Arsenal beat Chelsea to win first trophy in four years

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Captain Kim Little scored the winning goal in the 2012 League Cup final when Arsenal beat Birmingham City

Arsenal came from behind to beat Chelsea in the Continental League Cup final and deservedly win their first trophy in four years.

Jonas Eidevall’s side trailed within two minutes when Sam Kerr headed Chelsea in front but the Gunners responded and were much the better side at Selhurst Park.

Buoyed by a strong Arsenal following amongst a record crowd in London, they outplayed and outwitted their long-standing rivals to claim a sixth League Cup.

Striker Stina Blackstenius calmly slotted in the equaliser after Kerr’s opener, before Arsenal captain Kim Little netted from the penalty spot to make it 2-1.

The Gunners continued to dominate, although the combination of Kerr and midfielder Guro Reiten provided an ongoing threat for Chelsea, and Eidevall’s side extended their lead on the stroke of half-time when Blues defender Niamh Charles headed into her own net from a corner.

Chelsea manager Emma Hayes made several tactical changes throughout the match but her side could not find a way back into the game as Arsenal saw out the win.

It is a huge result for Arsenal and coach Eidevall, who has won his first trophy with the club and ended a significant period without silverware for a side who had previously dominated English women’s football.

Chelsea, on the other hand, have now suffered defeat in back-to-back League Cup finals despite winning three successive Women’s Super League titles.

Significant victory brings back old memories

Having lost 2-0 to Chelsea in the FA Cup last weekend, Arsenal had the worst possible start on Sunday when Kerr’s header snuck in under the crossbar to kick-start a mouth-watering final.

Chelsea have had Arsenal’s number in recent years, going unbeaten in their past five meetings – all of which have come since Eidevall moved to London.

And it was Chelsea’s dominance in this fixture – and in domestic cup finals – which dominated the pre-match build-up.

Chelsea have taken over from Arsenal as England’s leading club during Hayes’ tenure, but this was a display from the Gunners which brought back memories of their golden era.

Eidevall’s tactics were planned to perfection as his side tore through Chelsea in the first half, using width to great effect and showing a steely side they have missed on too many occasions this season.

Blackstenius, criticised of late for her lack of ruthlessness in front of goal, answered her critics with a composed finish for the crucial equaliser and the outstanding Little also got on the scoresheet.

The third goal sealed the win on the stroke of half-time and Arsenal showed resilience to hold on after the break, reminiscent of their successful teams of old.

There were jubilant scenes at full-time as Arsenal’s players ran hand-in-hand to their supporters to celebrate as ‘Sweet Caroline’ rang out at Selhurst Park.

Chelsea, who are not used to losing, threw everything at Arsenal in the final 10 minutes but could not find a breakthrough and will return their attentions to the WSL and FA Cup, hoping to defend both titles.


Arsenal Women

Formation 4-3-3

  • 1Zinsberger
  • 16MaritzSubstituted forWienroitherat 70′minutes
  • 6Williamson
  • 2Carvalho Souza
  • 7Catley
  • 12Maanum
  • 10Little
  • 13Wälti
  • 15McCabeBooked at 32minsSubstituted forPelovaat 57′minutes
  • 25BlacksteniusSubstituted forBeattieat 87′minutes
  • 19FoordBooked at 90mins


  • 3Wubben-Moy
  • 5Beattie
  • 17Hurtig
  • 18Marckese
  • 21Pelova
  • 22Kühl
  • 26Wienroither

Chelsea Women

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 30Berger
  • 15Périsset
  • 4Bright
  • 16ErikssonSubstituted forFlemingat 77′minutes
  • 21CharlesSubstituted forLeupolzat 45′minutesBooked at 51mins
  • 5IngleSubstituted forRytting Kanerydat 63′minutes
  • 22Cuthbert
  • 10JamesBooked at 83mins
  • 28CankovicSubstituted forBuchananat 40′minutes
  • 11Reiten
  • 20Kerr


  • 1Musovic
  • 7Carter
  • 8Leupolz
  • 17Fleming
  • 18Mjelde
  • 19Rytting Kaneryd
  • 26Buchanan
  • 27Abdullina

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