In Focus: WSL champions Chelsea seek cup revenge over City

Khyfer Seahra
LiveScore
13/05/202215:30
Manchester City triumphed 3-1 over Chelsea in the League Cup final in March
Manchester City triumphed 3-1 over Chelsea in the League Cup final in March

Just a week after being crowned Women's Super League champions for a record third year running, an elated Chelsea take on Manchester City in a hotly-anticipated FA Cup final.

Both powerhouses will be looking to add a second piece of silverware to their cabinets this season as City clinched the League Cup in March by beating the West Londoners 3-1.

Ahead of the Sunday showdown, we preview what is set to be an enticing encounter as two of the finest teams in the country battle it out at Wembley.

Point to prove

Gareth Taylor’s City finished the season third and will be disappointed to not have pushed Chelsea all the way for the title.

The Manchester club finished nine points off the top, eight points worse off and a position lower than last season.

They endured a rocky start to the campaign, losing three of their opening four league fixtures, including a 5-0 thrashing at Arsenal.

Taylor’s outfit have got better as the season has gone on and will be hoping rising star Lauren Hemp can help guide them to victory on Sunday.

Hemp, 21, has bagged six goals in four appearances in their FA Cup run including a brace in the quarter and semi-finals.

The Englishwoman, who plays on the left in a front three, has made the shortlist for the Women’s Super League Player of the Season award and will be out to impress for England at Euro 2022.

Winger Lauren Hemp is aiming to inspire Manchester City to a cup double
Winger Lauren Hemp is aiming to inspire Manchester City to a cup double

Chelsea’s all-stars

Chelsea’s star-studded squad have plenty of experience and will make it extremely tough for City to prevail against them once again in a final.

Blues boss Emma Hayes will be hoping that her outfit’s loss in the March showpiece will not affect her players’ mentality as they were stunned by three second-half goals after taking the lead.

Chelsea were poor in possession, allowing City the space and time to control the game with ease, particularly after going 2-1 down.

Back-to-back Golden Boot winner Sam Kerr — who bagged the Blues’ only goal in that match — has given her side reason to believe revenge is on the cards by firing them to the title since.

Kerr has been a revelation at Chelsea since she made her Blues debut in January 2020 and has netted 20 league goals in 20 games this term, along with two strikes in two FA Cup appearances en route to the final.

Jess Carter and Millie Bright have been standout performers in their backline, with the former shortlisted for Player of the Season alongside team-mates Kerr and Norwegian Guro Reiten.

Without a doubt, City’s defence will have to be on high alert with the firepower Chelsea possess up-front.

But the key battle lies in midfield and Hayes will have to ensure her side press intensely off the ball and remain composed in possession.

Golden Boot winner Sam Kerr will look to fire Chelsea to more silverware in Sunday's showdown
Golden Boot winner Sam Kerr will look to fire Chelsea to more silverware in Sunday's showdown

Double dream

The FA Cup has been dominated by these two sides in recent years, equally sharing the last four trophies, as Chelsea look to secure back-to-back wins.

They have achieved the league and FA Cup double on three occasions (2015, 2017-18 and 2019-20) adding a League Cup and Community Shield to their trophy cabinet last term to complete a historic quadruple.

Victory on Sunday would seal the Blues' 12th major domestic honour.

City, meanwhile, will be hoping to bag their ninth trophy and continue their 100% record in FA Cup finals having won all three of their previous appearances in the prestigious game.

Team news

Chelsea have been handed a huge boost with Fran Kirby set to make her first appearance since February.

Hayes confirmed: "I love that kid and she has been through a lot, but she looked as if she had not even been away.

"I’m over the moon to be honest. I think she’s a generational talent.

"Maybe I’m biased because I work with her but rarely have I seen a football player that can do what she does."

Taylor was pleased to welcome back midfielder Vicky Losada in City's final league game against Reading and the Spaniard could be in contention to start.

Forward Jess Park faces a race against time to prove her fitness, but captain Steph Houghton and defender Esme Morgan are set to miss out for the Citizens. 

Formidable form

Chelsea pipped Arsenal by a single point to win the Women's Super League title last week
Chelsea pipped Arsenal by a single point to win the Women's Super League title last week

Both sides head into this clash in terrific form and there is very little to separate them with no clear favourite.

The Blues did not look back following their defeat in the final and went on to win all nine of their remaining league fixtures to clinch the title by a point, beating Manchester United 4-2 last time out.

The Mancunians arrive at Wembley also having won each of their last nine league games having scored 21 goals in their final four matches of the campaign.

But Chelsea have the added impetus of seeking revenge for their League Cup loss and will carry plenty of intensity into the showdown.

Tags

ChelseaManchester City

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