Arsenal 3 Aston Villa 0: Maanum nets brace as Gunners set up Conti Cup semi-final clash with Manchester City
FRIDA MAANUM’s red hot scoring run shows no sign of slowing as she helped fire Arsenal into the Conti Cup semis.
The midfielder was a menace bagging a brace as Aston Villa were trounced 3-0 with the Gunners chasing a sixth league cup win.
And Maanum took her scoring tally to 10 goals in 14 games across all competitions this term.
Her stunning finishes in both halves were the icing on the cake of a clinical Arsenal display with Carla Ward’s side enduring a challenging night on the road.
The clash at Meadow Park was given the green light after an afternoon pitch inspection following five match postponements across the top two women’s divisions last weekend.
The encounter saw Hannah Hampton back in goal for the visitors.
And Jordan Nobbs started against her old club following her January switch to Ward’s side.
Villa held their own soaking up pressure with Hanson walloping a shot high over the bar in the 12th minute before their hosts broke the deadlock 17 minutes later.
The opener came with Maanum dribbling into the box and firing home a left-footed shot.
Villa attempted to hit back immediately with Hanson holding off her marker to let fly from the edge of box forcing a save from Gunners goalkeeper Sabrina D’Angelo
And Kenza Dali blazed a shot high over the bar in the 35th minute before Kim Little’s ferocious strike prompted a stunning save from Hampton close to half-time.
The hosts doubled their lead in the 50th minute with a Villa throw-in going awry.
And Foord capitalised winning possession to tee up Maanum’s top-corner finish.
The Australia striker got on the scoresheet with the Norway ace turning provider with Foord slotting home Arsenal’s third with half an hour remaining.
Kathrine Kuhl and Victoria Pelova were given their Gunners debuts with the duo entering the fray in place of Leah Williamson and Stina Blackstenius.
And Pelova came close to nabbing a dream debut goal following a neat exchange with Kuhl before a swift intervention from Hampton.
The hosts saw out the game booking their semis place ahead of an FA Cup fourth round clash with fourth tier side Leeds Ladies on Sunday.
A Conti Cup semis duel with last term’s contest winners Manchester City awaits the Gunners with West Ham set to take on Chelsea.
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