History is made this weekend! For the first time, a women’s FA Cup final is going to be played to a SOLD-OUT Wembley Stadium.
At the centre of this milestone is Chelsea women and Manchester United women. Both sides occupy first and second in the Women’s Super League. It’s sure to be a compelling contest, kick off’s at 14:30 and it’s a sporting occasion for the ages!
Double Champions Again?
Chelsea, led by Emma Hayes, has so far enjoyed a strong campaign in the Women’s Super League. At present, they’re second and four points adrift from the leaders, Manchester United, but they do have two games in hand.
Domestic domination is very much on the cards for the London club. We know that they’ve got the tools to do so, they’re the current league champions and FA Cup holders. They’ve been here before, can they do it again?
In the Headlights
Being hunted for top spot is Marc Skinner’s Man United. The Red Devils, much like Chelsea, are one of the mainstays of the league this season.
They probably lack the experience that Chelsea has, and with them breathing down their necks, pressure in the league could intensify – and this could carry over to the cup final!
Before progressing to the quarter-final, Chelsea met Arsenal in their fifth-round tie. Arsenal had the majority of possession and recorded more shots on target – eight more than Chelsea.
But it’s goals that win matches and titles, and when you’ve got the likes of Sam Kerr leading the line, you’re always in with a chance of glory. The striker was on hand to bag a goal along with Sophie Ingle, the game finished 2-0.
In their quarter-final against Reading, Chelsea cruised to a 3-1 victory and met a tough Aston Villa side in the semi-final. Their only goal in this game came from the prolific Australian forward, Sam Kerr.
United’s Route to Wembley
Manchester United had a much easier fifth round fixture compared to Chelsea which was reflected in the score line. They stuck five goals past Durham and kept a clean sheet, too.
Up next for Skinner’s side was Lewes in the quarter-final. This ended with a comfortable 3-1 victory and set up a less straightforward clash with Brighton.
This semi-final was an exciting affair that saw a total of five goals. Despite finding themselves behind after an own goal, Manchester United levelled proceedings through Leah Galton.
Alessia Russo gave them the lead but this was promptly cancelled out by Danielle Carter. It looked as though extra time or a penalty shootout would be needed to see who’d be progressing to the final.
That was until Rachel Williams bagged a goal in the 89th minute and secured Manchester United’s position in the FA Cup final.
Each side has proven that they’re elite and at the top of their game. They’re in with a shout of winning the league and find themselves in an FA Cup final. Two trophies is a task, but it’s very close to being tangible for either team.
Perhaps a domestic double is too tall an order this year and the league and cup will go to either respective side. Or could Arsenal or Manchester City spring a late surge and pinch the league title? Women’s football is a serious spectacle this season, and this final is unmissable.
We think Chelsea has the edge to win the FA Cup. It’ll be a tight game, a 2-1 win to the side from the capital is how we see it going. How do you think it’ll go?
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JD Football | November 21, 2023