Kerr Sends Chelsea to Women’s FA Cup Final


By Sedara Philip

Holders Chelsea booked their place in the Women’s FA Cup final with a narrow victory over Aston Villa and remain on course to win the trophy for the third year in a row.

Sam Kerr headed in the winner at the back post in the second half but there were chances for both sides throughout an evenly-matched encounter at Bescot Stadium.

First-time semi-finalists Villa almost took the lead when Rachel Daly’s effort was blocked by defender Magdalena Eriksson, before Chelsea’s Eve Perisset sliced a golden opportunity over the bar on the brink of half-time.

Carla Ward’s Villa side grew into the match but lacked quality in decisive moments which proved costly as they looked to cause an upset.

In contrast, Blues striker Kerr only needed one chance to make her mark, rising highest to meet Guro Reiten’s cross for her 24th goal in all competitions this season.

“You can’t [stop her]. I’ve never seen a centre forward move as much as her. It’s not just a single movement. It’s double movement,” said Chelsea manager Emma Hayes.

“Her energy levels – it’s like she’s a 12-year-old. It’s infectious. But I don’t know a striker in world football that can do what she does. She’s the best.”

Kerr’s decisive goal came after Villa’s Alisha Lehmann had fired inches wide at the other end – and the Swiss winger had another chance later on but fizzed it across the face of the goal in the 77th minute.

Chelsea were forced to hold on in the latter stages as Villa pushed desperately for an equaliser, with full-back Sarah Mayling striking the post, but the Blues held their nerve to reach another final.

They will meet Manchester United at Wembley on 14 May after the Red Devils’ dramatic late victory over Brighton on Saturday.

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