Miedema nets as Gunners beat Ajax to reach Champions League group stages
VIVIANNE MIEDEMA struck as Arsenal dispatched Ajax on a rain-sodden Champions League night in the Netherlands.
The Dutch hotshot netted with the Gunners clinching a 1-0 away victory to book their group stage place.
The round two second leg result saw Arsenal win 3-2 on aggregate this evening.
But the visitors suffered injury scares with Rafaelle Souza crocked and Beth Mead subbed off after a nasty-looking blow to her head.
Last Tuesday saw the Gunners frustrated by their battling Dutch opponents who caught them cold with a late goal.
But tonight’s match – played on the outskirts of Amsterdam – was a different story as Jonas Eidevall’s side put that result to bed with a battling display.
The visitors began positively with the hosts intervening to snuff a second-minute break for the box
But then Ajax made their presence felt going forward with Ashleigh Weerden jetting down the left, but unable to find a team-mate with her tenth-minute cross.
Moments later a dangerous through-ball found Romee Leuchter before Leah Williamson snuffed out the threat.
Arsenal tested keeper Lize Kop in the 19th minute before a defence-splitting Katie McCabe pass almost found Wienroither in the box six minutes later.
A dodgy back pass from Steph Catley almost caught Manuela Zinsberger out of position shortly before a Blackstenius shot in the 36th minute
Eidevall was forced to shuffle his deck with Rafaelle limping off following an earlier kick from Chastity Grant.
And Miedema fired a shot over the crossbar close to half-time
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The Gunners striker bagged her third goal of the season, across all competitions, burying a bottom corner strike in the 51st minute.
Later Mead entered the fray for the visitors shortly after Tiny Hoekstra was subbed on for Ajax with 25 minutes of normal time left.
And Hoekstra came dangerously close to sliding in a leveller before a nasty clash of heads between Mead and Nadine Doordam saw the latter cautioned.
Mead was later forced to come off after feeling the effects of the blow to her head in the closing minutes.
The visitors held out to join Chelsea in the Champions League groups stages.