Arsenal lose out to Chelsea in Women's FA Cup Final
Lotte Wubben-Moy and Kim Little of Arsenal challenge Melanie Leupolz of Chelsea during the Vitality Women's FA Cup Final between Arsenal FC and Chelsea FC at Wembley Stadium on December 05, 2021 in London, England. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

Chelsea struck three times against a nervous looking Arsenal, on the way to lifting the Vitality Women's FA Cup at Wembley Stadium this afternoon. 

The Gunners were without centre-back and captain Leah Williamson, who continues to nurse a hamstring injury she picked up a few weeks prior to the final - her composure and leadership qualities were felt immensely throughout the final, as she watched on from the sideline. 

Chelsea head into this fixture thirteen games unbeaten, having not lost since their early-season defeat to Arsenal in the Women's Super League - a clear opportunity for redemption. 

  • Nightmare start

The game began in the worst possible for Jonas Eidevall's team, as a defensive mix up in the third minute between Arsenal centre-backs Jen Beattie and Lotte Wubben-Mooy lead to Chelsea's Fran Kirby finding herself clean through on goal, as she slotted the ball confidently past Manuela Zinsberger in the Gunners' goal. 

Eidevall's squad seemed to be somewhat overwhelmed by the occasion, having played such wonderful football for the majority of this season, they just could not muster anything that reflected this in the most critical of games.

The Gunners looked shaky and unconvincing throughout, errors were commonplace in midfield as there was a clear lack of cohesion in transition.

Chelsea had a strong claim for a penalty early on, as a desperate challenge at the back post from Beattie brought down Sam Kerr, but the referee waved play on, much to the bemusement of Chelsea head coach Emma Hayes.

Arsenal had a penalty shout of their own not long afterwards, as Beth Mead cut back on the byline, for the ball to strike the hand of a sliding Erin Cuthbert (who had an otherwise flawless game). Perhaps fairly, the referee signalled for play to continue once again.  

The first half offered very little in terms of chances for the Arsenal side, as the blues pressured the worried-looking red and white defensive unit continually. 

Chelsea managed to double their lead early on in the second period, as Kerr danced her way in from the left-hand side, cutting in on her stronger right foot, dragging in Wubben-Mooy across, only to strike powerfully into the near corner, beating a forlorn Zinsberger. 

From this point onwards, the game looked far beyond the reach of the north London outfit, clearly rattled by the sheer organisation of the Blues backline, Eidevall's team just did not have enough on the day. 

Kerr consolidated the victory for Chelsea with her ninth goal in five games, slotted through on the right hand side of the box, simply brilliantly lifting the ball over an advancing Zinsberger to make it 3-0 to Hayes' team. 

The Gunners continually looked to their star Vivianne Miedema for opportunities to get back into the fixture, but through a mixture of a lack of service and a quiet individual performance, she simply could not find her top form this afternoon. 

The Blues were far too resilient to let any half-chance develop, suffocating the north London side into submission by the end of the game. 

Magdalena Eriksson and Millie Bright of Chelsea lift The Vitality Women's FA Cup trophy following their side's victory during the Vitality Women's FA Cup Final between Arsenal FC and Chelsea FC at <strong><a  data-cke-saved-href='https://www.vavel.com/en/football/2021/06/06/arsenal/1073836-preview-arsenal-players-heading-to-euro-2020.html' href='https://www.vavel.com/en/football/2021/06/06/arsenal/1073836-preview-arsenal-players-heading-to-euro-2020.html'>Wembley Stadium</a></strong> on December 05, 2021 in London, England. (Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images
 (Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images)
  • A lesson to learn

This game will come as a huge lesson to the Arsenal side, who currently sit atop of the Women's Super League, having only lost a single game this prior to today - to a more than impressive Barcelona side in the Champions League group stage. 

They were outclassed both physically and tactically in a game that was littered with individual mistakes, not reflecting anything like the Arsenal side we have become so accustomed to seeing in recent years. 

The Gunners will have to regroup quickly as they face the same Barcelona side in their next fixture in the midweek. The visibly distraught Gunners will have to collect themselves to push on, if this is to be a successful season for them. 

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