Sam Kerr’s 68th-minute strike proved decisive, and Chelsea won the trophy for the third straight year, keeping their chances of a league and cup double alive.
The full final broke the previous attendance record for a women’s home club match when Atletico Madrid hosted Barcelona in front of 60,739 spectators in 2019.
Chelsea is second in the Women’s Super League, one point behind leader United but with a game to spare. And while the win secured the FA Cup, it could also give Emma Hayes’ team a psychological edge in the closing stages of the title race.
This is one piece of the puzzle. I want more, it’s not enough, Chelsea midfielder Erin Cuthbert said. Now we want to win the league. We can only control things that are manageable.
Things might have been different if Leah Galton’s shot in the first minute hadn’t been ruled offside when United got off to a frisky start. But United couldn’t take advantage, and the score was 0-0 at halftime before Kerr found the winner after the break.
We switch off at one point, there’s space for Sam (Kerr) that we didn’t give her in the whole game, United manager Mark Skinner said. I’m proud of the girls today, they’re hungry. Their (Chelsea’s) position is what we want to take. We’re a young, hungry team. I need to find the pieces to make sure we’re constantly challenged.
Chelsea have done almost nothing in this game, but they are winners for a reason, they find that little gap.
In addition to winning three consecutive FA Cups, Chelsea has also won the last two consecutive league titles.
Hayes said her team’s know-how in winning trophies is the difference.
We had to kick each other at halftime, she said. We know how to stay in the game, and even though we weren’t at our best, we had to figure out how to change that. We had to have better possession of the ball and then find quality in the final third.