Arsenal Hit For Six As They Crash Out Of The Women's UEFA Cup

Mary O'SheaSenior Writer INovember 13, 2008

It was a tough night in Sweden for the Arsenal Ladies to say the very least.

Having taken a one goal advantage into the away leg, Arsenal lost 6-0 to Umea Ik on the night, crashing out of the UEFA Cup 8-3 on aggregate.

In the last article I wrote following the first leg, I said that Arsenal must be wary of the threat of Brazilian superstar Marta.

Oh, how right I was.

The hottest thing in Ladies football scored four goals on her return from a hip injury.

Her first came within seconds of kick-off as she latched onto a long pass from Anna Poulson and beat Republic of Ireland international Emma Byrne in the Arsenal goal.

Just before the break, Marta doubled the home side's lead, tapping in a rebound from a Bachmann shot.

It did not take long after the interval for Marta to complete her hat-trick as she rounded the Arsenal defence to slot home. Shortly after Ljungberg increased the lead before Marta added her fourth.

Salt was added to the wounds of the North London side as Umea Ik goalkeeper Ronnlund converted a penalty to make it 6-0 after Marta was brought down in the box by Faye White.

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Arsenal had some chances in the game with Carney and Ludlow both hitting the woodwork, however there was only ever going to be one winner.

The defeat was the worst ever for the Arsenal Ladies in Europe and the hurt was increased by the knowledge that it would be the last time Vic Akers would manage the mighty Arsenal side in Europe as he steps down as team manager at the end of the season.

Akers said: “Sadly we never got out the stalls. We were overrun from minute one. The same as we did in London with our early goal in two minutes, Umea did the same in one minute. We were always up against it from that point.

"We tried to recover ourselves, but the keeper made two or three really important stops in the first half and then the game changed when we conceded again just before half-time, and immediately after half-time. We were coming out to have a go but we found ourselves at 48 minutes, 4-0 down. The game’s gone."

“But we obviously offer our congratulations to the Umea side. Let’s hope they can go on to win it this year."

“It’s disappointing obviously for me on a personal note. I go out [of managing the team] at the end of this year with a six goal defeat. I finish at the end of this season and it’s not the way I would have liked to gone out of this competition especially."

So as Umea IK march on to the semi-finals against either Zvezda or Brondby IF, it is back to domestic competition for the Gunners. While the defeat was tough on the Arsenal Ladies they are still very much in the hunt for the triple this season.

Meanwhile, Arsenal's fears of loosing some of their top players to the newly-forming Ladies professional league in America is echoed by Umea who may see superstar Marta Da Silva leave for Los Angeles Sol come the season's end.

It seems that the American League is causing many sleepless nights for women's clubs across Europe, time will tell how much effect it will have on Arsenal.

That is your update for now —keep tuned for your next information session on the Arsenal Ladies.