City’s injury problems and recent loss of players to professional contracts abroad was clear to see as the Scottish Champions struggled to get going against a strong Arsenal side who are preparing for their Champions League Quarter Final tie against Italian side Torres in a few weeks time.
The hosts got off to the worst start possible, when after only 4 minutes Nicky Docherty brought down the impressive Gemma Davison inside the box and the referee pointed to the spot. Up stepped Arsenal’s play maker Kim Little and the midfielder made no mistake as she fired past Lee Alexander in the City goal. City almost got an equaliser within two minutes when after a City corner, Suzanne Malone hit a shot which came back off the bar. Strike partner Ruesha Littlejohn tried to bundle home the rebound, but the visitors cleared her effort off the line. Arsenal and England striker Ellen White latched on to a great pass from Jordon Nobbs with 8 minutes on the clock, but shot wide of the post as she ran towards goal. However, Arsenal were not to miss their next opening and this time White became the provider for Nobbs, who slotted home from only a few yards out. White had another effort which went wide of Alexander’s goal, before City were to once more rattle the woodwork when City centre-half Danni Pagliarulo rose highest to meet a Leanne Ross corner, but her header crashed off the post and away to safety. The home side were to rue their missed chance, when Arsenal broke clear soon after with Ellen White finishing well inside the penalty box. Just after the half hour mark, some good play from City resulted in Nicky Docherty playing the ball to Leanne Ross at the edge of the box and she in turn laid it off first time to Malone to hit an effort towards goal, but her 20 yard shot was saved by Emma Byrne in the Arsenal nets. A bad mistake by City’s rear guard gifted the visitors a fourth goal on 36 minutes with Rachel Yankey eventually running through on goal unchallenged to slot past the diving Alexander. Te keeper was to pull off an excellent save to deny Nobbs from hitting the top corner with a well hit shot, before City had a succession of corners as they tried to claw themselves back into the game just before half time, but to no avail.The second half was once more controlled by the English Champions and it could have been 5-0 was it not for an impressive save from Alexander to turn a free kick from Arsenal substitute Jade Bailey around the post. On 78 minutes it did become 5-0 after defender Danica Dalziel, who had come on at half time for Cheryl Gallagher, turned an Arsenal cross into her own net.City Head Coach Eddie Wolecki Black commented on the match. He said: “It was a very good work out for us and shows us exactly where we are at this stage of the season. It is not a performance we set our standards to and we need to improve, quickly.”City’s next game start off the new SWPL season on 17th March when Rangers are the visitors to Petershill Park, Springburn. Kick-off 2pm.