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Arsenal lose to Hayes’ Chelsea in cup final

Injury-time winner for side led by Camden-born coach

06 March, 2020 — By Steve Barnett

Emma Hayes celebrates the Women’s Continental League Cup win with son Harry

CHELSEA boss Emma Hayes dedicated the silverware to her young son on Saturday after engin­eering a classic cup win over Arsenal.

Beth England’s injury-time winner saw the Blues beat their London rivals 2-1 to lift the Women’s Continental League Cup for the very first time.

Celebrating on social media afterwards, Hayes, who grew up in Camden Town, tweeted a picture with her son Harry and the trophy, along with the message: “This is for you, baby boy. I hope Mummy makes you proud.”

England fired Chelsea into an early lead at Nottingham Forest’s City Ground, turning in a crowded penalty area to drill the ball into the net after just eight minutes.

But it was goalkeeper Ann-Katrin Berger who really saved the day for the Blues, repeatedly foiling a dominant Arsenal attack led by Vivianne Miedema.

It looked like the Gunners had sent the game into extra-time when Leah Williamson reacted well to equalise with just five minutes left on the clock. But in the dying seconds Sam Kerr and Maren Mjelde combined down the right, giving the latter just enough space to squeeze a cross to the back post, where England was waiting to slot home into an empty net.

Former Parliament Hill School pupil Hayes praised the “resilience” that her charges displayed in front of a competition record crowd of 6,743.

She added: “The better team did not win the game, the most resilient team won the game. I value defending and I value resilience.

“It isn’t always about being the best team, it isn’t always about possessing the ball the most.

“To win the game after they out-possessed us shows what a great team we really are.

“It’s just about getting one more goal than the opponent. I talked earlier in the season about this team not being clinical. Well, we’re clinical now.”

Hayes was assistant manager to Vic Akers when Arsenal won back-to-back FA Cups at Forest’s City Ground in 2007 and 2008.

And reflecting on her latest victory in the East Midlands, she added: “People don’t remember performances in cup finals, they remember results.

“They won’t be saying in three years’ time, ‘Remember that dominant Arsenal performance?’ They’ll just say Chelsea won. It’s about producing winning football and results.”

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