Chelsea 3-1 Man Utd: Holders Chelsea into third successive cup final

Pernille Harder
Pernille Harder scored an excellent opening goal at Kingsmeadow

Chelsea saw off Manchester United in the Women’s Continental League Cup semi-finals to maintain their challenge of a third successive title.

Chelsea scored three goals in 13 first-half minutes, before United goalkeeper Sophie Baggaley was sent off later on.

Pernille Harder opened the scoring after a sublime skilful run and Jessie Fleming’s header looped in a second.

Vilde Boe Risa got one back for United but Chelsea’s Jess Carter made it 3-1 before half-time.

Things got worse for United after the break when substitute Sam Kerr – who only returned from international duty on Tuesday morning – was clattered into by Baggaley outside the box.

The straight red card meant United played the final 10 minutes with 10 players but Chelsea had got the job done in the first half.

The back-to-back defending champions will face either Manchester City or Tottenham – who play in the second semi-final on Thursday – in the final on 5 March in Wimbledon.

The Blues started off strongly as Harder had a shot blocked and saw one fly over the bar before she eventually left defender Aoife Mannion scrambling in the box to slot in the opener.

Five minutes later, Chelsea had doubled their lead when Fleming was left unmarked to head a loose ball over Baggaley from close range.

United responded well – Jackie Groenen and Boe Risa combining with a backheel on the left before the summer signing fired it past Zecira Musovic at the near post.

That gave United a brief burst of energy, but only for a short while, as Carter’s lung-bursting run into the box regained Chelsea’s two-goal advantage shortly before half-time.

United remained a threat from set-pieces with Martha Thomas having a presence in the air but Chelsea looked assured throughout and Harder continued to cause problems with her pace.

There was a debut for Manchester United’s January signing Signe Bruun, who came off the bench in the 67th minute, but she was unable to make an impact.

Meanwhile, Chelsea welcomed back Kerr and there were valuable minutes for former United star Lauren James as a substitute.

Victory for Chelsea was also the perfect way to kickstart a big month as crucial Women’s Super League fixtures at home to rivals Manchester City and Arsenal follow, before an FA Cup fifth-round test against Leicester City.

It was United’s first defeat in normal time since 21 November – they also lost 6-1 to Chelsea in September.


Chelsea Women

Formation 3-4-3

  • 1Musovic
  • 7Carter
  • 4Bright
  • 3Nouwen
  • 11ReitenSubstituted forAbdullinaat 90′minutes
  • 5Ingle
  • 25AnderssonSubstituted forSpenceat 86′minutes
  • 21CharlesBooked at 87mins
  • 22Cuthbert
  • 23HarderSubstituted forJamesat 85′minutes
  • 17FlemingSubstituted forKerrat 68′minutes


  • 14Kirby
  • 19James
  • 20Kerr
  • 24Spence
  • 27Abdullina
  • 30Berger
  • 31Claypole
  • 35Thompson

Man Utd Women

Formation 4-3-3

  • 32BaggaleyBooked at 77mins
  • 17Batlle
  • 3Thorisdottir
  • 5Mannion
  • 6Blundell
  • 14GroenenSubstituted forFusoat 67′minutes
  • 10Zelem
  • 8Risa
  • 9ThomasSubstituted forBruunat 67′minutes
  • 23RussoSubstituted forEarpsat 80′minutes
  • 11Galton


  • 2Harris
  • 13Fuso
  • 15Caldwell
  • 16Bruun
  • 18Hanson
  • 20Smith
  • 24Jones
  • 27Earps

Paul Howard


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