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Liverpool 0 Arsenal 3 (Nobbs 9,74, Scott 34)
Arsenal fired an ominous warning that they are in good shape for the second half of the FA WSL season with a comprehensive 3-0 victory over league leaders Liverpool.
Jordan Nobbs fired home two excellent goals and Alex Scott finished off a good move to take the Gunners into third place while Liverpool hold on to the leadership on goal difference, although Bristol Academy have the chance to overhaul them on Sunday.
In front of the live cameras on BT Sport, Arsenal started the match in determined fashion and created an opportunity when Ellen White whipped in a cross from the right which Danielle Carter could not quite bundle in at the far post.
However on nine minutes they did take the lead when Kim Little intercepted a pass from Fara Williams and quickly found White who again supplied a low cross and Nobbs slid in to guide her shot past Rachael Laws from ten yards.
Liverpool responded well to the setback with Natasha Dowie hitting the side netting from a tight angle and full back Corina Schroder broke forward to drill a shot over the bar from just inside the area.
Amanda Da Costa also shot wide for the home side but Arsenal rode out the period of Liverpool pressure and Nobbs brought out a save from Laws with a strike from outside the area.
The Gunners were to double their lead ten minutes before half time though, Little making a weaving run which took her towards the edge of the Liverpool area before sliding the ball through to White, who unselfishly passed up a chance to shoot and instead set up Scott for a simple tap in.
Arsenal's line up included summer signing Emma Mitchell, who slotted in seamlessly at left back, and the Scottish international nearly marked her debut with a goal as she raced on to Gemma Davison's pass and controlled well but she snatched at her shot and it went wide.
Liverpool came out for the second half trying to seize the early initiative but it was Arsenal who should really have increased their lead within two minutes of the restart. After Lucy Bronze had miscontrolled, Davison stole in and sped clear on goal with only Laws to beat but failed to hit the target.
Davison then volleyed over from a cross by Scott but at the other end, Dowie turned Steph Houghton in the area and was brought down for a penalty. The league's joint leading goalscorer picked herself up to take the spot kick and struck her shot well but Emma Byrne dived to her left to pull off an excellent save.
To make matters worse for Liverpool, they found themselves further behind with fifteen minutes left. Little and Davison were involved in the move which culminated in Carter laying the ball back for Nobbs to fire a powerful effort into the roof of the net from 20 yards, giving Laws no chance.
Another boost for Arsenal came four minutes later with the return of Katie Chapman as a substitute, her first appearance following the birth of her third child. Gunners manager Shelley Kerr also took the opportunity to hand debuts to Freda Ayisi and summer signing Caroline Weir, whilst Liverpool gave debuts to Sarah Gregorius and Kate Longhurst.
Williams tested Byrne with a long range shot in the dying minutes whilst Weir shot wide at the other end, but Arsenal had been in ruthless form to send a reminder that they are still very much in the title race.
Liverpool: Rachael Laws, Lucy Bronze, Corina Schroder, Fara Williams, Gemma Bonner, Whitney Engen, Amanda Da Costa (sub Kate Longhurst 74mins), Jess Holbrook (sub Katrin Omarsdottir 55mins), Natasha Dowie, Louise Fors (sub Sarah Gregorius 63mins), Nicole Rolser. Subs not used: Sarah Quantrill, Becky Easton, Katie Zelem, Sophia Riccio.
Arsenal: Emma Byrne, Alex Scott, Emma Mitchell, Jade Bailey (sub Katie Chapman 78mins), Gilly Flaherty, Steph Houghton, Gemma Davison (sub Caroline Weir 88mins), Jordan Nobbs, Ellen White, Kim Little, Danielle Carter (sub Freda Ayisi 84mins). Subs not used: Sophie Harris, Yvonne Tracy, Ciara Grant, Rachel Yankey.
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