Smith’s praise for Nobbs

Arsenal player-coach Kelly Smith hailed the impact of England midfielder Jordan Nobbs after the 21-year-old scored a stunning opening goal in an emphatic 4-0 win at Manchester City.

Nobbs, who has missed the majority of the FA Women’s Super League 1 season through injury, sparked the game into life as her 40-yard strike gave the visitors the lead after just five minutes.

And it was all one-way traffic from there as further goals from Danielle Carter, Rachel Yankey and Casey Stoney ensured a memorable victory for the visitors – one that Smith believes can give her team a much needed lift.

Manchester City 0-4 Arsenal

FA Women’s Super League
Sunday 24 August 2014
Manchester Sportcity

“I’m really pleased with the performance that we put in from the first minute through to the last. I thought we were outstanding in terms of energy, tempo and desire,” said Smith.

“It was exactly what I asked from the players before the game. It’s been a long time because we haven’t played for over a month. Our season’s been very disrupted so it’s really pleasing to get four fantastic goals.

“The early goal settles the nerves. Jordan has that in her locker. It’s pleasing because she’s missed a lot of the season so to get a spectacular goal like that is great for her and is a great help to us.”

Almost four weeks since their last competitive outing, Nobbs’ strike was the worst possible start for Nick Cushing’s City side, who did look bright in the opening stages.

Isobel Christiansen’s own audacious attempt troubled Emma Byrne, but that was the closest the hosts would come to levelling the tie.

“I thought we were outstanding in terms of energy, tempo and desire”

Kelly Smith Arsenal Ladies player-coach

Nobbs fired another effort narrowly wide for Arsenal before Carter found the corner of the City goal from 25-yards out.

Yankey then dispatched Turid Knaak’s cross to put the game out of sight and condemn City to their second loss in three games.

And City manager Cushing insists his side must get back to basics ahead of their next match against Notts County.

“I thought we looked sluggish. We looked sloppy and tired and never got going. I never really saw anything so it’s frustrating for us,” said Cushing.

“We’ll have to look at it and reflect because we’ve had a really good training week this week and that’s completely the opposite to what I expected.

“It’s not a catastrophe but it’s important that we see where we went wrong and re-group ahead of our game against Notts County.”