Chelsea Women 1-3 Manchester City Women: Caroline Weir scores twice as Citizens come from behind to lift the Conti Cup for the fourth time
- Manchester City Women won the Conti Cup with a comeback win over Chelsea
- Sam Kerr gave the Blues, who were reigning champions, the lead in the first half
- But Caroline Weir struck twice after the break either side of Ellen White’s goal
Manchester City compounded a miserable week for Chelsea as they came from behind to win the Continental League Cup with a 3-1 victory.
It has not been an easy season for City, who have been playing catch-up in the Women’s Super League after an injury crisis derailed any hopes of a title challenge. They had already lost three times to Chelsea before today with an aggregate score of 8-0.
And they looked to be heading for a fourth defeat when Sam Kerr’s goal saw Chelsea take a 1-0 lead into half-time. But a superb second half fight-back, with a brace from Caroline Weir and a goal from Ellen White, secured Gareth Taylor his second trophy as City boss.
Chelsea’s talismanic striker Sam Kerr opened the scoring at Plough Lane after 34 minutes
Chelsea (4-3-3): Berger 5, Carter 6, Nouwen 6, Bright 6, Andersson 6 (Abdullina 90), Ingle 5, Ji 6 (Spence 79, 6), Charles 6 (England 79, 6), Reiten 6 (James 68, 6), Harder 6.5, Kerr 6.5
Subs not used: Musovic, Eriksson, Mjelde
Goals: Kerr 34
Manager: Emma Hayes 6
Manchester City (4-3-3): Roebuck 6, Bronze 6.5, Kennedy 6, Greenwood 6.5, Stokes 6, Walsh 6.5, Weir 8, Stanway 7.5, Raso 6.5 (Blakstad 82), Hemp 7, White 7 (Shaw 88)
Subs not used: Keating, Coombs, Beckie, Angeldahl, Park
Goals: Weir 49, 69, White 58
Manager: Gareth Taylor 7
Referee: Lisa Benn 5
Taylor had to deal with criticism and questions over his future earlier in the season, but he deserves credit for the turnaround since the start of the year. His team were relentless in the second half and fully deserved their victory.
For Chelsea, the build up to this match had been dominated by Roman Abramovich’s impending sale and what it could mean for the women’s team, who have been heavily backed by the Russian in the last 10 years.
There was also the issue of boss Emma Hayes being one of the trustees who was set to be given stewardship of the club, a plan which has since been abandoned.
Hayes was adamant before kick-off that her team would continue to be successful without Abramovich. Not today, however.
Chelsea had Fran Kirby missing through illness while Jessie Fleming dropped out due to Covid issues and the absence of both players was keenly felt.
Yet it was the Blues who started the first half strongly. Pernille Harder saw a header blocked near the line before Guro Reiten’s dangerous cross was cleared by Alex Greenwood.
Chelsea could have been awarded a penalty in the 12th minute when Lucy Bronze’s defensive header struck the arm of team-mate Alanna Kennedy but referee Lisa Benn was unmoved.
The contact from Kennedy was accidental but her arm was in an unnatural position and she was perhaps a tad lucky. But while the Blues felt aggrieved, City were more furious mid-way through the first half when they were denied an even clearer penalty.
Ellen White put City in front in the final with a typically predatory finish from close range
Lauren Hemp should have put City ahead when she met Georgia Stanway’s cross, but the winger could only fire a shot against the post when it looked easier to score.
The re-bound fell to Demi Stokes and her shot was blocked by the raised arm of Sophie Ingle, but Benn again failed to point to the spot.
And that proved crucial as Chelsea took the lead 10 minutes later. Ellie Roebuck and Demi Stokes failed to deal with Reiten’s cross into the box and the ball dropped for Kerr, who turned smartly and finished into the bottom left corner. Niamh Charles almost made it 2-0 just before half-time but her volley flew just over the bar.
Caroline Weir’s fierce strike pulled Manchester City level just four minutes after half-time
Whatever Taylor said to his players at the break had an instant impact as City drew level just four minutes into the second half.
Stanway’s cut-back found Weir, who took a touch before firing a finish which deflected off goalkeeper Ann-Katrin Berger’s leg before hitting the net.
Charles, who had been off the pitch receiving treatment when City fired in the equaliser, almost put Chelsea back in front with a half-volley but Roebuck got a strong hand to palm the ball wide.
Weir got her second of the game and City’s third with an unstoppable volley into the top corner
And that save was another big moment as White put City ahead just 60 seconds later. Hemp’s shot was spilled by Berger and White was able to stick out a leg and poke home the re-bound.
Chelsea were shell-shocked and it got worse when Weir made it 3-1 with 20 minutes to go. A City corner was only half cleared by Ingle and the ball dropped to Weir, who fired a first-time volley into the top left corner.
City had two chances to make it 4-1 but White could only fire a shot straight at Berger before Weir almost turned in from close range after Bronze’s header was spilled by the Chelsea goalkeeper. But three goals proved enough as Chelsea failed to threaten at the other end in the closing stages.
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