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Chelsea 2 Manchester City 1 (aet)
Chelsea needed extra time to win 2-1 and preserve their SSE Women's FA Cup winning streak of nearly two years, as Fran Kirby dumped Manchester City out at the death.
Both sides spent the early exchanges looking to starve the opposition's star forward of service. Eniola Aluko worked hard in front of three attacking midfielders, while Toni Duggan, playing wide left, was battling Hannah Blundell.
The best chances of the goalless first half fell to defenders as a result. Abbie McManus guided her 20-yarder wide, while Blundell's half volley at the other end bounced past Karen Bardsley.
The best effort of the half was through Steph Houghton. She curled a free kick towards the top corner but Hedvig Lindahl beat the effort away brilliantly.
Chelsea tried to exploit the City full backs more after the restart with but it was the visitors who got the breakthrough when a goalmouth scrap from a corner was bundled home by Jane Ross.
Chelsea seemed a step off the pace, but a late free kick was placed perfectly by Ji So-Yun and forced extra time.
The hosts then reshuffled their side and Fran Kirby's energy gave them the advantage. Her link-up play with Aluko immediately forced Bardsley into a sharp save low to her right. Chelsea were well in the ascendency with Gemma Davison's low drive just passing by Bardsley's far post, although Jill Scott almost won it late with a header.
But with penalties looming, Kirby's determination settled it. She composed herself to round the defence and slammed the ball past Bardsley in the final minute.
Chelsea: Hedvig Lindahl, Hannah Blundell, Millie Bright, Gilly Flaherty, Claire Rafferty (sub Beth England 83mins), Jade Bailey (sub Drew Spence 54mins), Katie Chapman, Gemma Davison, Ji So-Yun, Karen Carney (sub Fran Kirby 76mins), Eniola Aluko. Subs not used: Rebecca Spencer, Ana Borges.
Manchester City: Karen Bardsley, Lucy Bronze, Steph Houghton, Abbie McManus, Demi Stokes, Jill Scott, Daphne Corboz (sub Jennifer Beattie 90mins), Kosovare Asllani, Nikita Parris, Jane Ross, Toni Duggan (sub Georgia Stanway 87mins). Subs not used: Marie Hourihan, Zoe Tynan, Alethea Paul.
(Report by www.TheFA.com)
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