Can Anyone Halt the Arsenal Express Train?

Mary O'SheaSenior Writer IDecember 29, 2008

Arsenal Ladies sit proudly atop the Women's Premier League in England with an impressive record of 12-0 with 66 goals for and nine against. That is a staggering goal differential of plus-57, 30 more than their nearest rivals, Everton.

In the last roundup of events, I reported on Arsenal victories over Nottingham Forest and Liverpool.

Since then, the season has been a bit stop-start for the Gunners, with several games postponed. However, since then they have had two wins in the Women's Premier League and also qualified for the League Cup Final.

On Nov. 30, Vic Akers' side were away to Bristol Academy in the League where they came from a goal behind to run out comfortable 1-4 winners.

The hosts went ahead through a 25-yard drive from Bristol defender Grace McCatty. This was very much against the run of play with Simkin's goal leading a charmed life.

Arsenal finally made the breakthrough 11 minutes after the restart when Faye White nodded the visitors ahead. Julie Fleeting quickly slotted home too more for the visitors before completing her hat trick from a header in the 77 minute.

Sunday, Dec. 7 saw the Arsenal Ladies change their attention to the League Cup semifinal, where they took on fierce rival Chelsea.

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There was only ever really one team in this, not surprisingly it was Arsenal, who ran out 0-4 victors at the Metropolitan Police Grounds.

Arsenal went ahead through a Perry own-goal in the first half. Jayne Ludlow capped a fine performance with a goal in the 79th minute with a tap-in from a Carney free kick. Ludlow's goal came either side of a (surprise, surprise) Fleeting brace.

The win secured Arsenal's fifth successive appearance in the League Cup Final, where they will take on Doncaster Rovers Belles.

The Gunners wrapped up the league campaign for 2008 with the only way they know how—an emphatic 7-0 win over Fulham at Boreham Wood.

The goals came from a Kelly Smith hat trick, a brace from Kim Little and a goal each for Katie Chapman and Gemma Davison.

On 70 minutes, 16-year-old academy player Lauren Bruton was handed her debut to cap off a great night for Arsenal.

The Ladies are not in action again until Jan. 4, 2009 when attention turns to the FA Cup fourth round and a home tie against Colchester United as the search continues for the triple.

In other news, Arsenal and England star Kelly Smith has been nominated for the 2008 FIFA Women's World player award. She will be up against some formidable competition in the shape of German's Nadine Angerer, Birgit Prinz, Brazilian Cristaine, and firm favourite for the prize, Umea's Brazilian Marta.

Votes are cast by national team managers and captains from around the world with the winner being announced at a FIFA World Player Gala in Zurich on Jan. 12, 2009.

Best of luck, Kelly.