Two-time World Cup winner Tobin Heath opened his Champions League account as Arsenal beat German team d 'Hoffenheim 4-0 and scored his first three points in Group C.
A penalty from Kim Little and a strike from Heath shortly before the break as the US forward making his second start for the Gunners after joining Arsenal this summer, has gave Arsenal a considerable lead despite a brilliant start for the visiting team. Forward Vivianne Miedema added a third and center-back Leah Williamson finished fourth.
Hoffenheim may have been an unknown side to Arsenal players, but the German side were on the radar of new manager Jonas Eidevall who faced them in the Champions League qualifiers while 'he was the coach of the Swedish team Rosengard.
"They will try to shoot at long distance and they succeeded with that", had -he warned before the second group match of his team. "They are very consistent in the way they play, so you need to be careful.act around the ball.
"It is about playing a central counterpressure style. The moments of counterpressure will be decisive for the game and how we handle it and how they run it. "
The Gunners have been " humiliated "according to Beth Mead, who was named Player WSL of the month of September this week, in the style of the team 's 4-1 defeat to current European champions Barcelona in their first Group C match. A The 3-0 win over Everton helped boost morale b ut getting points in the table in the new group stage was badly needed despite the start of the tournament.
The home team were certainly more cautious in the opening trade beforeec Hoffenheim, who sit fifth in the Frauen Bundesliga, perhaps a little too cautious, as it was the visiting team that should have taken the lead from the start on a crisp Borehamwood.
After just three minutes, Arsenal 's back line appeared to be shaken as a left cross was tilted towards Nicole Billa, but the Austrian striker slipped turned around and shot wide.
The threat isn't dead either, with tall and powerful Belgian center-forward Tine de Caigny and Billa appearing particularly dangerous when played behind and Hoffenheim looking strong when in possession.
Arsenal grew up in the game pushed by a vocal crowd from Borehamwood and , just before the 15-minute mark, Heath flew down the left wing before sending a neat back heel into the feet of Jordan Nobbs who forced a corner.
With momentum temporarily swaying Arsenal more firmly, left-back Katie McCabe landed a free kick around the short Hoffenheim wall from the right which goalkeeper Martina Tufekovic fell on but almost fumbled.
Where Hoffenheim struggled to capitalize on their turnovers, having done well to take advantage of Arsenal 's too frequent capricious passes, the hosts were more clinical.
In the 20th minute, they took the advantage after center-back Michaela Specht cut off Mead 's lifted foot. 'was squirmed in front of her and referee Stephanie Frappart pointed the point. Up stepped up captain Little who shot to the right of a diving Tufekovic to score his 40th European goal for Arsenal.
After taking the lead, Arsenal tightened their control over the game and Eidevall 's side were awarded for their press ure shortly before theth half-time whistle. McCabe whipped the ball from the left and Miedema rose the highest to wave him at the feet of a Heath who crushed him in the net.
World double The Cup winner made her Champions League debut since October 2013, after playing in the competition for six months with Paris Saint-Germain who left the competition at the hands of the Swedish team Tyreso on two legs.
In the second half eight years later, Hoffenheim manager Gabor Gallai swapped De Caigny, who scored two goals in the previous round, against 19-year-old Gia Corley, but the game continued to flee to the German side. Shortly after the restart, the hosts extended their lead to three after Mead ran to the right before returning to Nobbs, the England midfielder forced an acrobatic save from Tufekovic but the goalkeeper failed could that force it high andMiedema pounced on the rebound.
Unfazed by the sidelines, Hoffenheim pressed for a goal, with goalkeeper Manuela Zinsberger forced to save Jule Brand and McCabe clearing Sarai Linder's header on the line.
With the three points almost secure, Eidevall traded his first three, but it was Williamson rather than the fresh legs up front that would provide the fourth, running to the near post in power in McCabe's corner.
The victory put Arsenal ahead of their opponents at the second in Group C, tied at three points with the German team but three behind leaders Barcelona who surprisingly worked to a 2-0 victory over Danish side HB Koge earlier in the evening.