Arsenal Ladies star says disappointment of last year’s final will count for nothing against Manchester City
- Credit: Archant
Arsenal striker Dani Carter says last year’s Continental Cup final defeat to Manchester City Women will have no bearing on the rematch between the sides.
City snatched the trophy from the Gunners a year ago, beating them 1-0 in the final – and must now defend it when their delayed last-eight tie takes place tonight (Thursday) at Meadow Park, Borehamwood.
The quarter-final, originally scheduled for September 13, was postponed after City were accused of fielding an ineligible player earlier in the competition, although they have since been cleared of that charge.
Carter, a member of the Arsenal side that lost the 2014 final at Wycombe, said: “What happened last year won’t count this time around.
“It’s a bit unfortunate that we’re facing them so early in the competition, given that we both won our groups. We’ve just got to plan well and try to make amends.
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“I’d say City have improved from last year – they’ve added some more quality to their team and they already had world-class players who have now been there a season longer.
“But I’d like to think that we’ve improved too, even if we haven’t showed it at times this season. We’re just looking to go one step further this time.
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“Leah Williamson was player of the tournament last year and it just shows what can happen if you give younger players an opportunity, and how far they can go.”
Arsenal must now focus all their efforts on the Continental Cup after their lingering Women’s Super League title hopes were finally snuffed out last weekend.
The Gunners cannot catch league leaders Chelsea, who triumphed 4-0 at Liverpool – and they would need a minor miracle to dislodge City, who thrashed Bristol Academy 6-1, from second place.
However, the fact that City remain in contention for the championship ahead of Sunday’s final round of games could work in Arsenal’s favour tonight.
City striker Isobel Christiansen – who scored the only goal in last year’s final – admitted: “We’re looking forward to Thursday but at the moment recovery is the priority.
“The team is full of confidence. The main thing is that Manchester City are winning and we’re keeping within reach of Chelsea and doing all we can.”
Tickets for the quarter-final, which kicks off at 7.45pm, are available on the gate at £5 (adults) and £2.50 (concessions). The winners will face Birmingham City.
n Chioma Ubogagu’s double earned the Gunners a 3-1 win at Sunderland on Saturday and guaranteed them a minimum finish of third in the league.
Ubogagu pounced on a loose ball to open the scoring on 15 minutes, but the Black Cats responded soon afterwards when Beth Mead beat Sari van Veenendaal to score the equaliser.
Carter went close for Arsenal before Ubogagu restored their advantage eight minutes into the second period, latching onto Alex Scott’s ball to score.
And Natalia Pablos Sanchon sealed the points with a quarter of an hour remaining, lobbing Sunderland goalkeeper Hilde Gunn Olsen to make it 3-1.
The Gunners complete their league campaign on Sunday when they take on Birmingham at Meadow Park, kick-off 6pm.