Sam Kerr’s deft first half strike gave Chelsea a much-deserved advantage heading into the half-time break in Wimbledon, as sky blue shirts trudged towards the dressing room. Withering throughout the first 45 minutes, Manchester City seemed short of ideas against a weakened Chelsea side. Even with talismanic players, Lauren Hemp and Caroline Weir on the pitch, the Citizens looked flat, the latter completely contained by their opposition.
Eventually, both teams re-emerged from the tunnel at the break and the game slowly began to shift into City’s favour. Turning the tide to win the midfield battle, City pounced as soon as they had a numerical advantage, with Niamh Charles off the pitch receiving. Charging forward, it was Georgia Stanway’s squared pass into the box that helped City get back on terms as Weir sent it spinning into the far side of the goal.
After a clawing save from Ellie Roebuck, the Citizens once again worked their way forward, and although Ann-Katrin Berger got down fast to deny Lauren Hemp, her parry landed directly on Ellen White’s toe. Reactions from White sent the ball over the line for the second time in ten minutes, leaving the Blues on the backfoot.
Off the pace in their own box, Chelsea began to look increasingly heavy-legged and struggled to close down the danger as their opposition continued to look fresh and likely of nabbing another. Live to the opportunity, Weir rubber-stamped the win when she raced into the box and emphatically put her boot through the loose ball to send it into the roof of the net.
It was a result few expected, with Chelsea dominating the competition over the last two years; their third consecutive league cup final, their first loss in the competition since City dispatched them in early 2019.
Never rule City out, might just be the lesson to take from today, with the Sky Blues enjoying a resurgence of form, after a woeful start to the campaign, a raft of players having returned from injury to bolster Gareth Taylor’s squad. Even though they currently sit in fifth in the WSL table, the 2016 WSL champions look every bit a squad who can challenge this term, not least by having claimed their first silverware since 2019 today.
A/N: Go back and read the first letter in each sentence.