Player Ratings: Arsenal overcome Watford to reach FA Cup fifth round

Six Arsenal players were on the scoresheet, with loanee Michelle Agyemang netting against her parent club

Player Ratings: Arsenal overcome Watford to reach FA Cup fifth round

Grey clouds over Meadow Park as Arsenal Women beat Watford 5-1. Credit- @cardyfreddie

Alessia Russo and Lia Walti gave Arsenal a 2-0 lead within 12 minutes, but Watford held their own until substitute Stina Blackstenius netted Arsenal's third with over an hour gone.

Arsenal loanee Michelle Agyemang pulled a goal back for Watford after Lotte Wubben-Moy's mistake, but late goals from Amanda Ilestedt and Frida Maanum sealed Arsenal's place in the fifth round.

Player ratings:

Manu Zinsberger 6/10

Did not have a clear-cut shot to save until Agyemang latched onto a loose ball and found the net- could Zinsberger have done more to save down low?

Katie McCabe 7/10

Played at left-back, returning to her natural side of the pitch after a run of games on the opposite flank. Accurate corners caused plenty of issues for Watford.

Lotte Wubben-Moy 6/10

Vocal at the heart of Arsenal’s defence. Gave the ball away very cheaply for Watford’s goal, trying to play out from the back but gifting the chance to the Hornets.

Amanda Ilestedt 7/10

Challenged by the strength and pace of Agyemang. Rose highest to head home Arsenal’s fourth after missing a similar chance in the first half.

Emily Fox 7/10

The signing from North Carolina Courage made her debut and bombed down the right flank, interchanging well with Mead. A positive first impression.

Lia Walti 8/10

A well-taken finish to double Arsenal’s lead from the edge of the box. Very intelligent on the ball and took up some good positions.

Victoria Pelova 8.4/10

Struck the low initial effort that was saved before Russo netted the rebound, and let the pass to Walti for Arsenal’s second run through her legs before the Swiss bent the ball into the corner. Then assisted Blackstenius’ goal with a clever ball in behind. Excellent in Arsenal’s brisk build-up play.

Caitlin Foord 6.5/10

Enjoyed plenty of space up high on the left and combined with McCabe well. Expertly denied by Goldsmid with a close range effort at the start of the second half.

Vivianne Miedema 7.5/10

Took the Watford defenders on and created plenty of opportunities, but is still waiting for her first goal after returning from an ACL injury. Came closest when she found the side-netting from Fox’s low cross. Not quite at her full sharpness, understandably.

Beth Mead 6.5/10

Working in a new partnership with January signing Emily Fox, and was quiet at times. Tracked back to defend whenever Arsenal needed her to.

Alessia Russo 7/10

A tap-in to give Arsenal an early lead. Worked hard, dragging a shot wide and then hitting the crossbar when she could have made it 3-0.

Frida Maanum (Sub, 64’) 7.5/10

Had a good chance to score a fourth but was denied by Arsenal loanee Katie Reid. Found the far corner with a calm finish to make it 5-1.

Cloe Lacasse (Sub, 64’) 6.5/10

Very effective cutting in from the left wing, drawing some strong saves from Goldsmid.

Stina Blackstenius (Sub, 64’) 7/10

Timed her run in behind and finished well moments after coming on to score Arsenal’s third.

Kyra Cooney-Cross (Sub, 64’) 7/10

Zipped the ball around effectively in midfield to keep the pressure on Watford.

Laia Codina (Sub, 90’)

Subs not used: Sabrina D'Angelo, Naomi Williams, Jen Beattie.

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