It was a tough start to Chelsea at Meadow Park, with Arsenal putting a lot of pressure on our defence from kickoff. The backline did what they could to stop the opposition’s advances, oftentimes resorting to blocks and clearances as the Gunners showed high intensity in the first minutes of this Women’s FA Cup semifinal.
Almost exactly at the 15-minute mark Chelsea showed they were finally entering the match. Guro Reiten tried twice to put a good cross to one of our attackers today but did not make it through Arsenal’s backline and Manuela Zinsberger’s goalkeeping.
The match was even from that point on. The Blues had the edge on possession while Arsenal showed danger from long passes and breaks, helped by Chelsea not being that sharp with their passing when moving beyond the half line.
Still, we got a fair share of good attacking moves especially in the closing minutes of first half. Sam Kerr and Beth England could have gotten the starting goal to turn it all in our favour, but neither were able to reach the ball and turn good passes into great goalscoring chances.
From halftime and with neither team making changes, it was almost a repeat of the first half. Arsenal got the first and best scoring chance of the match with Bethany Mead, missing the target on her attempt.
Reiten would then make sure Arsenal pay for it. A superb effort from range to get Chelsea ahead just after Mead’s glaring miss.
Arsenal tried to answer and got torched again. Another superb strike, this time from Ji So-yun, doubled our lead over the Gunners.
Chelsea kept dominating play and creating chances. A third goal could have come from strikes by Reiten, Ji and England, but the 2-0 was enough to get us through to the finals against Manchester City next month.
- Interesting choices from Emma Hayes today, getting Ann-Katrin Berger some playing time after several consecutive starts given to Zecira Musovic at goalkeeping. Otherwise it’s the same 3-5-2 setup and lineup that beat Leicester City 9-0 in the league a few weeks ago.
- Subs are Pernille Harder for Sam Kerr, and Jessie Fleming for Ji So-yun.
- This was not a good first half display. Any other day and Arsenal could have gotten an early lead, throwing cold water to our plans.
- Great goals in great occasions. This is Guro Reiten, a great player.
- Next up: Tottenham away in the Women’s Super League.