Chelsea Ladies 0 Arsenal Ladies 1
Chelsea Ladies’ bid to retain the Women’s FA Cup ended with a disappointing performance in front of almost 33,000 fans at Wembley.
Arsenal’s Danielle Carter scored the only goal of the game, on 17 minutes, cutting in from the left before clipping a perfectly placed shot beyond Blues keeper Hedvig Lindahl and into the far corner.
Emma Hayes’ side, who had won all seven of their games in 2016 leading up to the final, could only muster half-chances in response.
The best arguably came immediately after the goal, when Fran Kirby was played through but she blasted at the legs of Arsenal keeper Sari Van Veenendaal at the near post.
Chelsea’s Ji So-yun and Drew Spence both fired over when well placed in the first half, though Arsenal should have doubled their lead before the break with Asisat Oshoala scuffing her shot with only Lindahl to beat.
The Gunners, who lost 2-0 to Chelsea in the league only two weeks ago, again went close shortly after the restart when Vicky Losada crashed a header against the bar from six yards out.
Ji, who was kept relatively quiet, had Chelsea’s clearest effort of the second half as she brought down Ana Borges’ corner, but the Korean lifted her shot over the bar.
Kirby saw a shot drop just wide as Chelsea pressed late on but it was Arsenal who celebrated thanks to Carter’s special strike.
Chelsea Ladies: Lindahl; Blundell, Bright (England 78), Flaherty, Borges; Chapman, Spence (Fahey 46); Davison, Ji, Carney (Aluko 60); Kirby.
Subs not used: Rafferty, Spencer.