Women’s FA Cup photo essay – road to Wembley, final: Chelsea v Manchester City | Women’s FA Cup
MAnchester City’s win over West Ham in the semi-finals meant they headed to Wembley for a fourth FA Cup final in the past six seasons. The game against Chelsea was a repeat of March’s League Cup final which City won 3-1. Whichever team triumphs, they would claim a double, after Chelsea lifted the Women’s Super League title last weekend. A victory for Emma Hayes’ side would also mean that after the 2020-21 treble, Chelsea would have lifted five of the six domestic trophies on offer over the past two seasons. The two sides have developed a strong rivalry in recent years, with Chelsea’s dominance only interrupted by City’s success in the cup competitions.
After a blistering start from City, with Caroline Weir coming close a few times, Chelsea stabilized the ship and the game turned into a cautious game with both teams playing it safe, desperate not to concede the opening goal. Sam Kerr broke through the City defense in the 18th minute (below) when they ran in and finished with poise but their effort was called off for offside.
Kerr found the net 15 minutes later when she headed in Millie Bright’s looping cross. This time the goal was held and Chelsea had the advantage.
Manchester City equalized just before half-time through a magnificent curling effort from Lauren Hemp, seen below passing Chelsea defender Millie Bright.
Chelsea’s lead was restored shortly after the hour mark when Erin Cuthbert’s piledriver from outside the area flew past Manchester City goalkeeper Ellie Roeback, entering from under the bar.
Manchester City intensified the pressure in the search for an equalizer and in the 89th minute Hayley Raso brought down a long ball, resisted Magdalena Eriksson’s challenge and pushed the ball home, sending raptures of joy through City fans during the game. went into overtime.
City maintained that momentum in the first half of extra time and went close on several occasions – but the pendulum swung again in the 99th minute. Alanna Kennedy of the city misjudged a bouncing ball just inside Chelsea’s half, buying Sam Kerr time and space to advance. Just inside the City area, the Aussie hits a shot that takes a big deflection over stretching Alex Greenwood, Roebuck off the wrong foot and putting Chelsea ahead for the third time.
City search in vain for another equalizer but time is against them and the final whistle sparks scenes of joy among Chelsea players and fans.
The win over City was Chelsea’s fourth FA Cup triumph, all under Hayes and it takes her trophy with the club to 13. “It was so amazing for the women’s game today,” she said per the following. “I love playing Manchester City, it’s football at the highest level. Tactically both teams have their strengths. I thought we were really daring and for that reason that’s why we were part of the team. winning team.