It was dubbed the battle of Britain and in the end, it was very much an attack v defense game. Glasgow City were well organised and defending in a very compact 9-1 system, trying to crowd out all the Arsenal initiatives down the middle but leaving themselves open to Arsenal quality in switching ball to the opposite wing towards Yankey for example.
It was a long day for the poor lone forward for City who couldn’t hold the ball much and therefore forced City to play deep and not go out of their half and inside Arsenal territory very often.
I have to say, I found it extremely curious to see Jess Fishlock deployed on the wing rather than in central midfield and she was not able to influence the game as much as usual.
3-0 was certainly a fair result on the day with Arsenal actually missing a few opportunities to finish the tie. It was nice to see Kelly Smith back and her class was evident in the few minutes she was on the pitch.
There was some super quality passing sequences from Arsenal with a lot of one or two touches and a very good use of the full backs with Scott and Mitchell bombing forward as much as possible as they had nobody to take care about defensively with Flaherty and Houghton marshalling City’s lone forward easily.
It was a brilliant send-off for the departing Arsenal players although no mention on the program or from the PA who had a nightmare calling a White hat trick when she scored none on the day ( Houghton, Carter and an own goal). He even called a White goal when Nobbs shot wide of the post !
Unless something special happens in 3 days Arsenal will go through to the quarter finals in March 2014 but it certainly will be a different Arsenal team. We don’t know how many players will leave but up to 7 are rumoured to go and the same number to arrive as well. If you add the 2 players that left during the summer window and the one that was forced out of the club, a turnover/clearout of 10 players would mark the end of a very succesful era at Arsenal Ladies.