Zurich 1-9 Arsenal: Crushing win gives Gunners top spot in Champions League group

Frida Maanum made it seven goals in her last 13 games in all competitions as Arsenal cruised to top spot in their Champions League group

Arsenal manager Jonas Eidevall wants new signings to improve his side’s attack despite their 9-1 rout of Zurich in the Women’s Champions League.

Frida Maanum’s hat-trick helped the Gunners top Group C without injured duo Vivianne Miedema and Beth Mead.

Eidevall says his team, who will be seeded in the quarter-finals draw and play the second leg at home, have taken “huge steps”.

He added: “We need to recruit players who can give us an end product.”

“That is certainly one of the measurable factors we have lost with those two players, that we need to take into consideration,” said Eidevall as he reflected on the loss of forwards Miedema and Mead with season-ending injuries.

Stina Blackstenius ended her seven-game goalless run with a brace and Caitlin Foord also netted twice as the 2007 champions finished two points clear of Lyon, who drew 0-0 at home to Juventus.

After Maanum had opened the scoring with a classy free-kick from the edge of the penalty area, Foord swept in a Blackstenius cross for the second.

Ford then set up Maanum for her second, before the Norway international turned provider as she fed Blackstenius to score from close range as Arsenal showed swagger in their dominant display.

Maanum then drilled in her third from distance six minutes into the second half, matched by a sumptuous curling effort from Blackstenius three minutes later.

Fabienne Humm pulled one back for Zurich with a penalty following a slip by Leah Williamson, only for Foord to capitalize on a misplaced back pass to make it seven.

Kim Little converted from the spot and Mana Iwabuchi slotted in clinically with seven minutes remaining.

The Women’s Super League contenders will discover their opponents in the final eight when the draw is made on February 10.

Masterful Maanum stars in the stroll

There is added pressure on Arsenal’s forwards as they come to terms with losing top scorer Miedema, who ruptured her anterior cruciate ligament during their defeat to Lyon.

England international Mead was already sidelined in November with the same injury.

Miedema’s goals had earned her side a crucial win at Ajax and four points against Juventus on their way to reaching the knockout round, but Maanum’s masterclass in technique and imagination from set-pieces allayed any concerns Arsenal might have had in this final group game.

There is a nonchance to Maanum’s approach from free-kicks, placing the ball down and barely stepping back before taking aim with devastating accuracy.

The effort for her first goal – flawlessly floated over the wall and into the net – preceded an attempt from an almost identical position that grazed the crossbar.

There was little surprise when she completed her classy hat-trick with fine finishing.

On this kind of ruthless form, and if Maanum can maintain her goalscoring feats, a place in the semi-finals of the Champions League for the first time since 2013 looks well within Arsenal’s sights.

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