FA Women's Cup Final: Manchester City's Road to Wembley

Manchester City Women will bid to win their first ever SSE Women's FA Cup when they take on Birmingham City Ladies at Wembley on Saturday.

Nick Cushing's side will become the first team to hold all three domestic honours at one time - since Arsenal achieved the same feat in 2011- if they overcome the Blues for the second time in seven months this weekend, after they narrowly beat Birmingham to the Contintental Cup in October following a 1-0 victory in extra time.

And, the 2016 Women's Super League 1 champions will hope to go one better in this cup competition, with the Sky Blues Champions League campaign falling short at the semi-final stage, following a 3-2 aggregate loss to defending champions Lyon

Last 16

The Citizens began this year's cup campaign looking for redemption. Cushing's side made it to the semi-final of the distinguished competition last time around, but were cruelly beaten by a Fran Kirby winner as Chelsea stole victory and a place in the Wembley final late into extra time.

Whilst FIFA World Player of The Year Carli Lloyd and Melissa Lawley were both handed their competitve debuts by Cushing, it was Lucy Bronze who stole the headlines for Manchester City in March, as she netted the winner as they beat Reading in the FA Cup fifth round.

In a match in which City dominated throughout, the visitors were handed their first sniff at goal in the 65th minute. The Blues were awarded a penalty when Bronze was fouled in the box by defender Mandy Van Den Berg, but Georgia Stanway couldn't get the better of Mary Earps as her subsequent penalty was well-saved by the Reading keeper. 

With City dominant, they took a well deserved lead in the 82nd minute as Bronze volleyed home the winner after Lawley's free kick was cleared to the edge of the area.

Quarter-finals

In preparation for the FA Cup quarter-final tie with Bristol City, Cushing made six changes to his side coming off the back of a mid-week Champions League quarter-final first leg tie against Fortuna Hjorring.

However, there were no signs of complacency for City as they made the better start at the Stoke Gifford Stadium. Bristol's Hayley Ladd gave the Citzens the lead on six minutes following an unfortunate headed own goal.

But, Claire Emslie produced the equaliser for the home side with a low strike on the stroke of half-time, sending the team's into the break all square.

As the second half went on with little sign of a winner many were looking for extra time until Nikita Parris snatched the victory with a deflected effort in the dying minutes. The England winger's strike meant a resilient Manchester City made their third FA Cup semi-final in as many seasons.

Semi-finals

Cushing's side ensured Manchester City would at least have one team in an FA Cup final in 2017. The Sky Blues, who are yet to grace the hallowed turf of Wembley, will meet Birmingham City in the final on May 13th, following a 1-0 semi-final victory over Liverpool Ladies.

City went into the tie as favourites after their impressive Champions League campaign and the invisible season which saw them claim the WSL 1 title, but the champions of England had to put on a tough display to defeat the resilient Reds.

It wasn't until the 57th minute that Lawley managed to seperate the two sides, cutting in from the edge of the area to calmly place her shot into the far corner of Siobhan Chamberlain's goal. 

City will face Birmingham at Wembley, who defeated Chelsea on penalties in the other semi-final tie, following a 1-1 draw in Solihull. Marc Skinner's side last won the FA Cup in 2012 at Ashton Gate, as they taken to penalties by Chelsea, yet again, in order to secure the esteemed trophy.

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