Arsenal Ladies Still Invincible, but Lose Carney to America

Mary O'SheaSenior Writer IJanuary 29, 2009

The new year has started the same as the old one ended for the Arsenal Ladies, with victory after victory.

Since the last time we checked in with the Gunners, they have defeated Colchester United, Chelsea, and Middlesborough. In their run of successive victories they have scored 15 goals and conceded 1.

First up was Colchester United at Boreham Wood in the fourth round of the Women's FA Cup. The 7-0 win for the home side illustrates the one-sided nature of this contest.

Arsenal had gone a month without a game and it showed in the opening exchanges with the home side looking rusty against a battling Colchester. However, once Katie Chapman got a quick fire brace in the 38th and 42nd minute, the flood gates opened.

Kim Little made it 3-0 shortly into the second half before adding two more to complete her hat-trick. The rout was completed by a goal apiece from Helen Lander and Laura Basset.

This victory set up a fifth round tie away to Middlesbrough. Once again the Gunners strolled through with ease, coming out on the better side of a 4-0 scoreline.

The first half saw Arsenal somewhat off the pace against a stubborn home side who defended stoutly but created little. However, Vic Akers' side were their true self in the second half and a flurry of goals inside twenty minutes of the restart saw Arsenal through to the last eight of the FA Cup where they will play Leeds.

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Helen Lander was again on the score-sheet with a brace while Kim Little and Karen Carney scored one each.

Sandwiched in between their FA Cup exploits, Arsenal also widened the gap between themselves and Everton at the top of the Premier League with a comfortable 4-1 win at home to Chelsea.

Arsenal took the lead in the 27th minute through the world's fifth best player, Kelly Smith.

The lead was doubled within three minutes thanks to Karen Carney.

Victory was all but assured in the 52nd minute when a mistake by Chelsea goalkeeper Siobhan Chamberlain saw her drop the ball into her own net, the goal been credited as an o.g.

Susi grabbed one back for the visitors, but parity was restored when Scott latched onto a fine cross from Yankey to slot home.

The game was Arsenal's thirteenth of the season in the Premier League in which they have won all thirteen and thus amassed 39 points. Their nearest competitors, Everton, are also unbeaten and are on 30 points, but have three games in hand. However, Arsenal have a goal difference of +33 over their league table rivals.

While it is good news on the pitch, off the pitch the growing worry of the new Women's League in America has some vindication as Karen Carney has opted to leave Arsenal to join the Chicago Red Stars.

21-year-old Carney joined Arsenal in 2006 from Birmingham Ladies FC and has been an important player ever since winning the quadruple in the 2006/2007 season.

She has made 91 appearances for Arsenal, scoring an impressive 41 times.

While Arsenal can only wish Carney all the best in America, one would hope that too many more don't decide to follow suit, but instead opt to stay in London.

After all they are playing for a side that are unbeaten in the league for 105 games, a run that stretches back to October 2003.

Just how many other teams can boast that?