Arsenal 3-0 Chelsea
Arsenal Ladies manager Laura Harvey insists her side will do everything to win the FA WSL Continental Cup after they booked a semi final place against Bristol with a convincing victory over Chelsea.
Arsenal Ladies manager Laura Harvey insists her side will do everything to win the FA WSL Continental Cup after they booked a semi final place against Bristol Academy with a convincing victory over Chelsea.
Arsenal were keen to gain revenge over their London rivals after Chelsea beat them in the FA Cup semi-final last month.
Jordan Nobbs was the star performer for the home side and she capped a fine display with a well taken goal, before captain Kim Little converted from the penalty spot and Jennifer Beattie netted a late header to send Arsenal comfortably through to the last four of the competition.
Harvey says Arsenal’s priority will continue to be the Women’s Super League but she would love the chance to see her side win another cup competition and do the Double this season.
Harvey said: “This competition is up there and it probably takes more of a priority than it maybe did before because of the way we were disappointed with our FA Cup (exit).
“We played Bristol away last week in the league and managed a 3-0 win in what was probably one of our best performance of the season so far.
"Both side like to play football and whilst I'm sure Bristol will be looking to turn things around from that last meeting, we're confident we can do enough to get to the final.
“We are pleased with the result and it was another clean sheet. I didn’t think we played that well in the first half but we kept the ball a better in the second half and over the 90 minutes I am pleased with the 3-0 victory.
“The league is the priority because the Champions League is massive for this club and we have to be there. But with a couple of girls missing and having to change the team it is pleasing to get this result.”
Arsenal dominated the opening exchanges and could have opened the scoring after just 11 minutes when Nobbs fired a 25-yard shot which flew just wide of the post.
Nobbs was involved in the heart of the action once again on 14 minutes and made no mistake this time when she picked up the ball on the edge of the box and curled a superb shot which flew past Chelsea keeper Carly Telford into the corner of the net.
No guessing who was involved for Arsenal yet again on 18 minutes. Hobbs broke clear of the Chelsea defence and struck a shot which produced a fine save from Telford.
It was all one-way traffic and Arsenal came close again on 40 minutes when Danielle Carter saw her shot cleared off the line by Gemma Bonner.
Despite Arsenal’s dominance, Chelsea could have been back on level terms on 49 minutes.
Arsenal defender Gilly Flaherty made a crucial mistake when she allowed Helen Lander to make a run through on goal, but the Chelsea forward dragged her shot wide of the post.
The home side came close again on 54 minutes when Jennifer Beattie passed the ball into the path of Little who only had the keeper to beat but she fired her shot into the side netting.
Arsenal were rewarded for their dominance when they added a second on 58 minutes.
Chelsea substitute Drew Spence was adjudged to have handled the ball inside the box.
Arsenal skipper Little made no mistake striking the spot kick into the bottom corner.
With Arsenal in control, Harvey used the opportunity to bring on England forward Ellen White who has just recovered from a back injury.
Arsenal sealed a convincing victory with a third goal on 81 minutes when Beattie directed a close-range header past Telford.
With the prospect of star forward Kelly Smith also returning to the Arsenal bench for the first time this season, things are looking very healthy for the north London club as they look to end the season with major silverware.
Chelsea Ladies manager Matt Beard admits he was disappointed with the penalty that led to Arsenal’s second goal and felt that changed the course of the game.
Beard said: “This is the most disappointed I have been all season. I didn’t think it was a penalty and there was not much Drew could do about it. I don’t even know if it was in the box.
“Goals change games. I was disappointed with the referee’s decision and it means we were chasing the game big time. There is nothing you can do about it.”
Arsenal Ladies: Byrne; Scott, Grant, Flaherty, Beattie; Davison (Bragg 84mins), Nobbs, Houghton, Little, Yankey; Carter (White 66mins)
Subs not used: Tracy, Ludlow, Smith, Harris, Ladd
Chelsea Ladies: Telford; Fay, Bonner, Ingle, Rafferty; Bleazard, Sherwood (Longhurst 69mins), Coombs (Spence 35mins), Buet, Susi; Lander
Subs not used: Perry, Hinks, Quantrill, Willaims, Gwilliam
Bookings: Ingle 31, Buet 58
Referee: A Degnarain