A League Cup Final shocker for Chelsea Women too as Emma Hayes' side are stunned by Manchester City

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A League Cup Final shocker for Chelsea Women too as Emma Hayes’ side are stunned by Manchester City’s fightback to end the Blues’ run of domestic trophy success

  • Chelsea Women were beaten 3-1 in the League Cup final on Saturday afternoon
  • Manchester City Women’s side  came back from 1-0 down to hoist the trophy 
  • Blues boss Emma Hayes will no doubt be glad to see the back of a chaotic week 


Emma Hayes will no doubt be glad to see the back of last week. It has been a turbulent fortnight for everyone at Chelsea and now both teams have lost a League Cup final.

For 45 minutes, Hayes was on course for a 12th trophy since taking over the Blues’ women’s team in 2012. But a second-half fightback from Manchester City ended Chelsea’s run of three domestic trophies on the bounce.

The build-up to the Continental Cup final was dominated by Roman Abramovich’s impending sale of Chelsea and Hayes’ role as one of the foundation trustees set to be given stewardship of the club, a plan which has since been abandoned.

Chelsea Women boss Emma Hayes will doubtless be glad to see the back of a chaotic last week

Chelsea Women boss Emma Hayes will doubtless be glad to see the back of a chaotic last week

Hayes' side were beaten 3-1 by Manchester City Women in the League Cup Final on Saturday

Hayes’ side were beaten 3-1 by Manchester City Women in the League Cup Final on Saturday

Match Facts and Ratings: Chelsea v Manchester City

CHELSEA (4-3-3): Berger 5; Carter 6, Nouwen 6, Bright 6, Andersson 6 (Abdullina 90min); Ingle 5, Ji 6 (Spence 79), Charles 6 (England 79); Reiten 6 (James 68, 6), Harder 6.5, Kerr 6.5. 

Scorer: Kerr 34. 

Booked: None. 

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). 

Scorers: Weir 49, 69, White 58.

Booked: Bronze. 

Manager: Gareth Taylor 7.

Referee: Lisa Benn 5. 

Attendance: 8,004. 

In her pre-match press conference, Hayes was adamant that Chelsea, and her team, would continue to be successful without Abramovich. But, like Thomas Tuchel six day earlier, Hayes was left holding a runners-up medal.

It is unclear what long-term impact Abramovich’s departure will have on the women’s team. The Russian’s investment has allowed Hayes to sign players such as Pernille Harder and Lauren James for record fees.

That investment, however, is incomparable to the millions he has plunged into the men’s side. But there remains the question of what the new owner’s mindset will be. 

Hayes believes they will want successful teams across the board. If that is the case, she will need backing.

To add to the off-field issues, Chelsea were missing key players Fran Kirby, Erin Cuthbert, Melanie Leupolz and Jessie Fleming, with the latter dropping out on the day of the game after testing positive for Covid.

‘We lacked players, I think it showed and the better team won over 90 minutes,’ said Hayes. ‘When it went 1-1, the momentum shifted. I think momentum is so difficult to coach against, it’s the hardest thing. I felt every ball drop to them. That’s what I mean by momentum. Sometimes it’s difficult to get in the way of it.’

Chelsea’s turbulence, however, should not overshadow City’s second-half performance and turnaround since the start of the year. It has not been an easy season for City after an injury crisis derailed hopes of a title challenge.

They had already lost three times to Chelsea before Saturday. But a brace from the superb Caroline Weir and a goal from Ellen White cancelled out Sam Kerr’s opener to give Gareth Taylor his second trophy as City boss and his first victory over Hayes.

Taylor had to deal with criticism and questions over his future earlier in the season and he admitted he came off social media during the club’s difficult spell.

Ellen White (front right) and Caroline Weir scored  to help Gareth Taylor's side team triumph

Ellen White (front right) and Caroline Weir scored  to help Gareth Taylor’s side team triumph

‘The trophy means a lot, to be honest,’ said Taylor. ‘I came off of all social media at that time, I surrounded myself with the right people. I’m an ex-player, I have had criticism all my career so I kind of know how to handle it.

‘But it doesn’t mean I like it. I just tried to cut out the noise. I knew that I was working as hard as I was previously. I felt that the criticism was a little bit unjustified with the amount of injuries that we had.

‘What were they expecting in that situation when we were only able to field two or three outfield substitutes in a game and players in unfamiliar positions?

‘It’s easy these days to point a finger but I think you have to have belief in what you do. I have real faith in how I work.’

City are in a battle for third while Chelsea are fighting it out with Arsenal for the title. Saturday’s result could be crucial for how their seasons pan out. 

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