A world record 77,390 crowd saw Chelsea beat Manchester United 1-0 in the Women’s FA Cup final at Wembley on Sunday.
Sam Kerr’s 68th-minute goal was decisive as Chelsea lifted the trophy for the third consecutive year to stay in contention for a league and cup double.
The sold-out final broke the attendance record for a women’s domestic club match, when Atlético de Madrid hosted Barcelona in front of 60,739 in 2019.
Chelsea are second in the Women’s Super League, one point behind leaders United, but with a game in hand. And while the win secured the FA Cup, it could also have given Emma Hayes’ side a psychological edge in the closing stages of the title race.
“It’s a piece of the puzzle. I want more, that’s not enough,” Chelsea midfielder Erin Cuthbert said. “We want to go to the league now. We can only control the controllables.”
It could have been a different story had Leah Galton’s strike in the first minute not been ruled out for offside as United started strongly. But United were unable to capitalize, with the score 0-0 at half-time and Kerr finding the winner after the break.
“We switch off at one point, there’s space for Sam (Kerr) to run that we haven’t given him all game,” United manager Marc Skinner said. “I’m proud of the girls today, they’re hungry. Their (Chelsea’s) position is the one we want to take. We’re a young and hungry team. I need to find the pieces to make sure we challenge all the time.
“Chelsea have done almost nothing in the game but they are winners for a reason, they find that little gap.”
As well as winning three FA Cups in a row, Chelsea have also won back-to-back league titles in the last two seasons.
Hayes said the knowledge of his team’s victory was the difference.
“We had to kick ourselves at halftime,” he said. “We know how to stay in a game and even if we weren’t at our best, we have to find a way to change it. We had to have better possession and then find the quality in the last third.”
Report from The Associated Press.
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