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  • Writer's pictureAshlea Follows

Women’s FA Cup 5th round summary

This weekend we saw a break in the WSL, as it was time for the 5th round of the FA Cup, 9 WSL clubs were in action, 5 from the championship, and two clubs from tier 3, which were Wolves and Nottingham Forest.

 

We start with Leicester vs Birmingham City, The Blues who are ex-WSL, and Leicester who sit 7th in the WSL table, were well-matched in the first half but Leicester were just edging it as the scoreline was 3-2. But in the second half, the Foxes showed their class and secured their place in the quarter-finals by scoring three goals, these came from Saori Takarada, Deanne Rose, and Aileen Whelan.

Tottenham faced championship leaders Charlton, Spurs had 12 shots in the game but only managed one on target, and luckily for them it was the winning goal from Kit Graham in the 76th minute. Charlton will be disappointed to have gone out of the tournament however, losing 1-0 to a WSL side is nothing to be ashamed of, and by the end of the season could they be going up to the WSL themselves?

 

Arguably the biggest tie of the weekend was Arsenal vs Manchester City, with England manager Sarina Wiegman also in attendance in the crowd, it’s fair to say both sides didn’t disappoint. Man City dominated the first half in terms of dangerous attacks however, Arsenal keeper D’Angelo didn’t have a lot to do in terms of crucial saves. But it was the second half that was brilliant, both D’Angelo and young city keeper Khiara Keating produced some outstanding saves to keep their sides in it.


It was Laia Aleixandri who finally broke the deadlock for City, Alex Greenwood whipped in a free-kick that Arsenal failed to deal with and the Spanish defender made no mistake in stabbing the ball home. In added time at the end of the half, Keating pulled off some incredible saves and ultimately made sure her side qualified for the quarter-finals yet again. Heartbreak for Arsenal and Jonas Eidevall, pure joy and jubilation for Gareth Taylor and his City side.

 

Manchester United faced Southampton, and once again they had to rely on veteran striker Rachel Williams to dig them out of a hole as she scored two goals late on to send the Red Devils through to the quarter-finals. United took the lead early on through Ella Toone, however, in the 65th minute the Saints equalized through Lexi Lloyd-Smith.

 

London City Lionesses overall gave a good account of themselves defensively against Liverpool, but it was Matt Beard's side who comfortably won 2-0. Goals came from Sophie Roman Haug and ex-England international Melissa Lawley.

 

The shock of the weekend came from Chelsea, yes they made it through to the quarter-finals yet again, however, it took a moment of magic from new signing Mayra Ramirez in the 81st minute to beat championship side Crystal Palace 1-0. Palace didn’t manage any shots on target all match but they limited the WSL champions to just 3 shots on target. Emma Hayes is still on for the quadruple in her final season as Chelsea boss.

 

Now we reach the two lowest-ranked sides that were left in the competition Wolves and Nottingham Forest of the National League. Both sides came up against WSL sides so it was a tough ask for them to progress further.


Forest did okay in the first half against Everton, they were only 2-1 down, however second half they were brushed aside as they eventually lost 7-1, Everton had 7 different goalscorers in the game. Similar scenes happened with Wolves against Brighton. Wolves were only 1-0 down at half-time after Katie Robinson scored, and in fact, midway through the second-half Wolves levelled the scoreline through a Beth Merrick penalty. But a hat-trick from Emma Kullberg within the final 10 minutes of the game brushed Wolves aside and therefore sent the WSL side through.

 

So round five of the Women’s FA Cup saw all the WSL sides go through, meaning yet again a WSL side will lift the trophy. For Wolves and Forest to reach this round of the competition is a massive achievement for them and the fact they went toe-to-toe with some of the best teams in England is a true credit to them. And even though all the WSL sides did progress, some of the championship sides such as Palace and Charlton made it very difficult and gave a good account for themselves as well.

 

Who will win the cup then? Will it be Chelsea (again)?, could City go all the way? Or will one of the other WSL sides provide a big shock?

 

Quarter-Finals Draw in full:

 

● Liverpool vs Leicester City

● Everton vs Chelsea

● Tottenham vs Man City

● Brighton vs Man United

 

These fixtures are set to be played on Sunday 10th March, kick-off times and venues are to be confirmed.

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