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Women's Football News
Arsenal and Chelsea will meet in the SSE Women's FA Cup Final for the second time in three years after coming through tough semi finals on Sunday.
On a historic day when both semi finals were televised live on the BBC for the first time, a late winner gave Arsenal a 2-1 success away to Everton and a record sixteenth appearance in the Final, whilst Chelsea eliminated holders Manchester City 2-0 and will be there for the fourth time in seven seasons.
Arsenal went into their tie at the Marine Travel Arena as favourites but the opening quarter of the game was largely even until the Gunners went ahead on 25 minutes. Heather O'Reilly latched onto Dominique Janssen's pass down the right and cut the ball across goal for Danielle Carter to slot home from six yards. Jordan Nobbs and O'Reilly were narrowly off target with efforts as Arsenal finished the first half on top.
Everton came more into the game as an attacking force after the break and were handed a great chance midway through the second half, when Olivia Chance was adjudged to have been fouled in the area, and Chloe Kelly duly levelled the scores from the penalty spot against her former side. Vivianne Miedema almost restored Arsenal's lead with a shot on the turn but the game seemed to be heading for extra time until the Gunners struck a late blow. An injury time corner by Nobbs was met with a towering header from Louise Quinn past Kirstie Levell and Arsenal were on their way to Wembley once again.
Chelsea and Manchester City each still had three trophies to play for going into their semi final and were meeting at this stage of the competition for the third time. Just as they did in the teams' recent league meeting, Chelsea made the faster start and were rewarded in the fifth minute when Fran Kirby raced onto Magda Eriksson's long pass and outpaced the City defence before sliding her shot past Ellie Roebuck for the opener.
Maren Mjelde had an effort cleared off the line and Kirby dragged a shot wide as the better of chances continued to go Chelsea's way, whilst City were largely restricted to long range efforts at the other end, including a 30-yard strike from Jill Scott which was narrowly over.
City began to pile on the pressure during the second half and came close to getting back on level terms but Georgia Stanway was denied by a good save from Hedvig Lindahl. However the more they pressed for an equaliser, the more susceptible they became to a counter attack and they were undone once again by Kirby, who seized on a defensive error to once again break clear of the back four, and once again she guided her shot past Roebuck for her second goal on the day.
The second strike knocked the heart out of the City players and Katie Chapman went close to a third as her header was saved, but Chelsea had been worthy winners on the day and are just one stage away from lifting the trophy for the second time.
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