A potential blockbuster clash between Chelsea F.C. Women and Arsenal W.F.C. is set to be played at Wembley Stadium on Sunday 5th December after the Blues dismantled Manchester City W.F.C. 3-0 to cement their place in the final. The competition was postponed last season due to the presence of coronavirus having a significant impact on the world. The FA decided that the penultimate rounds would be slotted into the first half of the new season with games coming thick and fast in this new campaign. This is a chance for Chelsea to get their hands on a third FA Cup as well as confirming a domestic treble, already securing the WSL (Women’s Super League) and the League Cup in the process.
The route to the Final
The route to the final started on the 16th April 2021 in the fourth round at home to FA Women’s Championship side London City Lionesses. The Dartford based outfit didn’t provide much threat in the tie as the Blues netted five past them with Drew Spence getting a brace. Next up were Everton F.C. in the fifth round who were runners up in the competition in the 2019-20 season. Another masterful performance as Chelsea swept them aside in a convincing 3-0 victory with taliswoman Sam Kerr putting the game beyond the reach of Everton.
The coronavirus pandemic halted proceedings meaning there was a three-month gap between the next fixture. Reconvening on the 29th September 2021, a trip to Birmingham was in order for the quarter-final as Chelsea were up against tricky opposition in Birmingham City W.F.C. who put up a fight. Sam Kerr opened the scoring just past the hour mark with Fran Kirby netting a brace to put the game beyond hope for the opposition. A semi-final to savour was upon the footballing world as the Blues faced current reigning FA Cup champions Manchester City W.F.C. in what would be a tactical masterclass from Emma Hayes. Erin Cuthbert, Melanie Leupolz and Bethany England all bagged sealing off an impressive 3-0 victory.
We had sixteen players on international duty recently with many enjoying successful spells with their respective countries in World Cup qualifiers and friendlies.
The Lionesses thumped Latvia by a breathtaking 20 goals to nil, just one shy of the all-time women’s record. An occasion to savour for Millie Bright as she took charge and captained the Lionesses once again as Bethany England shared the glory with her. Jess Carter and Niamh Charles made the bench.Embed from Getty Images
A contrast of emotions for Erin Cuthbert as she was on the end of an 8-0 drubbing in Seville against the Spaniards. Welsh captain Sophie Ingle faced a talented France side who left it late to secure a 2-0 against ten-woman Wales.
Melanie Leupolz bagged a goal against Portugal with the Germans later going on to seal a 3-1 victory. Ann-Katrin Berger started on the bench for that tie.Embed from Getty Images
Guro Reiten scored in a 10-0 thrashing of Armenia with Maren Mjelde making the bench. Magdalena Eriksson and Jonna Andersson made appearances for Sweden as they continued their 100% record from the qualifying rounds, winning 3-0 against Slovakia. Zecira Musovic was on the bench for that tie.
Jessie Fleming, Sam Kerr and Ji So-Yun all played in friendlies for their respective countries also. Luckily no injuries during this period means that Emma Hayes has a plethora of talent available for the game on Sunday.
Ones to Watch
Sam Kerr (AUS)
It’s the super Aussie Sam Kerr who’s incredible season last campaign saw her scoop the WSL (Women’s Super League) Golden Boot award for 2021, ending with a mouthwatering 21 goals in 22 appearances. Netting nine goals in eight appearances already this season, there’s no wonder why you should be on the lookout for this gem.Embed from Getty Images
Melanie Leupolz (GER)
Proven at the highest level, Melanie Leupolz is an icon of the European game. Six years at FC Bayern Munich proved it winning two league titles in the process as well as slipping on the captain’s armband. Joining only last season, Leupolz has already set about cementing her place in the team with top quality consistent performances, playing a total of 423 minutes this season in the WSL, grabbing one assist.Embed from Getty Images
Ji So-Yun (KOR)
The four-time footballer of the year in South Korea, it’s like clockwork that she makes the list. Joining Chelsea in 2013 on the back of a victory over the Blues in the International Women’s Club Championship final, So-Yun in April 2021 hit a landmark for 100 appearances as well as being the first non-British player to achieve that feat. With an 87% pass accuracy and 2 assists registered so far this season, So-Yun provides flair, creativity and the guile needed to win football matches.Embed from Getty Images
It’s Arsenal W.F.C. who meet Chelsea 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.
Chelsea comes into the game in outstanding form conceding zero goals and scoring 18 in their past five fixtures. The same formation as for the semi-final against Manchester City with a couple of possible changes. Jonna Andersson will step in to replace Aniek Nouwen opting for the more experienced option for a final of this calibre. The fine form of Jessie Fleming will come into consideration as she replaces Jessica Carter, going for a more attacking dynamic.
Courtesy of Chosen11.com