Continental Cup Final Wednesday March 14 Arsenal v Manchester City Preview

By Andrew Crawshaw

The second cup final this year between these two clubs, this time featuring the Women.  The Continental Tyres cup is the Women’s equivalent of the Men’s Carabao Cup and is a competition open to the 18 teams in the two divisions of the WSL.  Arsenal has traditionally done well in this competition having won it 4 times since its commencement in the 2011/12 season.

2011 Arsenal are Champions beating Birmingham City 4 – 1

2012 Arsenal are the Champions beating Birmingham City 1 – 0

2013 Arsenal are the Champions beating Lincoln Ladies 2 – 0

2014 Manchester City are the Champions beating Arsenal 1 – 0 (Arsenal’s first loss in this competition)

2015 Arsenal are the Champions beating Notts County 3 – 0

2016 ManchesterCity are Champions beating Birmingham City 1 – 0 after extra time.  Arsenal lost to City 1 – 0 in the semi final.

This year the eligible teams were split into four groups (of either 4 or 5 teams) playing each other team in the group once.  The first two teams in each group progressed to the knockout phase.  In the group phase we had matches against fellow WSL1 team Reading and WSL2 teams London Bees, Millwall Lionesses and Watford.  Our results were :-

October 12 – Arsenal v London Bees 7 – 0. Goals from Hinds (24), Mitchell (34 &37), Taylor (52), Mead (58 pen and 78 pen) and Quinn (83) in a very one-sided game.

November 01 – Millwall Lionesses v Arsenal 2 – 5 Goals from Mead (10), Nobbs (45 & 75), Carter (78) and James (89 pen)

Nov 05 – Arsenal v Reading 1 – 2 an equalising goal from Mead in Min 61 proved insufficient as Farah Williams spotted Arsenal keeper Anna Moorhouse well off her line at the restart and her kick-off went straight into the net – not often you see that!  That was her second goal of the game

Nov 01 – Millwall Lionesses v Arsenal 2 – 5  An early goal from Mead should have settled our nerves but a spirited Millwall team equalised not long after and then matched us until three late goals added a gloss to the scoreline.  We won thanks to goals from Mead (10), Nobbs (45 & 75), Carter (78) and James (89 pen).  The two Millwall goals came from Dean and Rutherford.

Nov 16 – Watford v Arsenal 0 – 6 goals from Jodie Taylor (min 15 & 78), Carter (47), Mitchell (60), Janssen (74) and Van de Donk (75).  It was a fairly even game in the first half but 5 goals in the second half showed the gulf in quality between the two sides.

Quarter Final – We progressed to the last eight as group winners and were drawn at home against Sunderland on Dec 17.  We won 3 – 1 with goals from Nobbs (16), Miedema (38) and Mead (77), Sunderland’s goal was from Galloway.

Semi final – we escaped being drawn against Manchester City or Chelsea coming up against Reading away on Jan 17.  This game was close, we scored first but Reading equalised almost immediately then went ahead in the 70th minute before two late goals gave us the victory by three goals to two. Our goals came from Mead (5), Miedema (80) and Nobbs (83).  Reading goalscorers were Chaplin (7) and Bruton (70).

Manchester City progressed through the group stage with wins over Oxford United (6 – 0), Everton (2 – 1), Doncaster (3 – 2) and Birmingham (2 – 0).  In the quarter final they beat Bristol City (2 – 0) and then Chelsea (1 – 0) in the semi-final.

We have a number of injury concerns ahead of the game with Leah Williamson, Jordan Nobbs, Vivienne Miedema and Danielle van de Donk all doubtful, Josephine Henning, Jessica Samuelsson and Anna Filey are definitely out.  It’s not all doom and gloom though as we have been boosted by the return from long term injury of Kim Little.

I have been searching the internet for details of injuries for Manchester City but have been unable to locate anything.  I know that Karen Bardsley,  their No 1 goalkeeper, was injured against Chelsea on 24 February, but have no idea if she is yet returned to fitness.

Manchester City will be pretty much odds on favourites to win this match as they outclassed us earlier in the season winning by 5 – 2.  Until last month they were unbeaten in the WSL with a P9 W9 record but they have slipped somewhat in their last two games losing to Birmingham and drawing against Chelsea.  These results have let Chelsea ahead of the table and reduced the gap to us in third place to 6 points.  The league programme resumes for both clubs on 25 March.

Both teams try to play possession based open football so it should be a good game.  City have a greater strength in depth than we do currently but we are currently on a good unbeaten run and have kept 6 consecutive clean sheets in all competitions, whilst scoring 11 goals.  Our last loss was on 7 January when we were beaten away at Chelsea by 3 – 2, the winning goal going in off Sari van Veenendaal after rebounding off the post (little our keeper could do about it).

The match is being played on Wednesday evening at Adams Park (Wycombe Wanderers home ground) with a kick-off time of 19:00 (UK time).  Thickets will be available on the door and car parking is also available (so the club tell me).  Nearest rail station is High Wycombe which is about 2.5 miles from the ground.  The full club address is Wycombe Wanderers FC, Adams park, Hillbottom Road, High Wycombe HP12 4HJ

Why a cup final is being played mid-week not coinciding with school holidays is absolutely beyond me.  I live in South London and it will be a nightmare journey for me however I decide to go.  The kick-off time of 19:00 means that I have to cope with London peak rush hour traffic either on public transport or the roads.  Note to the FA – do it better next year.  Note to Continental Tyres  – you are sponsoring this competition insist on better from the FA.  As a bare minimum play the game at a weekend, or somewhere where there is good public transport to within walking distance of the stadium not over two miles away.


6 Replies to “Continental Cup Final Wednesday March 14 Arsenal v Manchester City Preview”

  1. Just in case you didn’t know, the match is live on the club’s Facebook page. And, we are leading 1-0 from a goal by Miedema. COYLG!

  2. Joe Montemurro, your name is George Graham! A resolute defensive display reminding of the 1994 CWC brings the Ladies the Continental Cup, courtesy of a 1-0 win. Congratulations to Arsenal Women!

  3. WOO HOO , HOO ! Another trophy for the ladies .Well done the lassies !

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