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The independent London newspaper

We are the champions!

Arsenal women beat Brighton to seal their first Women’s Super League title in seven years

02 May, 2019 — By Steve Barnett

Arsenal celebrate on the Amex pitch after their title-clinching win over Brighton & Hove Albion. PHOTO: DAVID PRICE

ARSENAL’S seven-year wait to get their hands back on the FA Women’s Super League title ended in spectacular style on Sunday when they blew away Brighton & Hove Albion at the Amex.

A new league-record crowd of 5,265 saw the Gunners crowned champions for the first time since 2012 after romping to a 4-0 victory.

Fittingly it was the league’s top scorer, Vivianne Miedema, who opened the scoring after just six minutes when she unleashed a 20-yard rocket into the back of the net off the bar for her 31st goal of the season.

The Netherlands international then turned provider as she fed Katie McCabe, who clipped her shot beyond the reach of onrushing goalkeeper Marie Hourihan to double Arsenal’s advantage on the half-hour mark.

In the second half Beth Mead eclipsed Miedema’s opener when she found the top corner with a stunning strike from all of 25 yards. Danielle van de Donk wrapped up the win with a composed finish from the edge of the penalty area.

Just hours after helping the north Londoners secure the title, Miedema was named PFA Players’ Player of the Year – a deserved accolade for a striker who has 31 goals in just 27 appearances this season. She also became a record breaker in January when she scored her 16th of the campaign, surpassing the record for the number of goals scored by a player during a league season.

With a game to go Miedema has added six more goals since then to take her overall league tally up to 22.

“What an honour to win this award, in such a competitive league. Love all of my teammates,” tweeted the 22-year-old forward after collecting her trophy.

The Gunners hold on to their crown of being the most decorated club in English women’s football. And the WSL title also marks manager Joe Montemurro’s second success since taking charge in 2017, adding to last season’s WSL League Cup success.

Beaming with pride after guiding his team to glory, the Australian said: “To coach an Arsenal team to a championship as an Arsenal fan is mind-boggling.

“It’s something I’d never have thought about, growing up, and becoming a coach. I’m very proud and very honoured to be here as an Arsenal coach.

“Winning the title means a lot because we’ve had an interesting year. The players have come together as a group and there’s been a lot of adversity with regards to the injuries and so on.

“As a group, the love and the respect they have for each other really culminates in what we’ve achieved.

“I’m very proud of the way we did it with control, and defined our own destiny. We didn’t have to rely on other teams dropping points or anyone else losing.”

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