Arsenal came from two goals down at half-time to thrash Leicester City 6-2 at King Power Stadium and move up to second in the Women’s Super League table.
Sam Tierney scored Leicester’s first ever league goal against the Gunners in the 36th minute, nodding in Lena Petermann’s headed pass back across goal following a corner.
And 54 seconds later, Janice Cayman doubled Leicester’s lead when she met Hannah Cain’s cross with a sliding finish.
But after the break Arsenal turned the match on its head with a stunning second-half performance.
Cloe Lacasse beat Courtney Nevin to the ball and halved the deficit with a cool finish in the 50th minute. Two minutes later Arsenal were level after an unmarked Alessia Russo placed a shot beyond Foxes keeper Janina Leitzig.
Caitlin Foord completed the turnaround by guiding home Russo’s cross, and Victoria Pelova scored Arsenal’s fourth with a 61st-minute tap-in following Lacasse’s square pass.
Arsenal’s dominance continued in the closing stages with substitute Stina Blackstenius adding the visitors’ fifth with a guided shot and Lina Hurtig rounded off the victory with a close-range injury-time strike.
Arsenal produce stunning second-half display
Arsenal were brilliant in the second half, benefitting from some suspect Leicester defending to create fruitful attacks at will.
They should have been ahead early in the first period when Pelova was put through on goal but chipped an effort wide with plenty of teammates in support.
At half-time the Netherlands international’s miss seemed like it could be costly, with Arsenal facing a third away defeat in six league matches.
But four goals in 12 second-half minutes completely changed that narrative.
Arsenal even had time to hit the woodwork three times in the second period as substitute Hurtig flicked a header against the bar and smashed a a shot from a tight angle against the post. Beth Mead diverted a cross against the base of the post in injury time.
Jonas Eidevall’s side have now won each of their past five matches in all competitions and are three points behind WSL leaders Chelsea.
The North London club are in fantastic form and face Brighton away in their next league match in seven days’ time.
Leicester crumble at the back
Coming into this fixture Leicester had only conceded six home league goals in 2023 – that tally has now been doubled.
The hosts had started brightly with Cayman seeing an early effort deflect just wide, while a last-ditch tackle from Arsenal’s Lotte Wubben-Moy denied Deanne Rose a tap in just before their opener.
But after the restart they crumbled under the visitors’ relentless pressure and created few second-half chances themselves.
The results means Leicester have lost all five of their WSL meetings with the Gunners by an aggregate score of 19-2.
And Willie Kirk’s side have also tasted defeat in each of their past three league matches, but remain seventh in the WSL table, four points above the drop zone.
They face Tottenham at home next week.
Leicester City Women
- 4BottSubstituted forPalmerat 80′minutes
- 5HowardSubstituted forGreenat 80′minutes
- 3TierneyBooked at 61mins
- 8RantalaSubstituted forWhelanat 71′minutes
- 7RoseSubstituted forGoodwinat 45′minutes
- 11CaymanBooked at 45mins
- 21CainSubstituted forBakerat 80′minutes
- 32Cooney-CrossSubstituted forMaritzat 90+6′minutes
- 24LacasseBooked at 45minsSubstituted forMeadat 67′minutes
- 12MaanumSubstituted forBlacksteniusat 67′minutes
- 19FoordSubstituted forHurtigat 67′minutes
- 23RussoSubstituted forKühlat 90+2′minutes
Match ends, Leicester City Women 2, Arsenal Women 6.
Second Half ends, Leicester City Women 2, Arsenal Women 6.
Foul by Stina Blackstenius (Arsenal Women).
Sam Tierney (Leicester City Women) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Goal! Leicester City Women 2, Arsenal Women 6. Lina Hurtig (Arsenal Women) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Victoria Pelova with a through ball.
Substitution, Arsenal Women. Noëlle Maritz replaces Kyra Cooney-Cross.
Attempt saved. Beth Mead (Arsenal Women) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Victoria Pelova.
Offside, Arsenal Women. Kathrine Kühl tries a through ball, but Stina Blackstenius is caught offside.
Foul by Beth Mead (Arsenal Women).
Josie Green (Leicester City Women) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Beth Mead (Arsenal Women) hits the right post with a right footed shot from the centre of the box. Assisted by Lina Hurtig with a cross.
Substitution, Arsenal Women. Kathrine Kühl replaces Alessia Russo.
Offside, Leicester City Women. Aileen Whelan tries a through ball, but Ava Baker is caught offside.
Hand ball by Stina Blackstenius (Arsenal Women).
Attempt missed. Stina Blackstenius (Arsenal Women) right footed shot from the right side of the six yard box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Victoria Pelova.
Kyra Cooney-Cross (Arsenal Women) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Courtney Nevin (Leicester City Women).
Alessia Russo (Arsenal Women) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Aimee Palmer (Leicester City Women).
Offside, Arsenal Women. Alessia Russo tries a through ball, but Stina Blackstenius is caught offside.