Chelsea Women deservedly advanced to the quarter-finals of the FA Cup last night after defeating Liverpool 1-0, but Emma Hayes says she wants her side to be more ruthless in front of goal.
Chelsea hosted Liverpool at Kingsmeadow in the fifth round of the Women’s FA Cup on Monday night, a game that was pushed back from Sunday due to the adverse weather conditions caused by Storm Dennis. The rearranged fixture mattered not to our preparations, though, as the Blues were the better side overall.
Guro Reiten gave us the lead just before the half-hour mark with a fine volley from the edge of the box and, despite creating chance after chance, it was the Norwegian’s effort that proved to be the winner that sent us through to the last eight of the competition. We will play Everton in the quarter-finals after the draw was made last night.
‘All you want is to be in the hat,’ said Hayes after the game. ‘We had to play a rearranged game, which was the right decision otherwise the game wouldn’t have happened. We couldn’t afford to play this next weekend so I’m just grateful we came through it.
Read our take on the win against Liverpool
‘It was 1-0 so we weren’t ruthless enough but I thought we were comfortable throughout the game and it wasn’t until the latter stages that they [Liverpool] committed bodies forward. Ultimately, we deserved to be winners and we're just happy to be in the hat for the next round.’
The visitors to Kingsmeadow did not make it easy for the Blues to break them down and, while Hayes is pleased with the triumph, she equally praised her defence for keeping yet another clean sheet.
‘They stayed in their half and when a team don’t give you much space and want to just hit you on the counter, you have to be patient,' Hayes explained.
‘We got the goal and then it’s about them having to take risks and us just managing the game. It felt comfortable but you need the second goal sometimes with these game. I think that is our fourth or fifth clean sheet on the bounce and we’re doing that well so I’ll take 1-0.’
Next up for the Blues is a mouth-watering clash with Manchester City in the Women’s Super League on Sunday, followed by our Continental Tyres League Cup final against Arsenal on Saturday 29 February at Nottingham Forest's City Ground.
‘We’ll prepare exactly the same way as we did for this one,’ added Hayes. ‘Just recover, get the tactical information right and then get up to Manchester and do what we do best and perform on the pitch.
‘I like winning so for me all of the trophies would be nice but at the moment our eyes are on the Continental League Cup because that’s the first one we can compete for. We’re in the next round of the FA Cup which is great but now we have to put the focus back onto the league.'
We will travel to Merseyside in the next round and Hayes says her team will be up for the tie, which will be played on Sunday 15 March.
‘You have to beat everybody if you’re going to win the FA Cup - I know that. Home, away, we’ve had tough ties over the years and I’m sure Everton will be very much up for this game but so will we.
‘We’re a tough team and I certainly think we will prepare well, we have got the experience but I think Everton are a wonderful side. It doesn’t matter who we play, we’ll be prepared. It will be a really tough game. I fully respect the work Willie Kirk is doing with that team but I trust the quality we’ve got in our group and we’ll be up for it.'
Subsidised supporters coach travel is available for Chelsea’s away match to Man City on Sunday.