Emma Hayes is expecting ‘an absolute classic’ in Sunday’s Vitality Women’s FA Cup Final as her Chelsea side look to achieve a feat not matched in 15 years.
Just a point separates the Blues and leaders Manchester United in the Barclays Women’s Super League, with Arsenal and Manchester City also competing in one of the most fiercely contested title races since the competition was launched in 2011.
And Chelsea and Manchester United will also be battling it out for the Women’s FA Cup on Sunday in front of a sell-out crowd at Wembley Stadium connected by EE.
Whilst Marc Skinner’s United side look to secure a first major trophy since their inception in 2018, Chelsea will be aiming to become the first team since Arsenal in 2008 to win three Women’s FA Cups on the bounce (a fourth came a year later), with Southampton in the 1970s the only other side to achieve the feat.
Speaking in her programme notes for Sunday’s matchday programme, Hayes said: “It doesn’t matter how many times you’ve been involved in a Vitality Women’s FA Cup Final, it’s always an incredibly special occasion – and we’re absolutely thrilled to be coming back to Wembley Stadium.
“I hope you’re all ready for what I expect to be an absolute classic of a Cup Final.
“These are two of the top teams in the country, fighting to be champions of the BWSL in what is probably the best title race there’s ever been for the league, and one thing is for sure: neither group of players are going to give an inch with the FA Cup within touching distance.”
She continued: “It’s a position we’ve been in many times before, having lifted the trophy four times, whereas it’s a new experience for Manchester United.
“We know how insatiable the hunger to get your hands on that first trophy is, but don’t underestimate what it means to this group of players to defend silverware too.
“We won two incredible Finals in recent seasons, against Arsenal and then Manchester City, and no team in the WSL era has done it three times in a row. We want to keep making history.”You can see the full programme notes in Sunday’s matchday programme, which can be purchased outside the stadium or online here.