Chelsea reached their fifth consecutive Women’s FA Cup final after a hard-fought 1-0 win over Aston Villa at the Banks’s Stadium. The only goal of the game came from Fran Kirby in the 19th minute, as she latched onto a through ball from Ji So-yun and slotted past Hannah Hampton.
The hosts put up a spirited display and had some chances to equalise, but Chelsea’s defence held firm and denied them any clear-cut opportunities. The Blues also had several chances to extend their lead, but Hampton made some excellent saves and Villa’s backline blocked several shots.
The first half was dominated by Chelsea, who enjoyed 70% of possession and had 12 shots to Villa’s one. Kirby was a constant threat with her pace and movement, and she almost scored again in the 25th minute when she curled a shot just wide of the far post.
Villa’s best chance came in the 40th minute when Shania Hayles broke free on the right and crossed for Emily Syme, but her header was well saved by Ann-Katrin Berger.
The second half was more even, as Villa grew in confidence and pressed Chelsea higher up the pitch. They had a good spell of pressure around the hour mark, when they forced several corners and free-kicks, but they could not find a way past Berger or the Chelsea defence.
Chelsea also had some chances to kill the game off, but Hampton denied Sam Kerr twice and Pernille Harder once with superb saves.
The final whistle sparked jubilation for Chelsea, who will face Arsenal in the final at Wembley on December 5th. The Gunners beat Brighton 3-0 in the other semi-final on Sunday.
Chelsea will be aiming to win their third Women’s FA Cup title and complete a domestic double, having already won the Women’s Super League. Villa, meanwhile, will be proud of their performance and will hope to build on it in their league campaign.
Final Thoughts: Chelsea’s Experience and Quality Show in Women’s FA Cup Semi-Final Win
Chelsea’s experience and quality ultimately proved too much for Aston Villa in the Women’s FA Cup semi-final, as the Blues secured their place in the final for the fifth consecutive time.
Despite a spirited display from the hosts, Chelsea dominated the first half with 70% possession and 12 shots to Villa’s one, with Fran Kirby’s 19th-minute goal the difference between the two sides.
Kirby was a constant threat with her pace and movement, and her partnership with Ji So-yun proved to be decisive. While Villa had some chances to equalize, Chelsea’s defence held firm and denied them any clear-cut opportunities.
Goalkeeper Ann-Katrin Berger was also impressive, making some crucial saves to keep Villa at bay.
The second half was more even, as Villa grew in confidence and pressed Chelsea higher up the pitch. However, Chelsea’s defence remained resolute, and goalkeeper Hannah Hampton was forced to make some excellent saves to keep the score at 1-0.
Chelsea also had opportunities to extend their lead, but Villa’s defence held firm and denied them.
Overall, Chelsea’s experience and quality shone through in this game, as they controlled the match for large parts and kept a clean sheet. They will now face Arsenal in the final at Wembley on December 5th, with the chance to complete a domestic double after winning the Women’s Super League.
Villa, on the other hand, will be proud of their performance and will hope to build on it in their league campaign.