Home Australia Matildas stars play crucial late role in securing Women’s League Cup victory for Arsenal

Matildas stars play crucial late role in securing Women’s League Cup victory for Arsenal

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Matildas stars play crucial late role in securing Women's League Cup victory for Arsenal

Arsenal’s trio of Matildas have helped the London team defend the Women’s League Cup, defeating a Chelsea team that greatly missed Sam Kerr’s great scoring habits in the final at Wolverhampton’s Molineux Stadium.

While Kerr was absent with an ACL injury that ruled her out of the Olympics, Arsenal initially omitted their Matildas, but Caitlin Foord and Steph Catley were introduced late in normal time and Kyra Cooney-Cross in extra time.

Everything had an impact, with the fresh legs of the former and the passes of the latter extending the game decisively.

For 116 minutes, the two clubs beat each other to a standstill, with the match only stopping when Arsenal’s Frida Maanum collapsed on the pitch and required urgent medical help.

Fortunately, Maanum recovered and play resumed, with penalties looming as Catley and Foord teamed up once again on the left flank.

Catley released Foord, who cut inside in his trademark style. The ball passed into the hands of Sweden’s Stina Backstenius and suddenly the deadlock was broken.

Arsenal held out and denied Chelsea a potential quadruple league title, FA Cup, League Cup and Champions League, a feat Arsenal themselves had only achieved once in 2007.

After the match, the coaches clashed: Chelsea’s Emma Hayes shoved Arsenal’s Jonas Eidevall and then accused the Swede of “masculine aggression” on the touchline.

Eidevall denied this and said others “need to look in the mirror.”

The disagreement was due to Eidevall objecting to Chelsea using an alternative ball for a quick throw-in at the end of the game when they had insisted before the match on not using a multiple-ball system.

Facing a final competition record of 21,462, Chelsea thought they had taken the lead in the 21st minute thanks to a shot from Mayra Ramírez, but the VAR detected a handball in the build-up.

Chelsea goalkeeper Hannah Hampton was subsequently stretched by Arsenal’s Katie McCabe and Chloe Lacasse, while Lauren James was denied by Arsenal goalkeeper Manuela Zinsberger.

At the end of the 90 minutes, Maanum, without the ball, fell to the ground. The Norwegian was quickly treated by paramedics and taken off the field on a stretcher.

Arsenal issued an update at the start of extra time, confirming that Maanum was “conscious, speaking and in a stable condition” and will be closely monitored by the club’s medical team.


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