• By Paul Lagan at Kingsmeadow

Reiten time as brace from winger sees Chelsea beat Arsenal 4-1 at Kingsmeadow in Conti Cup tonight



By Paul Lagan at Kingsmeadow

Chelsea cruised past Arsenal 4-1 with a brace from Guro Reiten, a bullet header from Magda Eriksson and a late strike from substitute Beth England at rain-swept Kingsmeadow tonight.

It was a significant victory as only the group winners automatically qualify for the next stage of the Conti Cup, and Chelsea as holders don’t want to lessen their grip on the trophy too early.

Chelsea started off with high intensity, and it paid off handsomely on five minutes when skipper Magda Eriksson powered home a Guro Reiten corner - sending the ball arrowing past Manuela Zinsberger.

But with their first attack, the Gooners equalise through Caitlin Ford, who smashed home from long-range on nine minutes.

But then, two minutes later, Norway winger Guro Reiten slotted home with a low drive from just outside the Arsenal penalty area.

Carly Telford was brilliantly positioned to tip over her crossbar a thunderous left-footer a minute later as it seemed like goals were raining in from all quarters.

And so it proved as Sam Kerr raced onto the goal. Zinsberger came out to block the ball but it fell loose to Reiten, who cooly bent the ball into the empty net to make it 3-1.

Arsenal had a chance to reduce the deficit on 24 minutes but Malin Gut stopped the ball over Telford’s crossbar.

Sophie Ingle gets a yellow card for a late challenge in Vivienne. Miedema on 32 mins.

There were no changes by either side at half time, but the Blue started just as they did in the first on the front foot,

Eriksson was unlucky not to repeat her stunning header when another, on 47 minutes inched wide from a Reiten corner.

However Arsenal then entered a period of sustained possession which must have made Emma Hayes think about asking changes.

And right way Frank Kirby and Erin Cuthbert entered the fray for Reiten and Charles on 58 minutes.

And immediately a quick counter-attack saw Kirby feed Pernille harder, but her low, left footer went wide of the Arsenal far post.

Daniella Van de Donk was yellow carded for hacking down Cuthbert on 67 minutes.

Cuthbert then hit the post after another counter attack from Kirby and Harder set the Scotland attacking midfielder forward. She swivelled and drove a low right footer wide of Zinsberger but hit the woodwork.

Kerr’s night ended on 73 minutes when she was replaced by Beth England.

he striker had two bites of the cherry with nine minutes left on the clock, but Zinsberger twice saved her shots.

Harder showed brilliant pace and control in the final minute but once again, Zinsberger, woman of the match for the visitors, smothered the striker’s powerful shot.

But deep into added time England was on the spot to slot home number four.

Teams: Chelsea, Telford, Thorisdottir, Bright, Ingle, Ji, Reiten, Eriksson, Kerr, Charles, Harder, Andersson

Subs: Berger, Blundell, Leupolz, England, Kirby, Jessie Fleming, Mjelde, Cuthbert, Charlotte Fleming

Arsenal, Zinsberger, Wubben-May, Beattie, Van de Donk, Mead, Miedema, Walti, Maritz, Ford, Maher, Gut

Subs: Williamson, McCabe, Schnaderbeck, Stenson, Mace

Referee: Scott Jackson


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