Manchester City continued their march towards a historic haul of trophies on Sunday as they booked their place in the SSE Women’s FA Cup Final next month.
An inexplicable own goal from Chelsea defender Magdalena Eriksson two minutes into stoppage time saw City claim a 1-0 win after a tense, evenly fought encounter.
Despite no pressure from any City player, the Swedish international seemed caught in two minds as Demi Stokes floated a cross in from the left and inadvertedly diverted it past her own keeper and just inside the post.
Having come through a stern challenge against the reigning champions, City defender and Player of the Match Jen Beattie backed her side’s ‘talent and character’ to shine through as they look to add a second FA Cup title against West Ham on May 4.
“I’m ecstatic,” she said. “It was an unfortunate goal to concede for them but we’re at Wembley and that’s the number one thing.
“It was probably an even game. They hit the woodwork a couple of times, but we came out on top and that’s the main thing.
“This team is definitely growing in terms of experience. Virtually all of us are international players and that’s what you need in these big games, coming into the business end of the season it’s big games like this that you want to be ready for.
“We’ve got loads of characters and so much talent in this team, and we’re thankful to be at this stage of the season.
“This team will never give up, we’ll always fight until the very end.”
With City having lifted the Continental Cup this season alongside the men’s side’s Carabao Cup win, the club are now aiming for an unprecedented cup quadruple between the two first teams – with potentially seven trophies making their way back to East Manchester.
The Women’s Super League title chase is out of their own hands, so manager Nick Cushing isn’t thinking about that just yet.
But as he and colleague Pep Guardiola prepare to lead their teams to Wembley, Cushing was keen to highlight the very real sense of togetherness that unites City’s teams as they strive to make history.
“We all know that [winning every trophy] is going to be incredibly difficult,” he said.
“Our men’s first team have won today and it gives them an opportunity to continue trying to be successful, we’ve won today and we’re in an FA Cup final.
“Knowing the way that we work at Manchester City, we’ll all just concentrate on our next game and make sure we win that one.
WE’RE MAN CITY WE FIGHT TILL THE END! pic.twitter.com/ccrP4jT8UL
— Man City Women (@ManCityWomen) April 14, 2019
“There is a real inclusivity with the teams here whether it’s myself with the first-team manager, the communications department, the media department – I’ve got the under-18s coat on today.
“All of these things produce winning football teams and we just want to continue to win and then we can continue to do good things at this football club.”
Main image via @ManCityWomen, with thanks.