Chelsea Ladies took another step towards Wembley as they grabbed an impressive 2-1 win against current holders Arsenal in the Quarter Final of the FA Women’s Cup.
Arsenal have now conceded three goals so far this season, all of which have come from former players as goals from Katie Chapman and new signing Gemma Davidson were enough to secure victory the Female Blues, despite a marvellous goal from Gunners left-back Emma Matthews.
Chelsea, who are the only team in WSL1 to have their 100% record intact this season, hit the ground running as Eniola Aluko’s shot flew just past the post.
But it took the away side only 17 minutes to break the deadlock. A corner was whipped in by the influential Ji So-Yun, and captain Chapman was on hand to head in the opening goal.
Shortly after, Davidson, who has been hugely impressive since moving from Liverpool in the summer with five goals in just four games, smashed the ball into the top corner to double Chelsea’s advantage.
Arsenal have won the FA Women’s Cup on a record 13 occasions, and gave themselves a lifeline just before half time. Matthews picked up the ball out wide on the left and unleashed a vicious shot from long-range to give the home side a fighting chance after looking second best in the first half.
Aluko was denied by a wonderful close-range save by Arsenal keeper Emma Byrne, but Arsenal couldn’t capitalise. Chelsea defender Millie Bright blocked Jordan Nobbs’ shot after a well-worked move, but that was as good as got for the north London side as Chelsea saw out the victory.
After the game, Chelsea’s assistant coach Robert Udberg said that he was happy with the team’s character:
“We are really happy with the character shown by the girls today. Arsenal are a side with a lot of experienced players and a history of winning cup competitions.
“To show the determination to get the result that we did, we’re delighted.”
Byrne, Scott, Mitchell, Stoney, Losada, Nobbs, Carter, Smith (capt), Williamson, Natalia, Rose.
Substitutes: Chamberlain, Sanderson, Ubogagu, Weir, Humphrey.
Lindahl, Blundell, Bright, Fahey, Davison, Aluko, Ji So-yu, Rafferty, Chapman (capt), Coombs, Spence.
Substitutes: Hourihan, Groenen, Flaherty, Borges, Banusic.
Referee: Andrew Aylott
The Ladies will face Manchester City in the semi-final, with a date and location for the eye-catching tie yet to be confirmed. City beat Birmingham 3-1, with goals from Toni Duggan, Nikita Parris and Jill Scott enough to overcome the 2012 winners.
Everton and Notts County are the other two semi-finalists. The Toffees, are the lowest ranked side and the only former winner remaining in the competition. They beat third-tier side Charlton 4-3 on penalties (1-1 AET). Notts County thrashed Aston Villa 5-1, Dunia Susi grabbing a brace. The winners of the semi-finals will be part of the first FA Women’s Cup Final to take place at Wembley.