Arsenal Women put latest cup bid on backburner to play host to Chelsea rivals
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Arsenal Women return to FA WSL action with a home match against London rivals Chelsea at Meadow Park on Sunday (12.30pm).
And they go into the derby on the back of a convincing SSE Women’s FA Cup win over underdogs Charlton last weekend, which saw them through to the semi-finals.
Having already won the FA WSL Continental Tyres Cup with a final win over Manchester City, Arsenal will visit Everton in the last four on April 15 (12.30pm), with a trip to Wembley at stake for the winners.
They produced a dominant display against Charlton, taking an early lead in the fourth minute thanks to a Kim Little penalty.
Arsenal continued to press for much of the first half and went close through Danielle Carter, who saw her shot tipped over by Katie Startup.
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And they doubled their lead just before the hour mark when American international Heather O’Reilly raced through and slotted home.
Substitute Vivianne Miedema made it 3-0 with her first touch and Carter converted a cross from Lisa Evans for the fourth.
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Jordan Nobbs completed Arsenal’s nap hand with a superb 25-yard effort in the last minute to keep their hopes of a 15th cup title alive.
Leah Williamson had committed her future to the club days earlier by signing a new long-term deal, having progressed from mascot to first-team star.
Williamson was team mascot when Arsenal won the UEFA Women’s Cup in 2007 and came up through the academy sides to make her debut alongside hero Kelly Smith.
Now 20, she was delighted to sign, telling arsenal.com: “This is obviously my club, the team I’ve supported my whole life and I couldn’t be happier to be here.
“Joe (Montemurro) is a great guy and has taught me a lot already. I can feel myself growing, week in, week out, so there’s absolutely no hesitation. This is where I want to be.
“I’m very passionate about Arsenal. To perform in an Arsenal shirt, I want to give everything I can for the club and the Continental Cup win felt like a real turning point.”
Boss Montemurro added: “We’re delighted Leah has committed her future with us. She brings so much quality to the team and for a young player, she plays with so much knowledge.”