Last modified on Wed 18 Aug 2021 22.14 BST
Arsenal Women have made a resounding start to life under their new manager, Jonas Eidevall, after beating the Kazakh side Okzhetpes 4-0 in a Champions League qualifier on Wednesday.
Goals from Mana Iwabuchi, Kim Little, Beth Mead and Nikita Parris sealed the win for Arsenal in what was the semi-final of a mini play-off tournament staged in Moscow. They will now face either PSV Eindhoven or Lokomotiv Moscow on Saturday for a place in the second round of qualifying.
“There are some circumstances that made it a little more difficult,” said Eidevall, who succeeded Joe Montemurro as Arsenal manager in June having led the Swedish club Rosengård to the quarter-finals of the Women’s Champions League last season. “It was extremely hot conditions and on an artificial turf which gets a little bit dry, so that’s hard to move the ball at a good pace.
“We scored the hard goals today but we didn’t score from any corners, any wide free-kicks, any crosses or any counter-attacks. In order for us to be able to score more today, we needed to be better at those situations. We need to be better at that on Saturday – no matter which opponents we play.”
Eidevall’s somewhat downbeat demeanour did not reflect just how dominant his side were during the preceding 90 minutes. Arsenal had the vast bulk of possession (85%) as well as 27 attempts on Okzhetpes’s goal, including 10 on target.
Iwabuchi opened the scoring after 14 minutes with a strike from the edge of the area. Little doubled Arsenal’s advantage four minutes later from the penalty spot and following a foul on Vivianne Miedema. Mead made it 3-0 with a close-range strike on 65 minutes before Parris also struck from close range 10 minutes later.