Wednesday, October 21, 2020
Home Football Evans hat-trick helps Arsenal past Spurs

Evans hat-trick helps Arsenal past Spurs

Arsenal reached the Women’s FA Cup semi-finals as Scotland winger Lisa Evans’ clinical late hat-trick helped them to a 4-0 win over Tottenham.

Spurs held off the hosts resolutely until defender Ashleigh Neville gifted possession to Jordan Nobbs, whose superb lob opened the scoring.

Evans then netted three times in quick succession to seal the win late on.

Arsenal’s Australia forward Caitlin Foord’s looping header had hit the bar in an otherwise quiet first half.

Spurs’ new signing, the United States star Alex Morgan, was on the bench for the visitors but did not come on for her debut.

The two-time World Cup winner watched on from the bench on a rain-hit evening at Meadow Park, where for long periods Spurs had frustrated their north London rivals.

The 31-year-old is building up her fitness again as she has not played competitively for over a year, after giving birth to her daughter on 7 May.

Arsenal still on course for 15th cup triumph

The Gunners had scored 15 goals in their first two Women’s Super League games of the new season but found it hard to break a well-drilled Spurs outfit down for the first hour.

Then on 73 minutes Neville’s loose pass to Nobbs gave the England playmaker a chance to spot goalkeeper Rebecca Spencer off her line and expertly lob the ball over the Spurs skipper to break the deadlock.

As Spurs then chased a leveller, the game became stretched and Evans doubled the lead after Vivianne Miedema’s fine through ball.

Evans then converted from Kim Little and Beth Mead’s good balls in to the box to complete an ultimately convincing win in the closing stages.

Record 14-time winners Arsenal will now face Championship side Leicester City or holders Manchester City in the last four on Thursday (live on BBC Two, 19:15 BST).

Saturday’s local derby had originally been scheduled for 15 March but was postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Football Association opted to resume last term’s cup after the start of the new league campaign and the final will be played at Wembley on 31 October.

‘Not long before we see Alex Morgan’ – post-match reaction

Arsenal boss Joe Montemurro said:

“One thing that was important for us is that these games can get out of hand and become transition games, games where you’re using a lot physically to the detriment of games to come.

“So I was very, very happy that we didn’t over exert ourselves or get into situations where it could have become tricky, and that’s all credit to everyone and the professionalism to dictate the tempo. All credit to our patience and rhythm.”

On Morgan, Spurs’ co-head coach Karen Hills said:

“We felt it was really important for her to be around the girls today, to be involved in the match day preparations and just get her mind in a match-day environment.

“Obviously she’s probably going to be apprehensive, she’s going to be nervous, she hasn’t been in that situation for the past year.

“Just having someone like that around the changing room is fantastic for the girls.

“Obviously today it wasn’t meant to be, but she’s working really hard, she’s growing day by day, her fitness levels are improving all the time, she’s physically in great shape so I don’t think it will be long before we see Alex Morgan.”

On the game, Hills added:

“We were definitely in the game. We were very organised. The girls were magnificent in the first half and just frustrated Arsenal.

“It was really compact, really organised, and when we had the ball we were good in possession and tried to drive the ball forward.

“It’s obviously disappointing because at half-time we really felt we were in the game and the players believed we could go on and potentially do something incredible, but it just goes to show how far we’ve come.

“We’ve frustrated one of the top, top teams, who have scored a lot of goals over the past couple of weeks, so that was really pleasing to see but obviously the game is over 90 minutes and unfortunately we could only hold them for 70.

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