Arsenal Women into Continental Cup final
- Credit: PA Wire/PA Images
Arsenal booked their place in a third consecutive FA Women’s Continental League Cup final with a 2-1 win over Manchester City at Meadow Park.
Vivianne Miedema got the Gunners off to the perfect start, before Danielle van de Donk doubled their advantage just before half time, helped by an uncharacteristic error from City keeper Ellie Roebuck.
After Ellen White had missed a penalty Gemma Bonner did get the visitors back into the game with a close-range finish on the hour. But it wasn't enough for City, who failed to make the final for the first time since 2015.
City made the faster start, Lauren Hemp and White forcing Manuela Zinsberger into a fine double stop inside five minutes.
But it was Arsenal who struck first, Miedema capitalising on a mistake from Bonner, before twisting past Steph Houghton and firing into the far corner.
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The visitors had chances to equalise but were undone by a dreadful mistake at the other end. This time Miedema was the provider, driving into the City box before laying the ball off to Van de Donk.
The midfielder's shot from the edge of the box was tame, but Roebuck somehow allowed it to squirm in.
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Roebuck did her best to atone with two fine second-half saves to deny Miedema and Mead, as City fought back.
White was given a golden chance to get them back into the game after Leonie Maier had fouled Hemp in the box, but Zinsberger guessed correctly to save her spot-kick. The reprieve was short-lived for Arsenal, however, as from the resulting corner Bonner poked home.
City pushed hard for an equaliser but rarely seriously worried Zinsberger, as the Gunners held on to reach the final.
Arsenal's Lia Walti said: "It feels good. It's always our goal before the season starts to reach as many finals as possible, and we did well today to do that.
"This wasn't the style we usually want to play our football, but sometimes you've got to play for a result and to manage the game in the end, and I think we did it well.
"It doesn't matter who scores really, but today finally Viv scored again and that's important to us because we need her goals.
"I think we switched off a little after the penalty save. Sometimes you're still celebrating for the goalkeeper who saved a penalty and you forget to follow your players. I think it was my player actually, and it's just that concentration we need to keep high.
"We defended really well as a team, everyone working hard. If we'd played like that against Chelsea last week then I think we could have got another result.
"This is what we train for, for these top games, and we wanted to make it better after Chelsea. We knew how Man City were going to play, we had our gameplan and it worked. Against Chelsea it didn't work, sometimes it's just if you have a good game, and I'm glad it did today.
"We didn't really play well in our last game against Chelsea, so we want to prepare for the final, to get the win. In a final anything is possible, maybe we'll have to play differently to the last game but we have enough time to prepare for that."
Arsenal will meet Chelsea in the final, after they beat Manchester United 1-0 in the other last-four tie.
Arsenal: Zinsberger, Maier, Williamson, Schnaderbeck, McCabe, Roord, Walti, van de Donk, Evans (Nobbs 90), Miedema, Mead. Unused subs: Peyraud-Magnin, Quinn, Filis, Grant, Mace.
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