Chelsea Women are finalists in the Continental Tyres League Cup for the first time in our history, and as Saturday’s London derby against Arsenal awaits the Blues, we recap how we made it to the big occasion.
The final is being staged at Nottingham Forest's City Ground and kick-off is at 5.30pm. Tickets are still available to purchase and more details can be found in our match preview!
The Blues have been strong contenders in the Women’s FA Cup in recent times having emerged victorious in the 2015 and 2018 final. However, this trophy is one Emma Hayes and her side are yet to claim.
Chelsea have overcome seven teams in order to become finalists and it has been a goal-filled run so far…
Chelsea 2-0 West Ham – Sunday 22 September (H)
The Blues kicked off our Continental Tyres Cup campaign against West Ham in September, our first game of the season at Kingsmeadow.
Second-half goals from Bethany England and Guro Reiten ensured we got off to a perfect start in the group stage. England, who had been working tirelessly upfront, finished smartly after taking a long-range pass from Magdalena Eriksson in her stride five minutes into the second half. The second goal came from a Reiten corner, and although it was announced as the Norwegian's maiden Blues strike, it appeared to have been helped into the net by the Hammers goalkeeper.
Crystal Palace 0-3 Chelsea – Sunday 20 October (A)
Chelsea secured our second Continental Tyres Cup victory away to Championship side Crystal Palace. Although it was a slow start for the Blues at Hayes Lane, we soon raced into the lead 10 minutes into the second half when England scored a quick-fire brace. The No.9 tapped home a cross by Maren Mjelde and then headed in an Erin Cuthbert looping free-kick. The Blues were running riot by this point and Drew Spence added the third of the day in the 76th minute when England unselfishly teed up her team-mate to score her first goal of the season.
Lewes 1-2 Chelsea – Sunday 2 November (A)
Next in Group D, Chelsea travelled to the coast to face yet another Championship team in Lewes. It was a difficult encounter at the Dripping Pan with strong winds and torrential rain playing a part, but despite all of that, the Blues dug deep to secure a 2-1 victory.
Cuthbert netted her first of the term when she calmly slotted past Lewes’s goalkeeper early on. However, we were level at the interval due to Katie Rood’s spectacular strike that flew into the far top corner. Blues skipper Eriksson got the winner in the 80th minute to ensure we left East Sussex with the three points.
Chelsea 5-1 Tottenham Hotspur – Sunday 20 November (H)
The Blues coasted into the quarter-finals after beating Tottenham 5-1 to make it four wins out of four in the group stage. In this midweek fixture, Hayes’ team failed to find a breakthrough in the opening 45 minutes, but having come out after the interval with more intent going forward, we went on to produce an impressive attacking performance at our KT1 home.
Spence got the ball rolling with a confident finish after England’s shot had broken to her near the penalty spot, and our lead was swiftly doubled when Cuthbert rolled home a penalty kick awarded for a foul on Hannah Blundell. We didn’t stop there, as our top scorer England slotted home and the next goal came from an unexpected source. Defender Deanna Cooper struck superbly to record her first of the campaign.
Although Spurs pulled one back against the run of play, there was still time for England to score her second of the game, which came after she reacted quickest when Eriksson’s shot came off the bar. That put the seal on a thumping victory which ensured we progressed into the knockout stage with a game to spare.
Chelsea 1-1 Reading (2-4 on pens) – Wednesday 11 December (H)
Our final group stage match against Reading ended 1-1 at full-time, which meant Chelsea finished with 13 out of a possible 15 points. We came from behind when Deanna Cooper cancelled out a well-taken Fara Williams free-kick. The Chelsea defender levelled the scoring in the second half when she fired home a sensational strike from 30 yards out to register her second goal of the season, both of which have come in this cup. With it all square at full-time, the match swiftly went to a penalty shoot-out, with Reading coming out on top and earning the bonus point to join us in the last eight.
Chelsea 3-1 Aston Villa – Wednesday 15 January (H)
Chelsea booked a place in the last four of the Continental Tyres Cup on a chilly evening in January after defeating Championship table-toppers Aston Villa 3-1. Despite us hitting the woodwork twice in the first half, it took 55 minutes to crack a stubborn and well-organised Villa defence, and it came from the head of captain Eriksson.
Ji So-Yun, who played her 150th game as a Blue, came off the substitutes’ bench to double our lead when she fired home. Yet Villa were not willing to go down without a fight and netted against the run of play with less than 10 minutes left on the clock. However, Emily Murphy snatched any hope that our visitors may have had when the 16-year-old opened her Chelsea account with a close-range effort on 90 minutes.
Manchester United 0-1 Chelsea – Wednesday 29 January (A)
The Blues reached the final of the Continental Cup after edging a 1-0 win over Manchester United. It was a closely-fought match against the Red Devils: Chelsea were far from our best, but we dug deep and got the all-important victory to reach the final.
Mjelde was the hero and got the matchwinner in the final 20 minutes of the contest. Cuthbert was the provider, breaking clear down the left and clipping a cross to the far side of the box to Mjelde, whose touch looked to have made the angle too tight to finish. Somehow, under pressure from a defender, the Norwegian managed to blast a sensational finish into the far corner past Mary Earps in goal.
Next up Arsenal on Saturday!
Tickets for the final are still available to purchase online and on the gate on matchday, priced at £10 for adults and £1 for concessions. The game will also be shown live on BT Sport 1. Kick-off is 5.30pm.