Emma Hayes’ Chelsea clinched a glorious double as two goals from the talismanic Sam Kerr and Erin Cuthbert’s spectacular drive sealed a 3-2 extra-time win against Chelsea in the Women’s FA Cup final at Wembley.
Chelsea took the lead after half an hour when Kerr headed home from point-blank range after Millie Bright’s deep cross had sailed over goalkeeper Ellie Roebuck.
Guro Reiten then squandered the chance to double her side’s lead when she lofted over the bar with Roebuck off her line, and minutes later Pernille Harder rattled a strike wide from long range.
City winger Lauren Hemp levelled the scores when she latched on to a smart through-ball from Khadija Shaw down the left, jinked inside Millie Bright and whipped a terrific right-foot finish into the far corner.
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After Ann-Katrin Berger saved brilliantly from Hemp’s well-struck drive early in the second half, Cuthbert restored Chelsea’s lead in sumptuous style. Accepting Beth England’s lay-off on the edge of the box, the Scottish forward took a touch and dispatched a fierce rising drive that flew in off crossbar past a despairing Roebuck.
But City were in no mood to admit defeat and forced extra time when Alex Greenwood’s raking pass picked out Hayley Raso, who brought the ball down brilliantly with her chest, burst past Eriksson and shaped a cool finish beyond Berger.
In extra time Berger kept the scores even by saving well at the feet of Ellen White, and soon after Chelsea took the lead for a third time when Alanna Kennedy misjudged a bouncing ball on halfway and Kerr pounced to scamper clear. With Jessie Fleming up with her in a two-on-one breakaway, the Australian went for goal and her low shot was deflected cruelly past Roebuck by the shin of the lunging Greenwood.
City threatened yet another equaliser almost immediately when Blakstad crossed from the left and White’s flick-on sailed across the face of goal. Raso, arriving at the back post, couldn’t quite direct her volley goalwards from a tricky angle.
The victory marks Chelsea’s fourth FA Cup win in eight years and completes a league-and-cup double to follow last season’s treble for the side under their much-lauded manager Hayes.