Arsenal fully deserved to brush aside Chelsea Women to grab the Conti Cup Final

Before the Continental Cup, Arsenal had played 14 games against Chelsea and only won once. Well, the 3-1 win this Sunday was not only a chance for Arsenal to win silverware but to reshape their fortunes this season. After a bright start, Arsenal have had a bad run of results in the WSL, especially this calendar year.

In 2023, they haven’t won in three games, drawing with Chelsea (1-1) and West Ham (0-0), and losing to Manchester City (2-1). This poor result has seen Arsenal drop to 4th out of the Champions League slots, 11 points away from league leaders Manchester United (who’ve played 2 extra games), and 8 points behind Chelsea, who are third. Arsenal need to use the Continental Cup win as a springboard to them now fighting to change their fortunes in the WSL.

Even if they can’t win the 2022–23 league, they need to look at qualifying for the Champions League. After the Continental Cup win, Jonas Eidevall and Leah Williamson had a chat with the Guardian, and among the many things the Arsenal boss said, one that should indicate we can expect more good results from Arsenal women was when he admitted, “These are the games we want to play in. To get a result creates belief for all the games coming forward.”

Notably, prior to Eidevall and Williamson’s postmatch interview, Chelsea boss Emma Hayes, who was more than confident on her Continental Cup prematch presser last Friday, had admitted Arsenal were the best side and did everything better than her team. Hayes admitted, “They dominated all over the pitch, and I thought Kim Little was deservedly player of the match. Sometimes you need a reality check, and today the best team won.

“I think there was complacency in the performances. We’ve won a lot, they haven’t, and today they wanted it more than us. Simple as.”

I wish Arsenal women would go and listen to Hayes, if not Eidevall’s post-match conference. They are incredible if they give it their all like they did in the Conti Cup final and they fully deserved their first trophy in four years.


Onwards and Upwards!

Michelle Maxwell

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