How Arsenal went back in time to win the League Cup and end their trophy drought
Arsenal, formerly a women’s soccer powerhouse, has had to wait to experience success once more, but on Sunday, their victory over Chelsea brought back memories of those trophy-laden campaigns, rolling back the years.
In the Continental League Cup final at Selhurst Park, Jonas Eidevall’s team triumphed deservingly after displaying determination, passion, and a great deal of talent to come from behind and win 3-1.
Fara Williams, an ex-England midfielder, said it was like witnessing the “old Arsenal” as Arsenal added a sixth League Cup trophy to their collection.
The Arsenal had not won a trophy in four years, and now they had to defeat a Chelsea team that had just given them so much trouble.
With their most recent loss coming in the FA Cup last weekend, Arsenal had not defeated Chelsea in five encounters going into the championship game, but despite falling down after just two minutes, they displayed the kind of tenacity and will that had supported their earlier victories.
According to manager Jonas Eidevall, Arsenal has historically been the top club in women’s football but hasn’t been over the past ten years.
“Obviously, the club has aspirations to regain that position. Having stated that, we are aware that it will be challenging, but that is the goal.
“This might give us hope because we can see that given the way we work, it could lead to a trophy.”
“It feels wonderful to be able to give back.”
Jen Beattie and Kim Little congratulate one another.
Kim Little (left) and Jen Beattie (right) were both a part of the trophy-winning Arsenal teams more than ten years ago. From the moment Stina Blackstenius coolly scored the game-tying goal to cancel out Sam Kerr’s first goal after 16 minutes, Arsenal outplayed Chelsea.
They applied intense pressure, produced numerous opportunities for goals, and forced Chelsea to alter its strategy—but none of it was successful.
Kim Little, the captain, was in charge of the midfield and earned the player of the match honors in addition to scoring a goal.
Given that she made her club debut in 2008 and was involved in four of Arsenal’s previous five League Cup victories, it seemed only right that she would be the one to hold the cup.
“She puts on that performance when you thought she couldn’t be any better,” said Eidevall.
I thought she was outstanding. She nearly played a flawless match. Being able to produce like that when it matters most is a quality of a great player.
It’s amazing to see what it means to these players, Williams continued. Arsenal has been around for a while, and champions like to hoist trophies.
“It seems that Arsenal desired it more. They were more motivated than ever. The players for Arsenal had an attitude, and Kim Little in particular spoke up.
Ian Wright is in the throng, looking on.
After the game, Arsenal great Ian Wright joined the team in the locker room to celebrate.
The build-up to Sunday’s final was supported by constant reminders of Arsenal’s terrible history versus Chelsea and the Blues’ recent domination in domestic cup finals.
For the Gunners, breaking that run in such an important game felt like a major victory. At full-time, joy was the catalyst for an emotional outburst. Players congratulated the squad in the dressing room after running over to the crowd to do so. Club veteran Ian Wright afterwards did the same. The “relationship” within the club was highlighted by Eidevall.
He continued, “For me, it was fantastic to witness the joy on the faces of the staff, the players, and to see a club veteran like Ian Wright walk down to the dressing room, to enjoy that moment with him.
“I’m really glad we got to enjoy that moment again because it shows how connected we are. Speaking of our fans and the mood they create, I am at a loss for words. It strikes me as unique.
“I can’t just assume that. Special people support our club, therefore it feels even better to be able to return the favor.
They desired it more because there was complacency.
Sam Kerr, a striker for Chelsea, expresses her annoyance during the League Cup final.
Sam Kerr handed Chelsea the early advantage before Arsenal rallied for a 3-1 victory.
Emma Hayes was naturally disappointed in her team’s performance after their 2-0 victory against Arsenal seven days prior because they consistently played below par.
Arsenal “showed hunger in everything they did and truly went after it,” according to former Gunners defender Anita Asante.
They competed with a Chelsea team that has dominated this sport for so many years, if not outperformed them.
Chelsea lost the League Cup final for the second time in a row after falling to Manchester City in 2022, and Hayes blamed “complacency” for the defeat.
“A team with a lot of wins and a team without any wins made a difference. They prevailed in the duel and were more intense than we were. There’s no question that the best squad won, she continued.
“I’m disappointed with us; you can’t let up three goals to a team that hasn’t had much success, which they don’t have at home. Yet their desire was greater.
You must prevail in your conflicts, and we failed to do so. Sometimes you need to take a reality check when you don’t do such things.
There was complacency because we achieved a lot and others didn’t, despite their greater desire. simply put.