Katie McCabe helps Arsenal hammer Zurich in Champions League

The Gunners now need to wait until February 10 to discover who they have drawn in the quarter-final.
Katie McCabe helps Arsenal hammer Zurich in Champions League

By Rachel Steinberg, PA

Frida Maanum hit a hat-trick and picked up an assist as Arsenal secured top spot in Group C of the Champions League with a 9-1 triumph over hosts Zurich.

Ireland captain Katie McCabe helped the Gunners to deliver a dominant display from start to finish against a side who denied the Gunners a clean sheet through Fabienne Humm’s second-half penalty.

Caitlin Foord and Stina Blackstenius both bagged braces, Kim Little fired home from the spot and substitute Mana Iwabuchi added a late effort of her own.

Arsenal now need to wait until February 10th to discover who they have drawn in the quarter-final.

Jonas Eidevall’s side had already booked their trip to the knockout stages, and the head coach was surely encouraged by the attacking display from his Gunners, who have now lost both Beth Mead and more recently Vivianne Miedema to long-term ACL injuries.

Arsenal had their first opportunity from an early set-piece after Zurich keeper Lourdes Romero could only knock down Steph Catley’s flicked-on delivery into the area.

Romero survived Rafaelle Souza’s attempt at tucking in the rebound and a subsequent goalmouth scramble, and played on after Katie McCabe’s effort caught her in the face, requiring a brief pause.

She remained, and Zurich finally enjoyed a brief spell of possession before Foord, dodging a quartet of white shirts, was blatantly brought down by Julia Stierli.

Arsenal celebrate
Frida Maanum, centre, struck three times (Ennio Leanza/AP)

Maanum did not waste the opportunity, giving Romero no chance as she floated the resulting free-kick into the top left corner after 18 minutes.

Alayah Pilgrim came close to an equaliser when she watched her nodded effort sail just high of the crossbar, the miss proving costly as Blackstenius drove down the right and fed Foord for a close-range finish.

Foord then turned provider, carrying the ball through midfield before releasing Maanum, who skipped over a sliding Romero before firing in the Gunners’ third.

It was four by the break when Maanum unselfishly crossed to Blackstenius who calmly extended the Gunners’ advantage and snapped her own six-game stretch without a goal at the stroke of half-time.

Caitlin Foord celebrates
Caitlin Foord was also on target (Ennio Leanza/AP)

Six minutes after the restart Leah Williamson fed Maanum, in acres of space at the edge of the area, and she completed her hat-trick with a powerful strike into the top left.

Zurich finally got on the scoresheet after Williamson slipped, accidentally taking out Seraina Piubel in the process.

There was no complaint from the England captain as the referee pointed to the spot and Humm fired home the consolation, just her side’s second goal of the competition.

Floodgates firmly opened, Foord netted her second before substitutes Little and Iwabuchi got in on the action and padded the Gunners’ emphatic victory.

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