Manchester City Women beat West Ham to book their place in the FA Cup final

A poor pass through the West Ham box from captain Gilly Flaherty helped Chloe Kelly intercept to double her side’s lead soon after. Making just her first start since a knee injury sidelined her last May, Kelly still wasn’t quite up to speed on the right wing but she didn’t lose her clinical instincts in front of goal. , and its passionate celebrations betrayed the long road to recovery. she was, as she targets a place in England’s Euro squad this summer.

To their credit, West Ham ensured things remained tense when they pulled one back just before half-time, their pressing efforts rewarded when Lisa Evans teamed up with Adriana Leon to drive the ball home . They were hanging on and Tameka Yallop nearly found the equalizer on the hour mark when played in by Evans, but his wide attempt was the last of West Ham’s clean chances.

Lauren Hemp put the tie beyond their reach minutes later with a solo goal that epitomized the winning mentality and quality that separates the best teams from the rest, pickpocketing Lucy Parker and edging out Grace Fisk for score with an unbalanced left foot effort. . His second and City’s fourth came in added time at the break, when a defeated West Ham could only watch in anguish at their wasted efforts.

City will face Arsenal or Chelsea, who play their semi-final on Sunday, in the final on May 15.


Analysis: The big three’s stranglehold on the FA Cup demonstrates their dominance of English football

Man City, Arsenal and Chelsea extended their grip on the FA Cup trophy with Saturday’s result to almost a decade and the results of this season’s contest suggest other clubs remain far from changing that.

While in the league we have seen the top teams slip – with Arsenal’s shock loss to Birmingham, City struggling for form early on and Chelsea being thwarted by Reading – in the knockout ties, their clinical quality lessens them. separated from the rest of the peloton.

The city is the case. Although they trail third-placed United by three points in the league, they beat them four in the fifth round of the FA Cup and beat Everton four times in the last eight before this semi-final.

Likewise on Saturday, although West Ham won more WSL points than ever before in this WSL campaign, showing improved consistency, they were still no match for City. Manager Olli Harder believes the investment gap prevents smaller clubs from challenging them in domestic competitions.

“Consistency and quality [separates them], simple as that,” he said after the game. “You pay for these things. We know it’s no secret. That’s not to say we don’t have consistency in quality, but they do have plenty. They have more quality at times. We saw it again today and of course on them. This is the reference. This is where all clubs need to prepare. They deserve to be on top. The first three [will have a] stranglehold until we get to a sufficient level. And I mean ‘us’ being the rest of the league, not specific to West Ham.”

Harder added that it was up to individual clubs to work to make clubs financially sustainable: “There is no God given right to be in the top three just because you are spending money. money. They’ve got the investment, there’s been time, the infrastructure, the whole package is there. So how do we fill the gap? Well, let’s start by getting more people into the stadiums so that we can generate more revenue that becomes sustainable. And part of our job is to provide a product for that so that we can fill those seats, that gives us a better opportunity to close the gap.”

Match Details

West Ham (5-4-1): Arnold; Evans, Fisk, Flaherty, Longhurst, Svitkova; Parker, Brynjarsdottir, Hasegawa (Walker 78), Yallop (Snerle 71); Léon, Subs: Moore, Wyne, Stringer, Filis, Joel, Houssein, Cissoko

Manchester City (4-3-3): Deer; Bronze, Kennedy, Greenwood, Stokes; Combes (Angeldahl 80), Walsh, Weir (Stanway 70); Kelly (Raso 62), White (Shaw 70), Hemp, Subs: Taieb, Keating, Mace

Arbitrator: Abigail Byrne

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