New Arsenal manager Jonas Eidevall showered praise on Beth Mead after the striker’s second-half brace helped her side stun defending champions Chelsea.
It was a successful first league game in charge for Eidevall, who took over the Gunners in the summer following Joe Montemurro’s departure, as his team demonstrated their Barclays FA WSL title credentials.
Vivianne Miedema put the hosts ahead at the Emirates Stadium before Erin Cuthbert levelled the scores, but Mead struck twice in 11 minutes to secure a memorable 3-2 success.
And after watching 26-year-old Mead deliver a match-winning display, Eidevall highlighted the bravery shown by Mead to make the right decision in front of goal.
“Beth [Mead] has had a very good pre-season, she’s looked very dangerous,” he said.
“She works very, very hard in defence and I’m very happy with the way she’s scored two goals.
“Our second goal – the first goal she scored – was a brilliant example of being selfless as a forward, in that case it’s saying it’s selfless to take the finish.
“It’s so easy in those situations to look for a pass because you don’t want to take the responsibility to finish off an attack, because somebody else asked to take the ball.
“It’s absolutely the correct decision to shoot in that moment and it’s brilliant to see she has that bravery to do that.”
It took 14 minutes for Miedema to get off the mark, as the lethal Dutch forward ran on to Katie McCabe’s superb pass down the left before cutting inside and scoring at the near post.
Chelsea were then level just before half-time when a loose ball ran for Melanie Leupolz, who helped the ball right for Cuthbert to fire home with a first-time effort.
The Gunners were ahead again, however, four minutes into the second half, as Mead ran on to Miedema’s pass before unleashing a brilliant strike that gave Ann-Katrin Berger no chance.
And it was 3-1 after an hour as Mead beat Berger to debutant Mana Iwabuchi Iwabuchi’s through ball before keeping her nerve and rolling into an empty net.
The Blues quickly got back in the game, with Pernille Harder thumping in a header from Cuthbert’s cross, but they couldn’t force an equaliser in the time that remained.
Arsenal finished third last season behind Emma Hayes’ champions and Eidevall admitted he could see how much the result meant to his players at the final whistle.
“I don’t have that history [against Chelsea], but I can see that some players who do are really, really happy to win today,” he added.
“But I’m new to the club, I’m new to English football, so I don’t have that history, or experience, against Chelsea.”
To follow the action and sign up for The FA Player’s live Barclays FA Women’s Super League coverage visit womenscompetitions.thefa.com
Source by Football London