Friday, April 12, 2024

Report: Arsenal 1-0 Chelsea (inc goal)

Arsenal: Zinsberger; Fox, Wubben-Moy, Williamson (Codina 45′), McCabe (Cooney-Cross 105′); Little, Pelova; Mead (Catley 84′), Maanum (Russo 90+12′), Lacasse (Foord 72); Blackstenius
Substitutes: D’Angelo, Williams, Wienroither, V. Lia

Arsenal have won the Conti Cup for the 7th time, beating Chelsea 1-0 in extra time at Molineux.

Jonas Eidevall made one change to the team that beat Aston Villa 3-1, with Stina Blackstenius coming in for Alessia Russo, who had been ill during the week. This meant that in the absence of Lia Wälti, Kim Little and Victoria Pelova continued as a double pivot in front of Arsenal’s normal back four.

First half

Chelsea had the first real chance of the game. From a throw, James picked up a loose ball, beat Williamson, and then went wide of Wubben-Moy. From a similar angle to her opening goal two weeks ago, she shot but Zinsberger was able to parry behind for a corner.

Down the other end, good play from Arsenal saw the ball worked wide to Mead on the left, but her cross was just a little too high for Maanum and Blackstenius in the center.

James then caused alarm bells when she ran at the Arsenal defence, but Little stopped her progress on the edge of the box.

Pelova then slickly worked her way out of Chelsea pressure after Little and Wubben-Moy played a one-two. Pelova found Lacasse streaking through the middle, but she had to check but before choosing to shoot from range, with her shot going wide.

Chelsea then thought they had taken the lead through Mayra Ramirez on 23 minutes. Arsenal were unable to clear from a free kick, Cuthbert stole in in front of Pelova, clearly handled the ball, and then Ramirez, from range, fired her shot past Zinsberger into the corner. With VAR in the final, the goal was checked, and then accurately disallowed.

Buchanan lost the ball in build-up under pressure from Blackstenius, and with Hampton off her line, Mead tried catching Hampton out but her shot went just over, landing on top of the net. Blackstenius then controlled Williamson’s long ball, passed back to Maanum, who then sent Lacasse into the penalty box. Lacasse’s left footed strike was firm but straight at Hampton, who was becoming the busier of the two keepers.

Another move involving Maanum playing Lacasse in led to a blocked shot first from Lacasse and then Maanum, and then Hampton parried over McCabe’s rasping shot. From the corner, Mead won the second ball, and Wubben-Moy’s half-volley from the penalty spot went just wide.

Arsenal then played themselves into trouble. Little slipped on the edge of the area, James drove into the area, but Leah Williamson stuck with James and blocked the shot. Arsenal were on top, though, which is why Hannah Hampton went down on 38 minutes for “treatment.” To everyone’s surprise and relief, Hampton was fine.

A couple of quick throws by Chelsea caused the Arsenal defence some concern, but Chelsea were unable to work a good chance, as the first half entered four minutes of stoppage time.

A turnover in midfield set James off down the left. James drove into the box, cut back under pressure from Little, and when looking for a pass, Maanum came back and cleared the ball out for a corner. From the corner, James crossed into the area but Zinsberger claimed.

Second half

At half time, Laia Codina replaced Leah Williamson.

Blackstenius went over in the penalty box under a challenge from Cuthbert, but referee Cheryl Foster saw nothing in the challenge, and neither did VAR, despite Blackstenius’ protests. Arsenal then had a good chance. A brilliant long pass from McCabe sent Lacasse away. Lacasse cut the ball back, and it was deflected into Mead’s path, but Mead couldn’t set her feet right and took an airshot.

Chelsea then had a chance. Charles found Kaneryd down the left, who laid the ball back for Leupolz at the edge of the area, who then shot over the crossbar.

Kaneryd, playing down the left, then sent in a dangerous cross across the penalty area that ran to James, who shot into the side netting. Chelsea, though, were beginning to offer more threat than they had in the first half, and consequently Zinsberger went down seeking medical attention.

Arsenal then played themselves into trouble. Wubben-Moy dallied on the ball, Nusken stole it, and Pelova had to foul her. From the free kick, Chelsea retained the ball and then won a corner, from which Zinsberger was able to claim and relieve pressure.

Maanum then tried chipping Hampton from range after Blackstenius beat Buchanan to a bouncing ball and nodded it into space, but the shot went wide.

Arsenal should’ve taken the lead on 65 minutes. Pelova won the ball off of Cuthbert, and then drove on before playing Lacasse in on goal. The Canadian, though, took a weak effort with her left foot that was straight at Hampton.

On 72 minutes, Eidevall made his second chance, with Caitlin Foord replacing Lacasse.

Whereas in the first half Arsenal were on top, Zinsberger was the goalkeeper called upon more in the second half. In part, this was because Arsenal’s final ball wasn’t quite there. But, in truth, while Chelsea were perhaps edging the quality of the final ball, the contest was fairly even, with neither side unable to assert complete control.

On 84 minutes, Steph Catley replaced Beth Mead, with Katie McCabe going to the right of Arsenal’s attack.

Chelsea then had their best chance of the match. After a deflection from Codina and a slip from Wubben-Moy, Reiten scooped the ball over for James, who drove on and on, and tried to sit Zinsberger, who stuck out a leg to save.

Fox then played a one-two with McCabe, drove inside and through the middle and looked to play Balckstenius through, but the American overhit her pass and Hampton gathered.

There was 7 minutes of stoppage time.

Maanum then went down off the ball and required lengthy and serious treatment. Maanum was stretchered off, and Arsenal later reported that she was conscious, talking, and in a stable condition.

Alessia Russo replaced Maanum. The final whistle went, and the match went into extra time.

First half of extra time

Russo, picking up the ball on the halfway line, drove forward before shooting from range, but her strike was straight at Hampton.

Arsenal then had a really good chance. Catley’s superb cross went beyond the Chelsea defence, but McCabe, popping up centrally, leant down and headed wide. The flag went up for offside, but McCabe was definitely onside.

Second half of extra time

Arsenal made a change at the break, with Kyra Cooney-Cross replacing McCabe.

Arsenal had an excellent chance, as Russo dinked the ball over for Blackstenius running behind the defence, but her shot went over the crossbar.

Chelsea then wanted a penalty, as Macario’s shot struck Wubben-Moy’s leg and bounced up onto her arm, and then James fired over the bar.

Catley and Foord combined to send the latter down the left. Foord drove inside, cut left, and then saw her shot blocked by Buchanan.

Arsenal then threatened on the counter-attack. Blackstenius laid the ball off for Cooney-Cross in midfield, and her spectacular cross-field pass found Foord. Foord laid the ball off for Russo at the edge of the area, but her shot was straight at Hampton.

Arsenal then took the lead on 116 minutes. From a restart, Wubben-Moy found Catley. Catley then played Food down the left. Foord beat Carter, and found Blackstenius. Blackstenius shifted her feet (unintentionally played the ball off Cuthbert) and then found the back of the net. 1-0.

Macario then drove into the box and went over between Little and Fox. Play continued and Chelsea won a corner as the match entered two minutes of stoppage time. Arsenal cleared the corner, and Foord kicked the ball long. Arsenal won the long ball, and Russo cleared it away for a throw in the Chelsea half. Reiten fed Charles, who’s cross was put behind by Fox for a corner. The corner was flicked on and Foord was able to clear again for a throw and then the whistle blew, and Arsenal won the Cup!

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Great news, toigh oppo, well done to all the team!

Fun Gunner

Great write-up, thank you Aidan Gibson.

We have our trophy and the one wheel has come off the Hayes quadruple bandwagon.

Gunner H

She certainly didn’t take defeat in a sporting manner 🙂

Fun Gunner

No, she did not – never does – but today was something else. She shoved Jonas for not going along with her sudden change of heart about whether to play a multi-ball or single-ball system. That’s not just being a bad loser, that’s being unprofessional. Fantastic record but zero class.

Peter Story Teller

Hayes magnanimous in defeat as usual! Glad to see the back of her to be honest. Barcelona will take away a second wheel and I now fancy City to win the WSL. The FA cup is too close to call but what irony if her final season in West London ends trophy-less when the expectation until very recently was a quadruple!

Fun Gunner

Tee-hee, I am hoping for the same – plus Man U to actually show up against Chelsea for once and knock them out. And I would laugh. And laugh. And laugh.



Fun Gunner

Best wishes to Frida Maanum – it sounds as if it’s not as serious as first feared.


Watched the first half of that and was very impressed with the way we played. Fox is quality, isn’t she?

Watching us play, my thought was that we needed to target players who will help us play better against low blocks, because in these big games Jonas has shown his mettle. I know many are calling for his sack, but I do feel like if he gets the right profile of players next year, we could finally win that title again — especially with Hayes going. Congrats to the girls on this one!

Gunner H

Fox is pure class, and rarely lets an attacker beat her.


Yeah she seems like a good all-round footballer, did excellently against James (even earning the Lauren James *stamp* of excellence, which thankfully she got booked for).


“Stamp of Excellence”
Well played

Peter Story Teller

She is savvy and quick which is ideal for the position. As her confidence grows at the club she’ll become more of an attacking threat too!


What a result! Get well soon Maanum.


Not a match that will go down in history. From where I was sitting, first half was good, 2nd half was scrappy and extra time was all out war. Who cares tho, we won, and no quadruple for chelsea


who was player of the match? Didn’t quite catch that

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