Match Report

Arsenal Women fell short in the search for their 15th F.A. Women’s Cup as Chelsea Ladies ran out 3-1 winners on Saturday.

Ramona Bachmann ran the show throughout and scored twice before Fran Kirby completed the scoring for the Blues.

Arsenal played most of the game on the backfoot, however, looked like they could get something from the game when Vivianne Miedema pulled a goal back.

The Wembley-final was also an historic event as a record 45,423 fans crammed into the national stadium to watch Chelsea lift their 2nd F.A. Women’s Cup.

As with most cup finals, this game started in a very cagey manner, but Chelsea took hold of the game after about ten minutes.

Their first chance came from a piece of Bachmann brilliance as she nutmegged Emma Mitchell on the turn before dragging her shot from inside the box.

Following that Arsenal were much harder to break down as they became very narrow and compact in defence. This made the Gunners quite resolute in defence, but they struggled to create many chances.

Despite this, Joe Montemurro’s side had flurry of corners around the 20-minute mark following Miedema’s initial shot but couldn’t get past Hedvig Lindhahl.

Arsenal’s main outlet at this point with Beth Mead, who was playing off the left. She did well chasing long balls and showed great individual skill, flicking the ball over Hannah Blundell’s head to create space for herself.

Chelsea managed to get back on the upper hand half an hour into the game and were almost unplayable at times. Whether it was swift intricate one-touch play or direct attacks, Arsenal struggled to live with Emma Hayes’ side.

During this spell the most dangerous players for Chelsea were Bachmann, Kirby and Ji So-yun who were instrumental in every move. However, the trio couldn’t quite find the right final ball before the break.

After doing well to contain Chelsea until half-time, Arsenal couldn’t do the same after the break and found themselves behind within three second-half minutes.

Sari ven Veenendaal almost tipped Bachmann’s effort over the bar after the Swiss was played into the Arsenal box but the shot was just too hot to handle:

Arsenal responded well as Mead took the game to Chelsea again. Coming off her wing, she passed the ball back and forth while moving up the pitch, but Arsenal couldn’t complete the move on arrival in the box.

Kim Little, who did well to retain possession throughout the game, then went on a mazy run into the Chelsea box. She teed up Miedema nicely, but the Dutch striker took too long to get her shot off and it was blocked.

Failing to draw level, Arsenal paid the price as Bachmann doubled the Chelsea lead on the hour mark with the help of a deflection:

Like after the first goal, Arsenal responded well and got their lifeline. This came as a result of more Mead brilliance as she skipped past Blundell on the byline. She then drove into the box before cutting back to Miedema who finished nicely:

Arsenal’s comeback hopes were short-lived, however, as the PFA and FWA Player of the Year stepped up to the centre stage. Kirby finally got her goal three minutes after Miedema in emphatic fashion:

Following the goal, Chelsea were able to play in cruise control and were still able to dominate proceedings. But that didn’t stop Montemurro from having one last roll of the dice.

Heather O’Reilly and Danielle Carter were brought on and Carter made a big impact on arrival but it all proved too little too late.

Going into the game Arsenal were underdogs but they seemed to play into Chelsea’s hands over the course of the game. Going in 0-0 at half-time it seemed a more attacking approach could be used in the second-half, but it just wasn’t to be.

Despite the Wembley defeat, Montemurro will finish his first season as Arsenal Women boss with silverware having won the Continental Cup (League Cup) earlier this season.

Arsenal’s next game sees them welcome Manchester City Women, who they beat in the Continental Cup final in March, in what will be their final home game of the season. They’ll also be looking not to make in three losses in a row.