Arsenal Women and Man City Women battle for first silverware of season
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Holders Manchester City Women face Arsenal Women in the Continental Tyres Cup final on Wednesday, with both teams looking to secure the first silverware of the season.
City, who trail Women’s Super League One leaders Chelsea by one point, beat Birmingham to win the trophy in 2016.
New Arsenal manager Joe Montemurro will be hoping to win his first trophy as boss at the first opportunity.
The final is being played at Wycombe Wanderers’ ground Adams Park.
Since its creation in 2011, Manchester City and Arsenal are the only two sides to have lifted the Continental Tyres Cup.
Four-time winners Arsenal have appeared in six of the seven finals to be played, with the competition not running in 2017 as the WSL transitioned from a summer season to a winter campaign.
Arsenal midfielder Leah Williamson told BBC Sport:
“It’s a replay of the 2014 final, which is a coincidence, but we’re obviously keen to better that result [a 1-0 defeat].
“The club is in a better place now than we were then. We’ve picked up momentum under the new manager and are confident we can bring our ‘A game’.
“A win would mean absolutely everything for us. The league is close, but we have already been written off by some. Silverware means a lot and a win could a catapult us into end of the season.
“Our defence is in good form, which is an area where we have previously been criticised. The hard work paying is definitely paying off.”
Manchester City midfielder Jill Scott told BBC Sport:
“We’ve got great memories of the last final we were in, the FA Cup, and it’s a chance to win a trophy, so the girls are dead excited. There’s an extra buzz around the place in training.
“It’s going to be difficult. We know Arsenal have gone through a transition, in terms of changing managers, so it will definitely be a different Arsenal side to the one we faced at the start of the season. It feels like a long time since we last played them.
“I think we will be classed as favourites just in terms of the league standings this year, but let’s not take anything away from Arsenal – we respect them highly.”
Routes to the final
Both sides enjoyed away wins in the semi-finals, after quarter-finals victories over Sunderland and Bristol City for Arsenal and Manchester City respectively.
In the semi-finals, Arsenal were 3-2 winners at Reading, while City beat Spring Series champions Chelsea 1-0.
Manchester City’s 23-match unbeaten run in all competitions, which included 22 wins, was finally ended with a 2-0 defeat by Birmingham City in February.
A 2-2 draw against league leaders Chelsea followed on 24 February, keeping City second in the table, one point behind their title rivals.
Arsenal are third in WSL 1 – six points behind Man City with a game in hand. They have won their past five games in all competitions and have kept six straight clean sheets.
Adams Park also hosted the final when these two sides met in the 2014 showdown, which was won 1-0 by Manchester City thanks to Izzy Christiansen’s 73rd-minute goal.
That final, like this year, came after a 1-0 semi-final win at Chelsea for Manchester City.
via BBC Sport – Football http://ift.tt/OHg7x6
March 14, 2018 at 12:27AM