Arsenal moved level on points with Manchester United and Manchester City in the WSL table following a win at Tottenham in the north London derby.
The Gunners were the first of the title contenders to play on Women’s Football Weekend and stuck to the script with victory at Brisbane Road.
Spurs remain in a relegation battle and sit just five points above 12th-placed Leicester.
The hosts spurned a great chance to take a shock early lead. Kerys Harrop managed to release Rosella Ayane down the left flank and had Bethany England to pick out in the box, but her low cross was too close to goalkeeper Sabrina D’Angelo and the opportunity went begging.
And Tottenham were made to pay as Arsenal opened the scoring after just five minutes. Leah Williamson’s long ball forward was missed by both teammate Victoria Pelova and Spurs’ Molly Bartrip, allowing Stina Blackstenius to run in behind and fire in at Tinja-Riikka Korpela’s near post.
Spurs didn’t let that faze them, however. Celine Bizet managed to carry the ball up the right channel and picked out England, whose cutback was directed narrowly wide by Drew Spence.
Back at the other end, Caitlin Foord managed to wriggle away from Angharad James and Ash Neville, with a back-post cross just beyond the reach of Pelova. Blackstenius was then denied a sure second by a last-ditch challenge from Amy Turner at the end of a flowing Arsenal move.
The visitors added their second just before the half-hour mark. Pelova managed to switch play for Foord, who cut in from the left and rolled the ball into the bottom corner from 20 yards.
A third nearly followed when Frida Maanum found herself free in midfield and drove at the Spurs defence, playing it through for Pelova to strike, but Korpela managed to get a toe on her effort and Tottenham were let off the hook.
Arsenal conceded a penalty just before the break. Katie McCabe handled the ball when trying to block a shot from Neville, and England made no mistake from 12 yards.
At the start of the second half, a dangerous cross from Maanum looked destined to be tapped in by Foord at the back post, only for Neville to retreat and put her off, with the ball trickling behind for a goal kick.
Arsenal maintained their dominance as they went in search of a third goal. Kim Little was up next to test Korpela, forcing the Finland international into a low save.
McCabe may have given away a penalty at one end, but she won one at the other after being tripped by Turner. Little stepped up to restore Arsenal’s two-goal advantage.
The Gunners’ fourth soon followed when a teasing cross from Pelova evaded Neville and was turned in at the back post by Foord.
Maanum got in on the act with Arsenal’s fifth in the final 15 minutes, managing to beat Korpela from 25 yards via a deflection from Bartrip.
Substitute Gio Queiroz came close to notching a sixth, clipping the top of the crossbar with a volley soon after her introduction.
The Brazilian had to be brought back off in the final minutes due to a hip injury and Arsenal sealed the victory with 10 players on the pitch.
GK: Tinja-Riikka Korpela – 5/10 – Simultaneously kept the score down and should have done better with the first goal.
RB: Ash Neville – 4/10 – Always in battles with Foord. Felt like her talents were wasted in such a defensive position, perhaps best emphasised by winning the penalty.
CB: Amy Turner – 4/10 – Made some crucial tackles and interceptions as Arsenal penned Spurs in, though eventually conceded a penalty.
CB: Molly Bartrip – 4/10 – Outpaced and outmuscled by an in-form striker in Blackstenius.
LB: Kerys Harrop – 4/10 – Didn’t provide a lot at either end.
CM: Angharad James – 4/10 – Often the player to provide a screen for the back four, though was often harassed out of possession by Arsenal’s pressing.
CM: Drew Spence – 6/10 – Looked lively when bombing forward and linking up with Neville and Bizet.
CM: Eveliina Summanen – 4/10 – Found it hard to stand out in the midfield battle.
RW: Celine Bizet – 6/10 – One of Tottenham’s most dangerous players, always looking to progress the ball and create a moment of magic.
CF: Bethany England – 7/10 – A busy body who made life difficult for Arsenal’s defenders when Spurs were in possession. Now ahead of Ellen White in the WSL’s all-time scoring charts.
LW: Rosella Ayane – 4/10 – Worked ever so hard but didn’t have the requisite quality in the final third.
Kit Graham (67′ for Summanen) – 5/10
Chioma Ubogagu (79′ for Bizet) – N/A
Cho So-hyun (88′ for Spence) – N/A
Vicky Jepson – 4/10 – Tottenham were so poor in the second half after managing to hang around with Arsenal in the first.
GK: Sabrina D’Angelo – 5/10 – Didn’t have a lot to do for the most part on her WSL debut. Had no chance of saving England’s penalty.
RB: Noelle Maritz – 6/10 – Matched Ayane’s energy and that was enough to nullify her.
CB: Leah Williamson – 7/10 – Her confidence in possession helped Arsenal play their natural game, though England was always on her case. Moved into midfield late on.
CB: Lotte Wubben-Moy – 7/10 – Largely untroubled alongside the England captain.
LB: Katie McCabe – 5/10 – Put to work by Bizet and gave away a needless penalty with a clear handball.
CM: Lia Walti – 7/10 – Dropped between the centre-backs to progress the ball and did so excellently.
CM: Kim Little – 7/10 – Technically excellent as Arsenal controlled the game.
CM: Frida Maanum – 8/10 – Threatening and energetic when in possession.
RW: Victoria Pelova – 9/10 – Turned Spurs defenders inside and out all afternoon.
CF: Stina Blackstenius – 8/10 – Outstanding. Another confident performance leading the line for Arsenal.
LW: Caitlin Foord – 9/10 – Consistently sought to trouble Tottenham with her pace and trickery. There’s only a finite number of ways to say Arsenal were far superior to their hosts.
Rafaelle (67′ for Waltl) – 6/10
Laura Wienroither (67′ for Maritz) – 6/10
Gio Queiroz (78′ for Foord) – N/A
Kathrine Kuhl (83′ for Blackstenius) – N/A
Jodie Taylor (83′ for Maanum) – N/A
Jonas Eidevall – 8/10 – Arsenal were confident and composed, head and shoulders above their rivals.