Fran Kirby and Sam Kerr starred as Chelsea accomplished a belated home treble with a 3-0 win over Arsenal in a landmark FA Cup closing at Wembley.
Kirby’s third-minute purpose belied the Blues’ dominance by half-time however Kerr made up for a sequence of squandered possibilities with a second-half double (57, 77) – together with a superb chip – as Emma Hayes’ aspect claimed the trophy for the primary time since 2018 in a fiftieth anniversary fixture delayed by the pandemic.
Hayes declared Kirby and Kerr, who each hit the crossbar, “out of this world,” and the harm would have been larger had Arsenal goalkeeper Manuela Zinsberger not pulled off an extra string of saves.
The Gunners had claimed an announcement victory in opposition to the defending WSL champions on the opening day of this season however have been outclassed on the large stage, with their chief purpose menace Vivianne Miedema a peripheral determine.
How Chelsea cruised to cup glory
There was added poignancy to a showpiece sport happening in entrance of greater than 40,000 a century to the day that the FA banned ladies from enjoying soccer, a sport stymied for thus lengthy however now booming as soon as extra.
Chelsea had suffered a 3-2 defeat to their decided title rivals again in September however they asserted themselves from the off and their excessive press paid dividends contained in the opening minutes as Jessie Fleming and Kerr’s endeavour despatched Kirby clear, the end cool into the nook.
The tone was set and Kerr ought to have doubled Chelsea’s lead simply 5 minutes later, Arsenal’s defence breached too simply once more however the Australian’s shot straight at Zinsberger.
Kirby quickly made the goalkeeper work once more, Jen Beattie’s clumsy problem on Kerr moments earlier went unpunished, and the possibilities continued to return and go in opposition to a ragged backline, Guro Reiten and Magdalena Eriksson wasteful and Kerr then putting the crossbar after shrugging off Lotte Wubben-Moy.
Vivianne Miedema was peripheral on the different finish and although a tactical tweak that noticed Beth Mead and Katie McCabe change flanks provided Arsenal promise – a Gunners penalty enchantment dismissed when Mead’s cross hit the arm of Erin Cuthbert – they did not handle a first-half shot heading in the right direction.
The break introduced little change in momentum and after heading a Cuthbert ball straight at Zinsberger, Kerr’s tireless work lastly introduced reward earlier than the half-hour mark when she raced onto Kirby’s channel ball, outmuscled Wubben-Moy once more and drilled dwelling laborious and low.
Kirby hit the bar herself quickly after because the unworked Ann-Katrin Berger tellingly went down with cramp on the different finish however Chelsea stretched additional forward as Kerr turned on the fashion, gathering one other slide-rule go earlier than dinking the ball over Zinsberger to gloss a dominant day’s work.
Hayes hails Chelsea achievement – however dampens Kerr’s celebration plans!
Hayes paid tribute to an “superb achievement” by her treble-winners – however dampened Kerr’s celebration hopes forward of a midweek Champions League fixture in opposition to Juventus.
A grinning Kerr stated after her double: “I can not wait to celebration! It would not go in within the first half – it might have been 4-0 or 5-0 however we knew that if we saved pushing in some unspecified time in the future they’d go in.”
Hayes, chatting with the BBC, quipped again: “Zero likelihood of celebration! The bus is leaving, they are going dwelling, they know the deal: we have to win on Wednesday!”
However the Chelsea boss mirrored with content material on her gamers’ software.
“I assumed we bought it spot-on. We have painted Wembley blue, it is a Chelsea day. Our efficiency was very good. The entrance two have been out of this world. I stated to Fran [Kirby], I believe it is the very best I’ve seen her play for Chelsea and Sam’s confidence is rising.
“However everybody performed their half and we completely deserved it.
“To suppose we’re treble-winners is a tremendous achievement. I am extraordinarily happy with the gamers, the employees, the membership. We have constructed this group over a time frame and in the present day I believe we confirmed why we have been champions.”
‘Too many Arsenal errors’
Arsenal boss Jonas Eidevall admitted his aspect have been means underneath par on the large event.
“It is a mixture of Chelsea being an excellent soccer group after they get time and house within the closing third and us committing means too many errors as a group.
“We do not really feel good proper now. We will carry out significantly better than we did. We have to study from it. That is my job, to attempt to right it. We have to look ahead.”
Arsenal should rapidly flip their consideration to the Champions League, with Barcelona on the town on Thursday December 9, earlier than Leicester are the guests in entrance of the Sky Sports activities cameras three days later when the Ladies’s Tremendous League returns.
Chelsea face Juventus within the Champions League on Wednesday December 8 and return to WSL motion on Saturday December 11 away to Studying, dwell on Sky Sports activities.