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2021 FA Women’s Cup Final – Arsenal v Chelsea Sunday 5 December – Part 2 – Match Preview

by Andrew Crawshaw

2021 FA Women’s Cup Final – Arsenal v Chelsea Sunday 5 December – Part 1 History

The match is at Wembley and kicks off at 14:00 UK Time.  If you can’t be there in person it is also being broadcast live in the UK on BBC1 and BTSport 1 and local carriers in most other countries in the world.  If it isn’t on a local carrier then the FA Player is free,  not geo-blocked and will also have the game.  No excuses for not watching!

The match is between the two top teams in England.  Arsenal are unbeaten in the WSL so far this season as is shown in the current league table below.  Both of us have virtually identical goal scoring records and there is only one point between us with Brighton in third place two wins adrift.  The big surprise has been Manchester City who have had a dismal start to the season and have only three wins so far.

Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Arsenal 8 7 1 0 26 3 23 22
2 Chelsea 8 7 0 1 27 5 22 21
3 Brighton and Hove 8 5 0 3 12 7 5 15
4 Tottenham Hotspur 8 4 2 2 9 6 3 14
5 West Ham United 8 3 3 2 11 10 1 12
6 Manchester United 8 3 3 2 12 13 -1 12
7 Manchester City 8 3 1 4 16 16 0 10
8 Reading 8 3 1 4 10 12 -2 10
9 Everton 8 3 1 4 8 14 -6 10
10 Aston Villa 8 3 1 4 5 15 -10 10
11 Birmingham City 8 0 1 7 2 21 -19 1
12 Leicester City 8 0 0 8 3 19 -16 0

Our one draw came against Spurs when they parked the bus in front of a train and we couldn’t find a way through their 10 player defence.  Nine games out of ten we would win in that scenario, unfortunately, this was the tenth.

Chelsea’s only loss came against us in the season opener and it would be fair to say that we were more up to match speed having already played a number of Champions League qualifying matches.  On the day we were well worthy of our win with goals from Miedema and two from Beth Mead: a momentous win.

In recent Cup finals, we have played Chelsea three times (two FA cups and one League Cup), winning one and losing two.

FA Cup Final 2016 – Arsenal 1 – Chelsea 0  Danni Carter with the only goal of the game, a wonderful curling shot from the left-hand side into the top right-hand corner of the goal. 

FA Cup 2018 – Chelsea 3 – Arsenal 1  A below-par performance where we were bullied throughout and never looked like getting a result.  Miedema with our goal.

League Cup 2019 – Chelsea 2 – Arsenal 1  This was a game where we dominated for the majority of the time after going behind, It looked like going into extra time after a late equaliser but we were done by a smash and grab late in added-on time.  Even a Chelsea supporter said to me that the better team lost after the game and he wasn’t wrong.

Where will the game be won or lost?

  • As can be seen in the league table above both teams score an average of more than 3 goals a game and concede less than a goal every 2 games so there is little to chose between them on paper.
  • Both teams have fantastic main strikers: Vivianne Miedema for Arsenal and Sam Kerr for Chelsea.
  • In defence, the injury sustained by Leah Williamson is a big blow for Arsenal.   She is one of the best in the world and her replacements although full internationals aren’t quite at the same level yet.
  • In midfield, there are the two best groups of players by far in the league.   Kim Little for Arsenal has been in superb form so far this season having retired from international duties.  Mana Iwabuchi got 60 minutes on the pitch for Japan in midweek so is clearly recovering from her injury.
  • My one area of concern is at right back where Noelle Maritz is good but, in my opinion, not really world-class.  She will have to be on the top of her game if we are to win this match.
  • Player attitude is the really key element to the game.  Emma Hayes, the Chelsea Manager will undoubtedly have her team really fired up for this game and it will be vital for us to match their energy and speed from the start.  All too often in recent years we have been dominated physically by Chelsea sometimes fairly, sometimes not (in my opinion).  If we start positively, as we did in September then we have the players to hurt Chelsea.

My team prediction

Manuel Zinsberger (GK)

Noelle Maritz, Lotte Wubben-Moy, Simone Boye-Sorensen, Katie McCabe

Lia Walti, Kim Little, Frida Maanum

Nikita Parris, Vivianne Miedema, Beth Mead

Subs from

Lydia Williams (GK), Fran Stenson (GK), Anna Patten (Def), Jen Beattie (CB), Steph Catley (Def), Viktoria Schnaderbeck (Def), Jordan Nobbs (MF), Mana Iwabuchi (MF), Teyah Goldie (MF), Caitlin Foord (Forward), Tobin Heath (Forward)

I will be at the game and will give you updates through the game (if I can) and a report probably on Monday or Tuesday.

COYWG

4 comments to 2021 FA Women’s Cup Final – Arsenal v Chelsea Sunday 5 December – Part 2 – Match Preview

  • Andrew Crawshaw

    Team

    Zinsberger
    Catley, Wibben-Moy, Beattie, Maritz
    Little, Walti, Maanum
    Mead, Miedema, McCabe

  • Andrew Crawshaw

    Half time and our best player has been our goalkeeper who despite having been beaten in the second minute has made a string of great saves to prevent the score becoming higher

    Chelsea have been their usual selves with a vigorous press which a the referee has generally deemed fair. To my eyes far more of the challenges have been fouls

    The joys of the PGMO

  • Andrew Crawshaw

    Fina score Chelsea 3 Arsenal 0

    We were poor throughout. Only Zinsberger and Little put in performances anywhere near their normal level

    Chelsea by far the better team this afternoon and the dirtier although the official stats will show us having three yellow cards to Chelsea’s nil. PGMO bias and incompetence for you.

    Full report once i get home and calm down a bit.

  • Nitram

    Before I start I didn’t watch the game so have no idea how it went but I put great stock in Andrews summaries so it seems that we got no more than we deserved. Never the less I also put great stock in statistics, and a couple are a bit odd.

    These are the Flash Score Statistics:

    FOULS

    Arsenal 9

    Chelsea 8

    YELLOW CARDS

    Arsenal 3

    Chelsea 1

    3 cards for 9 fouls seems a bit harsh compared to 1 for 8. Obviously we were much more violent than Chelsea.

    The next stat is even odder.

    DANGEROUS ATTACKS

    Arsenal 45

    Chelsea 45

    From an equal amount of ‘dangerous attacks’ Chelsea managed 7 shots on target. Somehow we didn’t manage to muster a single one !

    Even accepting Flash Scores interpretation of a dangerous attack is somewhat subjective, that seems an extraordinary set of figures,

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