Chelsea Women v Manchester City Women: Gareth Taylor’s team ‘desperate’ to beat defending champions

Venue of events: wembley stadium Date: Sunday May 15 Kick off: 14:30 BST
Coverage: Watch it on BBC One, BBC iPlayer, the BBC Sport website and the BBC Sport app. Listen to the commentary on BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra and follow text updates on the BBC Sport website

Manchester City manager Gareth Taylor says his side are “desperate” to win Sunday’s FA Women’s Cup final against champions Chelsea at Wembley.

Both City and Super League Women’s champions Chelsea are aiming for a fourth FA Cup win.

And like Chelsea, Taylor’s side will hope to secure a domestic double, having won the Continental League Cup in March.

“Regardless of what happens on Sunday, we’re very proud of the way we’ve finished the season,” Taylor said.

Although the FA Cup has been won by Manchester City and Chelsea in each of the last five seasons, this will be the first final between the rivals in the competition.

Taylor added: “We’re desperate to win and if we don’t succeed, I still think it’s a positive season. We’re moving in the right direction.”

City produced a second-half comeback to defeat Chelsea 3-1 in March’s League Cup final, claiming their first trophy since the 2020 FA Cup.

And while Chelsea have won both of their league games this term, their 1-0 triumph at City in February has been followed by 13 wins in a row for Taylor’s side in all competitions as they bounced back from a poor start. to clinch the third and final spot in the WSL Champions League.

“We’re going to get into shape, but Chelsea too,” Taylor said. “It’s a unique game and it’s about who runs the game well enough that day, who plays the game and not the occasion.

“It will be great for the fans of both teams and hopefully for the neutrals it will be an exciting game as well. Hopefully we will see good football and decent winners at the end.”

The city boss confirmed that Demi Stokes and Jess Park are in contention, but goalkeeper Karen Bardsley, Esme Morgan and Steph Houghton remain out.

Kirby ‘generational talent’ available for Chelsea

Chelsea beat Arsenal 3-0 to win the delayed 2020-21 final in December and complete their first domestic treble.

Emma Hayes’s side have won four of the last five domestic trophies available to them and are on an 11-match winning streak, a run that ensured they held off Arsenal to clinch a third consecutive WSL title by just one point last weekend.

Chelsea’s last defeat, and only defeat in their last 20 games in all competitions, came in the League Cup final against City.

More than 50,000 tickets have been sold for the latest installment of this rivalry, surpassing the current attendance record of 45,423 for an FA Women’s Cup final.

It will also be the first time the men’s and women’s finals have been played on the same weekend, with Chelsea’s men taking on Liverpool on Saturday.

Hayes said: “The women’s game wins again on Sunday with the hope of a record crowd and two amazing teams full of talent.

“As far as the crucial games go, we’ve handled that well over the years. The team is amazing at finding sustained success.”

“I admire the players a lot for their motivation to keep improving.”

Hayes said midfielder Fran Kirby will be available on Sunday as he has not played for club or country since February. after struggling with fatigue.

“Fran Kirby is a generational talent,” added the Chelsea manager. “Maybe I’m biased because I work with her, but rarely have I seen a female footballer capable of doing what she does.

“She has eyes in the back of her head. She’s a winner every day. She gets upset when things don’t go well because she really wants to win. She’s really grown at Chelsea, through a lot of adversity, and I’ve admired the way she handles that. .

“I care about her. I always think about what she would want if she were my son. We’ve made decisions together to make things right. I just want her to be safe and happy. She’s in a great place today.”

BBC One’s live coverage of Sunday’s draw between Chelsea and Manchester City begins at 1.50pm BST, kicking off at 2.30pm.

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