa midfield were far too easy to play through, with the Arsenal backline picking gaps in them left, right and centre.

LM: Chantelle Boye-Hlorkah - 5/10 - Forced to do a lot of defensive work and limited in her opportunity to have an impact in the final third.

ST: Emily Gielnik - 4/10 - Struggled to hold the ball up and relieve the pressure on Villa during their rare ventures into the Arsenal half.

SUB: Shania Hayles - 5/10

SUB: Meaghan Sargeant - 5/10

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