A late away goal may have given ASD Torres CF hope but Arsenal LFC look in control of their UEFA Women's Champions League quarter-final after a fine first-leg display.
Kelly Smith opened the scoring, only to then go off injured, and Jordan Nobbs and Kim Little added further goals after the break. Sandy Maendly responded with 19 minutes left but it still looks tough for Torres in next Wednesday's second leg in Sardinia.
Arsenal, whose club captain Faye White was honoured before the game after announcing her retirement, began strongly. Rachel Yankey sent Little clear but the ball was smothered by Torres goalkeeper Gaëlle Thalmann. Smith and Little then combined to give Yankey an opportunity, only for Thalmann to dive and save. However, Thalmann was powerless when Smith subtly flicked a headed-on free-kick over the keeper and into the net.
Patrizia Panico nearly responded immediately but her long-range chip just failed to catch out Emma Byrne. Smith's involvement was then cut short, the injury-prone striker hobbling off after a superb saving tackle on Panico; soon after, though, Ellen White was just denied by Thalmann.
The Gunners could have been further ahead by half-time and four minutes after the interval they were, Yankey's cross controlled and shot in by Nobbs, who recently scored on her England debut. Thalmann then did well to save from Ellen White, and also tipped away a long-range effort from Stephanie Houghton, pushed from defence into midfield after Smith's departure for Niamh Fahey.
A third goal seemed inevitable and it came from Little, bursting into the box to pick up Yankey's pass and showing great footwork to fashion a shooting chance she never looked like missing. It seemed Arsenal would stretch away but Maendly pulled one back with a perfectly placed shot 19 minutes from time. As Arsenal pushed for a fourth, Elisa Bartoli got a booking which rules her out of the return.