Mark it down in your calendars. Sunday the 5th of December at 2 p.m. marks the kick-off of the 50th annual Women’s FA Cup final. A competition rich full of history with the first competition being played in 1970. Southampton F.C. Women were the victors that year, going on to dominate the first decade or so of the competition scooping the prize eight times in an impressive 11 finals. Since the birth of the competition, 19 different sides have gone on to lift the precious trophy with Arsenal W.F.C. leading the way, winning it the most with an impressive 14 to boot, which is equal to the record that their men’s team hold.
It’s Arsenal who meet Chelsea F.C. Women in this year’s final with both in scintillating form as of late. Arsenal will be looking to secure their 15th FA Cup after seeing off arch-rivals Tottenham Hotspur F.C. Women in the quarter-final 5-1. In the semi-finals, they faced an impressive Brighton & Hove Albion W.F.C. side but no banana skin for them as they netted three goals without reply as Kim Little, Beth Mead and Leah Williamson all got on the scoresheet. On the blue side of London, high flying Chelsea smashed past Birmingham W.F.C. 4-0 in the quarter-finals whilst also dismantling current holders Manchester City W.F.C. 3-0 with Bethany England, Melanie Leupolz and Erin Cuthbert getting the goals for the Blues.
Two clubs rich with history go head to head with Arsenal’s most memorable achievement being the staggering trophy-laden 2007 season in which saw them bag the quadruple, winning the WSL (Women’s Super League), League Cup, FA Cup and Champions League all in one. On the contrary, if Chelsea wins on Sunday it will effectively secure a domestic treble as manager Emma Hayes lead the team to the league title and league cup glory with the FA Cup waiting in the wings.
On show is some major talent with Arsenal’s Vivianne Miedema who is the all-time top goalscorer in the WSL taking to the pitch on Sunday, as well as her opposite number in Chelsea’s Sam Kerr who won the 2021 WSL Golden Boot award netting 21 times in 22 games. An incredible past five matches from both teams with Chelsea conceding zero goals, scoring 18 in the process whereas Arsenal have conceded two replying with 15 goals in return.
This weekend will mark a century since the FA’s decision to effectively ban women’s teams from playing on their pitches which casts somewhat of a shadow on the encounter. Looking back now as to what was a major mistake on the part of the FA to enforce this, the women’s game is in the best shape it has ever been in and continues to grow every year.
An evenly contested head to head record between the two giants of the WSL as Wembley Stadium plays host to yet another momentous occasion in football. Which side of London will the elusive FA Cup trophy be heading though? Tune in on Sunday to find out…