Chelsea lift the Women’s FA Cup as lethal duo Fran Kirby and Sam Kerr tear WSL leaders Arsenal apart in delayed showpiece final at Wembley Stadium

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  • Chelsea win Women’s FA Cup final with thumping victory over Arsenal
  • Fran Kirby rushes to open scoring after being set up by Sam Kerro
  • Kirby was rejected twice by Manuela Zinsberger before Kerr hit the bar.
  • Emma Hess’s side made it 2-0 as Kerr’s near-post strike stunned Zinsberger
  • And Kerr, the WSL’s top scorer, stampeded the impressive performance with a handsome chip
  • Showpiece match Kovid-19 at Wembley. was postponed to December due to

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It would be easy to talk about the spirit of this FA Cup final. On the 100th anniversary of the FA banning women’s football in its members’ stadiums, there were poignant moments at Wembley.

But the game has come too far for clichés. It is important to recognize the past and the people who have paved the way for the stars we are today, but what we should focus on most is football – the talents of Sam Kerr and Fran Kirby and the success of Chelsea boss Emma Hayes.

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Her team was beaten by Arsenal on the opening day of the Women’s Super League season, but they were better in every department on Sunday. The Gunners did not manage a shot on target and missed Leah Williamson extensively in defense.

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Fran Kirby and Emma Hayes celebrate as Chelsea overwhelm Arsenal to win the FA Cup

The Gunners were distinctively second best after beating Chelsea 3-2 in the WSL in September

The Gunners were distinctively second best after beating Chelsea 3-2 in the WSL in September

Sam Kerr's two strikes in the second half took the game away from Arsenal in a one-sided encounter

Sam Kerr’s two strikes in the second half took the game away from Arsenal in a one-sided encounter

Kirby proceeded to open the scoring at Wembley after Kerr's flick deflected her way

Kirby proceeded to open the scoring at Wembley after Kerr’s flick deflected her way

Match facts and player ratings

Arsenal (4-3-3): Zinsburger 7; Maritz 6, Beatty 4 (Ford 69), Wauben-Moy 4 (Boy 87), Catley 5; Manum 6 (Paris 80), Waltie 5 (Iwabuchi 60), Little 6; Mead 6.5, McCabe 6, Midema 5.

Subscription not used: Williams, Patton, Nobbs, Schnaderbeck, Goldie.

booked out: Mead, McCabe, Pariso

aim: None

manager: Jonas Eidwall 5

Chelsea (3-5-2): Burger 6; Carter 7, Bright 7, Ericsson 7; Cuthbert 7, Ingle 6.5 (Ninth 90+4), Leupolz 7 (G86), Ritten 6.5 (Spence 87), Fleming 6.5; Kirby 8 (Harder 73), Kerr 9 (Eng 86).

Subscription not used: Musovic, Charles, Anderson, Fox.

booked out: cuthbert

aim: kirby 3, ker 57, 77

manager: Emma Hayes 8

Referee: Helen Conley 6

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Vivian Miedema had one of his quietest games in an Arsenal shirt and Chelsea would have been out of sight at half-time if it were not for the efforts of Arsenal goalkeeper Manuela Zinsberger.

The trophy secures the Blues a Treble (plus the Community Shield) for the 2020-2021 season, as the final has been delayed by COVID-19.

The only disappointment of the occasion was that the record attendance for the Women’s FA Cup Final was not broken. Over 45,000 tickets were issued by the FA, but only 40,942 people attended.

The ambitious goal of selling Finals in the next three years still seems a little off. On Boxing Day 1920, the Dick Kerr Ladies drew a crowd of 53,000 for a charity game against St. Helens. Women’s football is still paying the price for the FA’s 50-year ban, which was recognized before kick-off.

Two captains of the first final back in 1971 pulled out the trophy before kick-off and Alice Cook, who played for Scottish side Stewarton Thistle, was in tears. She was not the only one who felt the spirit of the day.

Kirby scored after scoring in the third minute. In November 2019, the England striker was diagnosed with peri-carditis, a rare condition characterized by fluid and inflammation of the sac that protects the heart.

The illness made him barely able to walk and kept him out of the game for eight months.

The 28-year-old drew near retirement early. How lucky we are that she is still playing.

The forward was able to forward Chelsea, after some wayward Arsenal passes inside his own half. Frida Manam was able to turn the ball in Kerr’s path only after blocking Jesse Fleming’s pass. The striker attempted a through ball, then struck Arsenal’s midfielder and turned kind to Kirby, who kept his composure to fire Zinsberger.

Magdalena Ericsson had a golden opportunity to make it 2-0 - but went past a corner

Magdalena Ericsson had a golden opportunity to make it 2-0 – but went past a corner

Kirby had few other chances in the first half as he was denied by Manuela Zinsberger

Kirby had few other chances in the first half as he was denied by Manuela Zinsberger

Kerr overtakes Lotte Vauben-Moy at the end of half-time - only to hit the woodwork

Kerr overtakes Lotte Vauben-Moy at the end of half-time – only to hit the woodwork

Kerr should have doubled Chelsea’s lead three minutes after being fielded by Kirby, but the striker’s shot was blocked by Zinsberger’s feet.

The keeper was responsible for keeping the score 1-0 with an impressive save in the first half. Erin Cuthbert’s long ball to the right was found to Kerr, who cut the ball back inside the box to Kirby but Zinsberger was able to wide his powerful effort.

The Austrian goalkeeper was there again to deny Kirby a second chance in the middle of the half. His shot from the edge of the box was going to the bottom left corner, before Ginsberger bowled the ball to tip it around the post.

With 10 minutes to play in the first half, Kerr went head-to-head with Ginsburger. Aussie Chip hits the keeper but hits the bar and is bounced.

But finally his moment came early in the second half. Kirby played the ball to the left to Kerr, who cut inside Lotte Vauben-Moy and hit Zinsberger at the near post with a low shot. It was an attempt that the keeper should have saved but Kerr did not care as he punched him in the air in celebration and relief.

Arsenal leading striker Vivian Miedema had a disappointing afternoon at the National Stadium

Arsenal leading striker Vivian Miedema had a disappointing afternoon at the National Stadium

Kerr eventually fired through the legs of Lotte Vauben-Moy to open his account at Wembley

Kerr eventually fired through the legs of Lotte Vauben-Moy to open his account at Wembley

And Kerr's brilliant chip made it 3-0 as the Blues win their third FA Cup final since 2015

And Kerr’s brilliant chip made it 3-0 as the Blues win their third FA Cup final since 2015

Chelsea hosted Arsenal in the league in February, with Jonas Eidevall's team currently at the helm

Chelsea hosted Arsenal in the league in February, with Jonas Eidevall’s team currently at the helm

Kirby again came close to a second as he danced through Arsenal’s defense before swinging a left-footed effort toward the top corner.

Again, the woodwork saved the gunners. However, when Kerr scored the best goal of the afternoon, it did not save them.

After being fielded by Melanie Leupolz, Kerr ran through goal and chilled the ball over Zinsberger and this time into the back of the net.

“We deserved it, we played really well,” Kerr said. ‘We went in as underdogs so we had a point to prove. We’re buzzing.

‘It could have been four or five-nil in the first half but he defended well. We knew that if we kept pushing at some point they would go in and they did. I get paid to score but our defense was amazing, it was a team effort. I can’t wait to party!’

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