Set to face Arsenal in the League Cup (“Conti Cup”) final at City Ground tomorrow, Chelsea might have the upper hand thanks to two victories over the Gunners in the league already this season. The last one was especially impressive, on Arsenal’s home turf, as the Blues ran out 4-1 winners with goals from Bethany England, Sam Kerr, Sophie Ingle, and Guro Reiten.
However, on the big stage, such history may not matter that much. Millie Bright, who has been at the core of a defence that has allowed only 11 goals in 15 league matches, is well aware that anything can happen in a one-off final.
“I think you have to put past results and past performances to the side.
“It’s a cup game, everyone is always geared up for a cup game and we were once in Arsenal’s position where we had a heavy defeat at home so we know how that feels. We know how that hurts as players and as a club so we are definitely not going to let that happen again.
“It’s the two best teams going head-to-head so for me it’s who turns up on the day and who executes their game plan, and shows that resilience and determination to go on and lift the trophy.”
One of the most positive things for women’s football in England this season has been the increased attention from media and the fans, with growing attendances in stadiums, all (most) games streamed online, and big games getting broadcast on television as well. City Ground’s capacity is around 30,000, and Bright’s hoping for a sellout crowd.
“We are getting a lot more numbers coming now, the crowds are getting bigger and bigger and we keep wanting the women’s game to grow so to give that opportunity we have to keep to our word and give fans the opportunity to turn up to games and fill the stadiums.
“To be playing the final at the City Ground, we are hoping it will be a full crowd and a great atmosphere.
“We have to stick to our word and we have to keep pushing boundaries. For me it’s giving fans the opportunities to fill the stadiums and they may not be full the first time but the second, the third, the fourth, we will get more and more and hopefully we can build big atmospheres in big stadiums.”
-Millie Bright; source: Chelsea FC
The match will be televised on BT Sport tomorrow at 17:30 GMT. Outside the UK & Ireland, it should be available for free on The FA Player, which has desktop and mobile app versions.
See you there!