Chelsea claim FA Cup title in spectacular victory


Chelsea have secured the domestic Treble after beating Arsenal 3-0 in the 2021 Women’s FA Cup at Wembley on Sunday, as Fran Kirby and Sam Kerr starred once again for Emma Hayes’ side.

The final had been due to be held in May but was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and was the last remnant of a disjointed 2020-21 season.

The game, which marked the 50th anniversary of the competition, got off to a blistering start when Kirby put Chelsea ahead inside the first two minutes.

The ball pinged off a couple of players and fell favourably to Kirby who was able to rid herself of the Arsenal defence and draw Mauela Zinsberger out of her goal before chipping the ball into the net.

Kirby could have added to her tally with several fine shots saved by Zinsberger. The Arsenal keeper was often left furious with her defence in the first half, punching the goal in frustration at one point.

Chelsea had an obvious penalty waved away when Kerr was brought down by Jen Beattie in the box on 19 minutes.

The Australia international should have scored in the first 45 minutes, hitting several shots straight at Zinsberger when one-on-one with the keeper. She also saw one shot ricochet off the crossbar.

Arsenal struggled to get past midfield for much of the first half and while they came out brighter in the second half, they were outdone by Kerr on 58 minutes.

Kirby put a long, low pass into Kerr who dinked and jived around Lotte Wubben-Moy before slotting the ball into the bottom corner.

The woodwork was on hand to deny Chelsea again on 70 minutes when Kirby took a shot from the left hand side of the box.

It didn’t matter, however, as Kerr made it 3-0 on 76 minutes when she was given the space to chip the ball over Zinsberger’s head and into the net.

“I couldn’t have asked any more from the team apart from a few more goals in the first half,” Hayes said after the match.

“I thought that was Fran’s [Kirby] best game in a Chelsea shirt. I thought she ran the game. She threaded Sam [Kerr] through many times and had great chances herself.

“They are two of many characters in this dressing room who are noteworthy for their performances today.”

This is Chelsea’s fifth FA Cup final and third win, while Arsenal have been in 17 finals and won 14.

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