Thirteen minutes remained, but the game was all over bar the shouting. Hayes made a triple substitution late on that was well received by the Blues section of the Wembley crowd, as Spence, Ji and Bethany England were introduced. Aniek Nouwen also got on before stoppage-time was complete, getting a few seconds to soak up a winning Wembley cup final as a Chelsea player.
The final whistle was greeted by a roar from the stands and on the pitch, as the celebrations could begin in earnest. For the third time in our history, Chelsea Women were FA Cup winners, only this time it was different. Our previous two triumphs had been part of Doubles, as we were also crowned WSL winners; now it was as part of a Treble, along with the Continental League Cup, or even a Quadruple, with the Community Shield also won back in August 2020.
Whatever you want to call it, one thing was clear as Eriksson became the second Chelsea skipper to get her hands on the FA Cup, after Katie Chapman. The Blues are the dominant side in English football in 2021. Of that there can be no doubt.
We are next in action on Wednesday 8 December when we face Juventus at Kingsmeadow in the Women’s Champions League. Our fifth Group A fixture of the season gets under way at 8pm. Tickets for that game are still available – click here to buy yours now!
Chelsea (3-4-3) Berger; Bright, Carter, Eriksson (c); Cuthbert, Ingle (Nouwen 90+4), Leupolz (Ji 86), Reiten (Spence 86); Kirby (Harder 74), Kerr (England 86), Fleming
Unused subs Musovic, Charles, Andersson, Fox
Scorers Kirby 3, Kerr 57, 77
Booked Cuthbert 45
Arsenal (4-3-3) Zinsberger; Maritz, Wubben-Moy (Boye 87), Beattie (Foord 70), Catley; Maanum (Parris 80), Walti (Iwabuchi 61), Little (c); Mead, Miedema, McCabe
Unused subs Williams, Patten, Nobbs, Schnaderbeck, Goldie
Booked Mead 8, McCabe 65, Parris 81
Referee Helen Conley