It was a day to remember at Wembley for Sam Kerr, who’s wonderful chip goal sealed Chelsea cup-glory in her first Women’s FA Cup final.
The Australian hit a brace hundred miles away from her family in the other side of the world as the The Blues demolished their fierce rivals stealing the Cup against their fierce London Rivals Arsenal with a delightful 3-0-win.
Despite the cold and breezing windy weather, 40,942 fans had arrived Wembley to witness the London derby. The fans of the Blues weren’t left disappointed as their team provided one of their most powerful performances dominating confidently from the first kick off.
Kerr dedicated her player of the game -performance to her USA International girlfriend Kristie Mewis, who had arrived Wembley to support her loved one.
Kerr did send her greetings for the family and relatives on her emotional celebration interview on BBC.
“I love you guys, I wish you could be here. There are the moments as a player that you play and you wish your family was here, but they are probably all home. My girlfriend is here, that’s why I put on a show.”’
Kerr has scored impressive nine goals this season in the Women’s Super League and four goals in the Champions League. Her productive partnership with Fran Kirby has made them the most feared striker-duo in the WSL.
They also belong along the league’s top playmakers with Kerby creating 22 changes this season. Only Beth Mead has created more scoring opportunities during this term.
Kirby also broke last month her 100 goals milestone for Chelsea.
Winning the FA Cup completed Chelsea’s domestic triple for the 2020-21 season winning the Women’s Super League and League Cup last season. Sunday’s final was the 50th anniversary of the tournament.
The final was delayed until the end of the year, due to the restriction-measures caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Arsenal had won the tournament record 13 times, but Sunday wasn’t their day.
Kerr’s compatriot Ballon d’Or -nominated striker Kirby scored Chelsea’s early first goal only three minutes into the final. The English International used her advantage from the space left by Arsenal-defence. She rallied to front of the goal and slotted an accurate shot behind goalkeeper Manuela Zinsberger.
Kirby celebrated her goal wildly running towards supporters front of the corner flag.
Kerr went close to deliver Kirby soon her second. Unlucky for Chelsea Jennifer Beattie was on time with her challenge blocking Kerr’s attempt pass the ball to Kirby.
Zinsberger kept The Gunners in the game on first half, when dynamic pressing from the Chelsea’s striker-duo caused constant problems to their team. The Austrian denied several dangerous one on ones from their Londoner rivals making important saves.
A little bit of luck was also on The Gooners’ side as both Kirby and Kerr missed respectively their sitters after smashing the ball to the crossbar.
Chelsea kept creating dangerous chances, but their decision-making in the final third lacked clinical finishing.
Kerr finally broke her deadlock in start of the second half. She caught Arsenal’s Lotte Wubben-Moy napping and finished the ball through defender’s legs in the bottom corner. The goalkeeper Zinsberger didn’t dive in time and shot went past her from near post.
Kerr’s first goal led way for her unbelievable highlight of the game She released herself into breakaway with a sharp run inside the pocket of the defence.
Kerr noticed Arsenal-keeper Zinsberger coming out from her goal leaving an open net behind her. Striker starlet lifted a surprising chip shot almost 30 yards from goal over the Austrian to crown her spectacular game.
Kerr’s wonderful game was rewarded with standing ovations.
Chelsea-manager Emma Hayes became the first woman to win three FA Cup titles. Hayes has been on charge of the club for nine years taking the post on 2012.
Chelsea has won four League titles under her and are only missing the Champions League glory after losing the final last year against Barcelona.
She was full of praise from performances of her star strikers.
Manager Hayes said:
“The front two were out of this world.”
“Kerr wondered how she would cope in the English game. As far as I’m concerned, she’s the best striker in the world.”
“I thought Fran ran the show. She got on the ball, was a threat and real handful throughout the game.”
Chelsea has won seven of their first eight games and lost one. Emma Hayes’ side will play their next match on Wednesday in the Women’s Champions League hosting the Italian giant Juventus.
Chelsea is lying top of the group A three points ahead of Juventus. After Sunday’s cup-celebrations, squad will continue their hard work in the training ground preparing for Wednesday.
Standing second on Group C, Arsenal will play home against the group leaders FC Barcelona. Gunners-boss Jonas Eidewall admitted team underperforming on Sunday.
Arsenal was simply outrun today. After conceding the early goal, Gunners struggled to pick themselves up in the game and were soaked by their rivals.
Arsenal had 60 percent ball possession, but the north Londoners struggled badly with their finishing. From their nine shots none of them were on target.
Eidewall said on post-match press conference:
“If they get time and space and run against you, they’re world-class players, and you can’t let Chelsea do it that many times and expect a good result.”
Despite losing the cup, Arsenal is still one point ahead of Chelsea on WSL winning seven from their eight first games. The Gunners are so far unbeaten.
Arsenal have to forget their cup-loss as soon as possible, to continue fighting for the League title. Season is only halfway away, and everything is possible.