Bitter WSL rivals Arsenal and Chelsea are gearing up for what could be a feisty League Cup Final on Sunday, March 5 at Selhurst Park.
The two teams played each other very recently in the Women’s FA Cup on February 26. In that game, Chelsea were the winners – Sophie Ingle and Sam Kerr both fired past the Gunners en route to victory.
In the semi-finals, Arsenal faced a tough challenge against last year’s League Cup winners, Manchester City. As the match reached its endgame, the scores were goalless – until Stina Blackstenius popped up in the 93rd minute to fire home and secure the Gunners’ place in the final.
Meanwhile, Chelsea had a much more comfortable ride on their way to the final. They swept aside a poor West Ham United outfit by a score of 7-0 – Sam Kerr scored four goals, alongside efforts from Fran Kirby, Lauren James and Guro Reiten.
On the upcoming game against Chelsea, Arsenal boss Jonas Eidevall said: “Finals are the reason we play football – the stakes are high, but the rewards are great. At Arsenal, we have a long tradition of winning silverware and this represents an opportunity to add to that.
“Even though we prepare everything like we would for any other game, the week building up to a final feels different. There’s that extra edge of anticipation and the sense of occasion on the morning of the game. We know these matches mean more to our supporters and we take that responsibility very seriously.
“We face a very strong opponent in Chelsea. We saw how clinical they are in our FA Cup game last Sunday and though that result left us bitterly disappointed, the nature of football means there is always another game to play.”
Meanwhile, Chelsea manager Emma Hayes said: “For the first seven years of my time at Chelsea, this was the trophy we simply could not win. It didn’t matter how many FA Cups or BWSL titles we lifted, we couldn’t get our hands on the Continental Tyres Cup.
“Now we find ourselves in a fourth successive Final, looking to win it for a third time. In many ways, that record sums up what we’ve become as a football club. The mentality in this group is that we want to win everything. I’m not just talking about silverware, nor each game we play; it’s every single moment of every match. We want to win everything.
“Any cup final you reach is a really special day, but the most important thing to remember is that you’re playing the opponent, not the occasion.”