WSL attendance record broken as Arsenal smash Tottenham

Vivianne Miedema’s double helped Arsenal to a superb 4-0 win against Tottenham in a North London derby that smashed the WSL attendance record.

47,367 fans packed into the Emirates to watch the Gunners sweep aside their local rivals, smashing the previous record of 38,262 when Arsenal and Spurs played at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in November 2019.

“The game is the best advertisement there can be for people coming,” Arsenal manager Jonas Eidevall said after the game. “That’s what it’s about, for people to come here and feel proud of the team, of the players and wanting to come here to support. We hope many of them come back, bring a friend and then it’s a sell-out.

“It’s not only the work of the Euros, which was such a big success. The club are investing a lot of time, commitment and energy into that. It’s important that you don’t leave things to chance and you’re trying to build the game, increase the revenue and increase the sporting success.

“It’s very special for all of us. That’s what we work for, being on stages like this and playing in front of crowds like that.”

Arsenal made sure their supporters went away happy as well as Beth Mead fired the hosts ahead inside five minutes. Her initial shot was blocked, but she instantly received it back before curling a sublime effort past Becky Spencer. It was Mead’s third goal in the opening two games of the WSL as she continues her fine form from Euro 2022.

The Gunners had chances either side of Mead’s fifth-minute strike too. The winger also had a chance well blocked after a superb squared pass from Lia Walti and, after the Gunners had taken the lead, Kate McCabe fired just over the crossbar.

Team news

  • Arsenal made one change from their WSL opener as Steph Cately replaced Stina Blackstenius. The Swedish forward was also one of the players who rotated out after a 2-2 draw with Ajax in their midweek Champions League qualifier, with Noelle Maritz and Lina Hurtig also dropping to the bench.
  • Spurs made three changes from last weekend. Celin Bizet Ildhusoy made her first start, coming into the XI along with Kyah Simon and So-Hyun Cho. Rosella Ayane, Angharad James and Asmita Ale dropped out of the XI.

Arsenal captain Kim Little had some areas of the record-breaking crowd celebrating an Arsenal second on the half-hour. However, her fierce strike on the angle only found the side of the net as the Gunners continued to press.

The hosts finally added their second shortly before the break. It was a catastrophic error from Spurs as Eveliina Summanen failed to control a pass from Spencer, allowing Miedema (44) through to slot home her first of the game.

Both of Arsenal’s goals came from corners in the second half as Tottenham continued to struggle defensively. Inside 10 minutes, Mead swung in a wonderful ball, with Rafaelle Souza (54) rising above two defenders to power her header home.

Vivianne Miedema celebrates after putting Arsenal 2-0 up against Tottenham
Vivianne Miedema scored twice in the victory at the Emirates

Miedema was on target again as Arsenal stunned Spurs with a short corner. Steph Catley sent in the ball, with the forward beating Spencer in the air to nod home. Leah Williamson could have added a late fifth, but her looping header landed on top of the net.

The Gunners were in control throughout, with Tottenham not having any chances of note. Most of the efforts went well wide of Manuela Zinsberger’s goal, with the Arsenal goalkeeper joining the 47,367 fans inside the ground as a spectator for much of the match.

Arsenal have now won their last 10 WSL matches, scoring 95 goals and conceding just twice. The clean sheet was their eighth in a row – another WSL record.

Rafaelle Souza celebrates after heading Arsenal 3-0 in front against Tottenham
Rafaelle Souza scored shortly after half-time

Eidevall: Eight clean sheets very impressive

Arsenal manager Jonas Eidevall:

“With our positioning we made Spurs look not aggressive in their press. When we see the game objectively, we haven’t conceded one scoring opportunity in the whole game, it’s so impressive. Spurs are a good team but we didn’t concede one. That’s very stable.

“We have now eight clean sheets in a row in the WSL – that’s very, very impressive and it’s a big testament. We always speak about doing good things with the ball – which we should. But let’s not forget the players are working hard in the defence, keeping clean sheets through hard work.

Beth Mead is mobbed by her team-mates after opening the scoring for Arsenal
Beth Mead is mobbed by her team-mates after opening the scoring for Arsenal

“For me, we are playing games here now with very quick turnarounds so we need to use the depth of our squad. It’s important as a team we go 100 per cent when we play. We shouldn’t have any other gear in the way we’re playing. That means we have to change players and start with fresh legs every game.

“The fearlessness today, I was so impressed with that and proud of seeing them do that. And it was so important that we did.

“I don’t want to sound arrogant but I think we shouldn’t compare attendance figures between give away tickets and sold tickets. I don’t think it’s fair doing that comparison. If you give away tickets, it’s something else. When you sell tickets, that’s how you run a football club.”

Skinner: We didn’t give a good account of ourselves

Tottenham manager Rehanne Skinner:

“I don’t think we played our game as well as we could have – I don’t think there’s any bones about that really. We didn’t do the things that we are known for as well as we could have. We were a little bit tentative in our pressing and that created some challenges for us when we were on the ball.

“We didn’t do ourselves justice, which is disappointing for everybody involved. But it’s something we have to take lessons from and improve on for next weekend.

“It’s disappointing when you make those kind of mistakes [for the second Arsenal goal]. It’s probably harder to shake off than if we’d conceded a really well-worked goal. At half time, we spoke about the fact that we gave them too much respect and that was the biggest problem.

“In the second half, we tried to apply ourselves a little bit better with that, but still, it took us too long to try and pick up and play in a way we are more familiar with playing. We didn’t do it until the last 10-15 minutes when we took the game by the scruff of the neck a little bit more, but the game was done by that point.

“We need to make sure we start quicker and better and make sure we play our way versus thinking about what they’re doing.

“We also need to make sure we’re communicating on the pitch. Not to make excuses, but it was difficult to hear and speak and to organise things. It’s something we absolutely have to get used to with those kinds of crowds… We will keep working on improving that.

“The gulf in quality was because we didn’t apply ourselves properly, not because we’re not capable. That was the biggest message to the players.

“I’ve worked with this squad throughout pre-season and the squad depth has improved and we took points off Arsenal last year. Ultimately, we started in a similar vein when we played them for the first time last year and we have to have a little more belief, prepare to be a bit braver at the start of the games and then the quality of this squad will shine through. But we didn’t give a good account of ourselves today.”

Euros inspiration continues, super Kim Little

The inspiration of women's football is continuing after the Women's Euros
The inspiration of women’s football is continuing after the Women’s Euros

All the talking points from a record-breaking weekend in the Women’s Super League as Arsenal thrashed Tottenham 4-0 at Emirates Stadium.

What’s next?

Arsenal go to Amsterdam on Wednesday to face Ajax in the second leg of their Women’s Champions League qualifier. The tie is finely poised at 2-2 following the first leg at Meadow Park, with the winner reaching the group stage.

An international break then follows with the WSL returning on the weekend of October 15-16.

What else is happening in the WSL this weekend?

There are five more WSL fixtures taking place on Sunday, including two live on Sky Sports:

Sunday 25th September 3:00pm

Kick off 4:00pm

Sky Sports Premier League HD
Sky Sports Premier League HD

  • Brighton vs Reading (2pm)
  • Leicester vs Aston Villa (3pm)
  • West Ham vs Man Utd (3pm)
  • Chelsea vs Man City, live on Sky Sports (4pm)
  • Liverpool vs Everton, live on Sky Sports (6.45pm)

Sunday 25th September 6:30pm

Kick off 6:45pm

Sky Sports Premier League HD
Sky Sports Premier League HD

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