Frieda Manum scored a hat-trick and provided an assist as Arsenal clinched top spot in Group C of the UEFA Champions League, beating Zurich 9-1 at home.
It was a dominant display from the visitors from start to finish against a team that denied Arsenal a clean sheet with a Fabien Hamm penalty in the second half.
Kaitlin Ford and Stina Blackstenius each scored twice, Kim Little slotted home a penalty and substitute Mana Iwabuchi added another goal of her own. Arsenal now need to wait until February 10 to find out who drew in the quarter-finals.
Jonas Edvall’s side had already booked their trip to the knockout stages, and the manager was certainly encouraged by the attacking display from Arsenal, who have now lost both Beth Meade and more recently Vivian Miedema to long-term injuries in the AFC Champions League. Arsenal had their first chance from an early set after Zurich goalkeeper Lourdes Romero was able to tip the ball off Steve Catley in the area.
Romero evaded Rafael Souza’s attempt to tuck in the rebound and subsequent goal scramble, and played after Katie McCabe’s attempt lobbed her in the face, requiring a brief pause. It stayed, and Zurich finally enjoyed a short period of possession before Julia Stirley blatantly dropped Foord, evading the quartet of white jerseys.
Mannum didn’t miss the chance, giving Romero no chance as she smashed the resulting free kick into the top left corner on 18 minutes. Alayah Pilgrim came close to equalizing when she watched her effort in a gesture sail high off the crossbar, defeat proving costly as Blackstenius drove down the right And Ford fed on a nearby target.
Forward then turned provider, carrying the ball through midfield before releasing Mannum, who flicked past a sliding Romero before volleying into Arsenal’s third. It was four o’clock before half-time when Mannum unselfishly crossed to Blackestews who quietly extended their advantage and quietly finished six games without a goal at half time.
Six minutes into the second half Lea Williamson fed Mannum, acre on the edge of the area, and completed his hat-trick with a powerful shot into the top left. Zurich finally got on the scoresheet after Williamson slid in, coincidentally taking Serena Jubilee in the process.
There was no complaint from the England captain as the referee pointed to the spot and Hamm let out her consolation, only her side’s second goal of the competition. Floodgates opened up strong, and Foord scored their second before substitutes Little and Iwabuchi stepped into the game and sealed an emphatic victory.
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