Steph Catley joined Arsenal in the summer of 2020, but her influence at the Gunners has been limited by injury
Steph Catley scored a stunning first goal for Arsenal to help them outclass a stubborn Koge side in the Women’s Champions League.
Catley found the top corner with a free-kick to put Arsenal ahead against the Danish champions before the break.
Nikita Parris, who had a first-half penalty saved, pounced to make it 2-0 with Caitlin Foord nodding in a third.
Anna Patten and Jordan Nobbs added late goals to complete the win after Maddie Pokorny pulled one back.
It was ultimately a comfortable win for Jonas Eidevall’s Gunners, who controlled 80% possession, but they were made to work hard by a side that had previously failed to score in the competition proper.
Eidevall praised his players for being “brilliant and magnificent” for sticking to the gameplan against a side that defended in numbers.
“I was proud of our performance,” he said. “It’s not an easy team to break down, you need lots of patience.”
While Koge managed to hold out for 63 minutes against European champions Barcelona in a 2-0 defeat in their previous group game – a showing which earned them much praise – the Danish side failed to contain the Gunners for nearly as long.
The hosts managed to limit Arsenal early on, but Cecilie Floe Nielsen’s exuberance in defence saw her bring down Parris for a penalty in the 15th minute.
Kaylan Marckese denied the England forward with an excellent diving save to her right, then kept out a flicked Vivianne Miedema header soon after, but there was nothing she could do to reach Catley’s brilliantly struck free-kick into the top corner.
It was a long-awaited first Gunners goal for the Australian whose time in English football since arriving last season has been hampered by injury.
The excellent Marckese foiled Leah Williamson and again saved well from Miedema, the WSL all-time top scorer who was among six changes made for the trip to Denmark after Arsenal beat West Ham on Sunday to restore their three-point lead at the top of the domestic table.
Parris punished Koge for their inability to clear the danger to double the lead after the hour and Foord got on the end of a Nobbs shot that rebounded off the woodwork to head home the third.
Pokorny coolly scored with Koge’s first and only attempt on goal after a poor backpass from Catley gifted the American possession.
Arsenal, however, went on to secure their second convincing group win thanks to neatly taken finishes from Patten and Nobbs in the final five minutes.
“We can’t take for granted how big these wins are each time that we are in a group like this,” said Nobbs. “It’s an exciting time for us.”
HB Køge Women
- 44FærgeSubstituted forNowakat 90′minutes
- 19MarkvardsenSubstituted forRomeroat 82′minutes
- 10PokornySubstituted forKramerat 82′minutes
- 14SajewichSubstituted forOstenfeldat 75′minutes
- 7CarusaSubstituted forHornemannat 90′minutes
- 16MaritzSubstituted forPattenat 72′minutes
- 20Boye Sørensen
- 7CatleySubstituted forMcCabeat 72′minutes
- 12MaanumSubstituted forLittleat 63′minutes
- 14ParrisSubstituted forMeadat 63′minutes
Referee:Sandra Bráz Bastos
Match ends, HB Køge Women 1, Arsenal Women 5.
Second Half ends, HB Køge Women 1, Arsenal Women 5.
Attempt missed. Vivianne Miedema (Arsenal Women) right footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by Katie McCabe from a direct free kick.
Vivianne Miedema (Arsenal Women) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Sofie Hornemann (HB Køge Women).
Substitution, HB Køge Women. Julie Nowak replaces Emma Færge.
Substitution, HB Køge Women. Sofie Hornemann replaces Kyra Carusa.
Goal! HB Køge Women 1, Arsenal Women 5. Jordan Nobbs (Arsenal Women) right footed shot from the right side of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Beth Mead.
Goal! HB Køge Women 1, Arsenal Women 4. Anna Patten (Arsenal Women) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the top left corner. Assisted by Caitlin Foord.
Attempt saved. Jordan Nobbs (Arsenal Women) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom right corner.
Substitution, HB Køge Women. Arianna Romero replaces Signe Markvardsen.
Substitution, HB Køge Women. Cornelia Kramer replaces Madalyn Pokorny.
Substitution, HB Køge Women. Cilje Ostenfeld replaces Lauren Sajewich.
Beth Mead (Arsenal Women) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Kyra Carusa (HB Køge Women).
Substitution, Arsenal Women. Anna Patten replaces Noëlle Maritz.
Substitution, Arsenal Women. Katie McCabe replaces Stephanie Catley.
Goal! HB Køge Women 1, Arsenal Women 3. Madalyn Pokorny (HB Køge Women) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner.
Goal! HB Køge Women 0, Arsenal Women 3. Caitlin Foord (Arsenal Women) header from the centre of the box to the top left corner.
Attempt saved. Jordan Nobbs (Arsenal Women) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Kim Little.