Manchester City Women were narrowly defeated by champions Chelsea in the FA Cup Final at Wembley, but it took thirty minutes of extra time for the Londoners to edge the blues out after City had twice come from behind.
Lauren Hemp and Hayley Raso both equalised for City, after Sam Kerr and a screamer from Erin Cuthbert has twice seen the champions lead. But, a mistake from Alanna Kennedy allowed Kerr to get into a two-on-one position with Alex Greenwood, and the Australian international’s eventual shot deflected off the boot of Greenwood to wrong-foot Ellie Roebuck for the winning goal.
It was a harsh result on City, who had matched the champions, but ultimately succumbed to a Chelsea side that have now beaten City four times this season. The Londoners had recorded three successive victories over the blues, scoring eight goals without conceding, but City stopped the rot when the beat Emma Hayes’ side 3-1 in the League Cup final in March.
There were high hopes of a repeat performance from the blues and were not deterred when the went a goal down in the 33rd minute. Millie Bright’s looping cross to the far pot evaded Roebuck and Kerr was lurking at the far post to nod home.
But City’s heads didn’t drop and Lauren Hemp curled a wonderful shot beyond Berger in the Chelsea goal to draw City level three minutes before the interval. The winger cut inside Bright to create a bit of space for herself, before curling over the keeper and into the back of the goal.
City had to dig deep in the second half after Cuthbert had fired Chelsea back in front. This came after Berger had denied Hemp her second goal of the game after being set up by Caroline Weir. That miss proved costly for City as Cuthbert smashed home Chelsea’s second.
The blues were too slow to close Cuthbert down and her powerful shot flew into the top corner. It stayed that way until a minute from time when Chelsea switched off and Raso latched onto Greenwood’s superb cross-field pass to control and fire home to force extra time.
Sadly for the blues, they couldn’t do it again in extra time, and when Kennedy misjudged a long ball out of the Chelsea defence, Kerr suddenly found herself free with only Greenwood in front of her. With an option to the left, Kerr went for goal, and her shot took a deflection off Greenwood and hit the back of the goal, with Roebuck already committed to going the other way.
City worked hard, but ultimately couldn’t find one more goal to force a penalty shoot-out, and City must build on this for next season and make a decent attempt for the league title.
Final Score: Chelsea Women 3-2 Manchester City Women.