October 5, 2023

Chelsea 1 vs. Manchester United 0 Chelsea won the Women’s FA Cup for the seventh time as Sam Kerr resumed her love affair with Wembley Stadium, grabbing headlines for a third FA Cup final in a row and extending Manchester United’s quest for a major women’s trophy.

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Sam Kerr of Chelsea celebrates after scoring

Kerr, from Australia, celebrated with one of her trademark acrobatic flips after scoring her fifth goal in three Wembley finals – having netted braces at the national stadium in each of the previous two seasons – by slotting in from Pernille Harder’s exquisite low pass to ensure Chelsea won the cup for the third year in a row, and Emma Hayes’ side now remains on course for a domestic double, with the Women’s Super League title race in their hands.
Manchester United had been the better team in the first half, and perhaps for the whole first hour, but was left to repent not capitalizing on their chances, as clinical Chelsea maintained their unbeaten record against Manchester United.
With Wembley officially sold out for the club-level women’s game’s biggest event for the first time in the Women’s FA Cup’s history, a new competition-record 77,390 were in attendance, well exceeding the previous best for this fixture, which was 49,094.
Manchester United were contesting their first major final, and making their debut at Wembley, just five years after belatedly re-forming a senior women’s team following a contentious 13-year sabbatical from the women’s game. They showed no signs of jitters as first-time cup finalists, charging out of the blocks from the start.
They believed they had opened the scoring after 30 seconds, with winger Leah Galton sliding in to provide what appeared to be the perfect start for Marc Skinner’s squad, but the goal was ruled out because Ella Toone had been offside in the build-up.
The first-time finalists maintained their lead for the rest of the first half, with Galton flicking an Alessia Russo cross just over the bar at the near post, before Lauren James’ deflected header was touched onto the post by Mary Earps at the other end. Alessia Russo went close as well, and both Russo and Galton fired straight at Earps just after half-time, but Harder’s substitution off the bench appeared to tip the game in Chelsea’s direction.
The Danish captain’s movement and pace caused problems for Manchester United’s defense, which was statistically the joint-strongest in the WSL this season, and his contribution helped Chelsea manager Hayes and her team win their 13th major trophy since 2015, with six league titles, two League Cups, and now a fifth FA Cup.
Chelsea hoists the championship trophy from the balcony.
The Prince of Wales awards medals to both the United and Chelsea players before presenting the trophy to Eriksson and the wounded Bright.
Hayes and this Chelsea team are establishing an FA Cup dynasty, so the presentation is fittingly royal.
Here are some photographs of the action at Wembley:
Kerr’s enchantment

Sam Kerr voted FWA Women’s Footballer of the Year – again!

Harder’s introduction was crucial in this game, giving Chelsea the extra pace they needed and the quality deliveries forward that they were lacking at times. But the focus will be on Kerr, who once again shows that she is a natural winner who lives for the big moment.

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