Chelsea v Man United, FA Cup final preview: eyes on 3-peat

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For the second time this season, the Chelsea Women have a chance at a domestic cup, and this time the Blues hope the result is different.

In English football May means trophies, and nobody has been better in the women’s game at collecting them in the last few seasons than the Chelsea Women. With just four contests remaining, Emma Hayes’ side has an opportunity to add two new pieces of silverware to the collection in west London.

After enduring through their second straight Women’s Super League mid-week match, the Blues travel north to take on the only team that sits above them in the league for a chance at the historic FA Cup. Marc Skinner’s Manchester United had never made it past the quarterfinals of the competition until this season. Man U will be making their first appearance at Wembley Stadium in the club’s history.

Both sides have taken extremely different paths to get to the final this Sunday afternoon. Skinner’s team beat three non-WSL sides before the semifinals while the Blues came up against a top-flight team in every round of the competition. Three Barclays Women’s Championship clubs gave United all they could handle, especially Lewes whose second-goal narrowed the WSL’s advantage to just one before substitute Nikita Parris provided the insurance. Both clubs have conceded essentially the same number of goals throughout the competition with the west Londoners holding the better defensive record in the FA Cup by just one goal.

In the semifinals, the Red Devils needed a Rachel Williams 89′ winner to send them past Brighton and Hove Albion and into the final. In the midlands, the west Londoners used the link-up play of Guro Reiten and Sam Kerr to oust Aston Villa and to reach their second cup final this season.

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