Arsenal Ladies - Premier League Champions
Arsenal won their 5th Premier league title in a row in emphatic style on Thursday by beating Chelsea at the Emirates Stadium, North London.
Both sides were well up for the game beforehand, and the crowd of 5000 in attendance seemed to thoroughly enjoy an exciting game of football which saw the Arsenal take the title, and still on course towards a potential League and Cup double.
The final scoreline does not fully do justice to the Chelsea side, although this talented Gunners did fully deserve the victory and the Championship itself.
The home side tried to get ahead early, pressing the visitors well and were soon denied a goal when Karen Carney had one disallowed for offside. However, it was Chelsea who took an early lead, Emma Whitter opening the scoring for the visitors after 16 minutes.
Whitter had found herself in acres of space down the right, but with a lot of work still to do she took full advantage of the chance, powering an accurate shot past Arsenal goalkeeper Emma Byrne to put Chelsea ahead.
Just 5 minutes later, the Gunners responded, with a Karen Carney minute equaliser on 21 minutes. Kelly Smith's perfectly timed pass had found its way through to Carney who's electric pace had split the defence and left them standing. She did not disappoint with the cool finish either, making it 1-1 and giving the home side back the momentum.
Arsenal then began to dominate the match, and got the chance to increase their lead when Casey Stoney was judged to have handled the ball in the penalty area.
Lianne Sanderson missed the penalty but it was not long before a second penalty chance came along.
Carney and Smith were working some magic with some neat passing moves, when Smith was felled inside the box. The England legend picked herself straight back up, and cooly converted the spot kick to make it 2-1 on 32 minutes.
Kim Little. 17 year old starlet, scored on 81 minutes to make it 3-1, before Carney scored her second goal of the game in the 83rd minute to finish off a fantastic game and made it 4-1 to the Champions, taking the player of the match award in the process.
Arsenal Manager Vic Akers told the official club website how thrilled he was with the clubs 10th title in 15 years.
"Another League title and we are really pleased with that. It is a fantastic record. It feels good every year and you can see that on all of our faces and the reaction of the girls. It is different class. That's what we are here for."
Thursday, 24 April, 7pm
Arsenal 4 (Carney 21, 83, Smith 32, Little 81) Chelsea 1 (Whitter 16)
Three days later on Sunday, Everton made sure of the runners up spot with a 6-0 demolition of already relegated Charlton Athletic, while Arsenal preserved their unbeaten record against Blackburn Rovers, the Gunners on fine form again winning 5-1.
Leeds United secured the third spot with a goalless draw against fourth placed Bristol Academy.
Arsenal will now turn their attention to trying to turn their victory into a domestic double in the FA Cup final against Leeds United on May Day Monday.
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