Leicester 0-4 Arsenal: Player ratings as Gunners continue consecutive WSL winning record

Ali Rampling
Arsenal beat Leicester 4-0 on Sunday
Arsenal beat Leicester 4-0 on Sunday / Ross Kinnaird/GettyImages
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Arsenal moved to the top of the WSL table with a comprehensive 4-0 win over Leicester at the King Power Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

Goals from Frida Maanum, Caitlin Foord, Steph Catley and Stina Blackstenius condemned Willie Kirk to defeat in his first game in charge of the Foxes.

Arsenal manager Jonas Eidevall spoke of being weary of the 'unknown' entity Leicester were heading into the fixture, after it was announced that Kirk was replacing Lydia Bedford as Foxes boss on Thursday. It did not take a tactical mastermind to dissect Kirk's game plan following a quick glance at Leicester starting XI, with seven defenders named in the side.

Despite Leicester's defensive setup, Arsenal cracked the bar inside two minutes through a deflected Blackstenius effort, and took the lead after just 13 minutes.

Maanum continued her fine scoring form and was quickest to react to poke home after Kirstie Levell turned Blackstenius' cross into her path.

Arsenal doubled their advantage nine minutes later following a flowing team move, with Foord tapping home at the back post after being superbly picked out by Beth Mead.

CJ Bott almost halved the deficit before the first half was out, producing a fabulous surging run to burst past Steph Catley, but Manuela Zinsberger was on hand to save expertly with her feet.

Leicester were made to rue their missed opportunity as Catley added a third for Arsenal eight minutes before the break, finding the back of the net directly from a corner.

Blackstenius made it four within two minutes of the second half, latching onto a superb Lotte Wubben-Moy pass, rounding Lavell and slotting home.

Mead fired narrowly wide after being masterfully found by Mana Iwabuchi and Maanum drew a good save from Levell with a fizzing effort as Arsenal pushed for a fifth, while Zinsberger acrobatically denied Missy Goodwin a consolation for Leicester, tipping over the substitute's bending shot from the edge of the box as the Gunners registered their 14th WSL win on the bounce.

Arsenal will remain top of the WSL heading into November's international break, should Manchester United fail to beat Chelsea in Sunday evening's late kick-off.


Leicester (4-5-1)

Leicester City v Arsenal - Barclays Women's Super League
Leicester played their first game under Willie Kirk / Ross Kinnaird/GettyImages

GK: Kirstie Levell - 4/10 - Palmed the ball into the path of Maanum for Arsenal's first. Made a bit of a mess of Arsenal's third as she failed to claim Catley's in-swinging corner.

RB: Erin Simon (69' for Goodwin) - 5/10 -
Lost track of Foord for Arsenal's second, the Arsenal winger peeling away at the back post.

CB: Sophie Howard - 5/10 -
Allowed Blackstenius to get in between the Leicester backline for Arsenal's fourth. Improved when part of a back five in the second half, but a tough day against Arsenal's strong front three.

CB: Ashleigh Plumptre - 5/10 -
Struggled to cope with wave after wave of Arsenal attack in the first half. Looked more solid as part of a back five in the second half.

LB: Demi Vance - 5/10 -
Beaten by Blackstenius in the build up to Arsenal's first.

DM: Abbie McManus (62' for Pike) - 5/10 -
Her first WSL start of the season and was deployed in an unnatural central midfield role. Tidy in possession, but appeared to lose to run of Blackstenius for Arsenal's fourth.

RM: CJ Bott - 7/10 -
Had a great chance to pull one back for the Foxes after creating the opening for herself with a surging run, but was denied by Zinsberger. Carried Leicester's most dangerous attacking threat.

CM: Sam Tierney - 5/10 -
Struggled to contend with the energy and fluidity of Arsenal's midfield three.

CM: Aileen Whelan - 6/10 -
Lost Maanum for Arsenal's first, allowing the Arsenal midfielder to drift off her shoulder and stab home unmarked. Switched play effectively to Bott in the build up to Leicester's best chance of the first half.

LM: Jemma Purfield (69' for Jones) - 5/10 -
Struggled to have any real attacking impact on proceedings, such was Arsenal's dominance.

ST: Natasha Flint (69' for O'Brien) - 6/10 -
A thankless task leading the line on her own. Pressured and harried all afternoon, but left to feed off scraps.

SUB: Molly Pike (62' for MacManus) - 5/10

SUB: Carrie Jones (69' for Purfield) - 5/10

SUB: Missy Goodwin (69' for Simon) - 5/10

SUB: Shannon O'Brien (69' for Flint) - 5/10

Arsenal (4-3-3)

Leicester City v Arsenal - Barclays Women's Super League
Arsenal lined up in a 4-3-3 / Ross Kinnaird/GettyImages

GK: Manuala Zinsberger - 7/10 - Did superbly to keep Bott out twice - first reacting quickly to race out and prevent the Leicester winger bearing down on goal, before keeping out an effort with her feet when one-v-one. Superbly tipped a Goodwin effort over in the latter stages.

RB: Laura Wienroither (67' for Maritz) - 7/10 - Got forward frequently and combined well with Mead. Rarely tested defensively.

CB: Lotte Wubben-Moy - 7/10 - Picked out Blackstenius with a fabulous lofted pass for Arsenal's fourth.

CB: Steph Catley - 7/10 - Beaten by Bott in the build up to Leicester's best chance of the first half. On the scoresheet straight from a corner with a wicked in swinging delivery.

LB: Katie McCabe - 6/10 - Switched flanks with Wienroither late in the second half, moved forward in the final 10 minutes following Beattie's introduction. Didn't get

CM: Lia Walti - 7/10 - Effortlessly cool and calm on the ball, swept up really effectively. Showed off her awareness and composure with a particularly fabulous flick while facing her own goal deep in the Arsenal half to break the lines and spring a Gunners' counter attack.

CM: Jordan Nobbs (67' for Iwabuchi) - 7/10 - Handed the armband for her first WSL start of the season. Neat and tidy in possession, moving Leicester around with her sharp passing and movement. Did the simple stuff well.

CM: Frida Maanum - 9/10 - Quickest to react to stab home the opener for Arsenal - her third in three games. Combined with Mead for Arsenal's second and drove the Gunners forward with her energy and athleticism. Another swashbucking performance.

RW: Beth Mead - 7/10 - Provided the superb low cross for Arsenal's second to find Foord at the back post. Almost got on the scoresheet in the second half, but fired narrowly wide.

ST: Stina Blackstenius (82' for Beattie) - 8/10 - Great strength, persistence and skill to send in the cross for the Arsenal opener. A trademark Blackstenius goal for Arsenal's fourth with a trademark perfectly timed run in behind and cool finish.

LW: Caitlin Foord (67' for Hurtig) - 7/10 - Popped up at the back post to tap home Arsenal's second.

SUB: Noelle Maritz (67' for Wienroither) - 6/10

SUB: Lina Hurtig (67' for Foord, 77' for Agyemang) - N/A - Forced off with injury after 10 minutes of entering the fray.

SUB: Mana Iwabuchi (67' for Nobbs) - 6/10

SUB: Michelle Agyemang (77' for Hurtig) - 6/10

SUB: Jen Beattie (82' for Blackstenius) - 6/10

Player of the match: Frida Maanum (Arsenal)

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