Man United 2-1 Chelsea Women, 3 takeaways: poor start leads to shock FA Cup elimination

It wasn't by any means how Emma Hayes drew it up. Thanks to two goals inside the first 30 minutes, Marc Skinner and Manchester United stunned the women's football world, taking down the three-time defending FA Cup champions in the semifinals.
Manchester United v Chelsea - Adobe Women's FA Cup Semi Final
Manchester United v Chelsea - Adobe Women's FA Cup Semi Final / Nathan Stirk/GettyImages
3 of 3
Mary Earps
Manchester United v Chelsea - Adobe Women's FA Cup Semi Final / Visionhaus/GettyImages

1. Mary Earps is England's No. 1 for a reason

It was almost as if Earps was trying to make a point with her threat on the national team, Hannah Hampton between the opposition's sticks. Hampton has been exceptional since earning the West Londoners' No. 1 spot in goal, but I think we know who England's first choice still is. With the bright lights of the FA Cup on her, Earps made a statement. Eight shots on target for the Blues. Just one rippled the back of the net.

You could see Erin Cuthbert and Leupolz already celebrating when James' header just five minutes into the second half looked like it was bound for the back of the net. Earps pulled a rabbit out of her hat, making the save of the season in the FA Cup diving to her right, and redirecting the ball before it crossed the line. Only a handful of shot-stoppers in women's football could have pulled off a majority of Earps managed to do on Sunday afternoon. It was the most shots on target an opponent piled up against United since November 19. That day, Manchester City converted three chances, two of which came within a 60-second span.

The West Londoners are right back at it in the Women's Super League in the mid-week, encountering Aston Villa at Kingsmeadow on Wednesday prior to a trip to Barcelona.