Women’s football fans across the country are in for a treat if Chelsea and Manchester City end up going head-to-head in the semi-finals of the SSE Women’s FA Cup, according to England legend Sue Smith.
Chelsea booked their place in the last four of the competition on Sunday, sending out a signal of intent with a comprehensive 3-0 win over Liverpool.
That tie was the only one of the four quarter-finals to take place though due to the weather, leaving seven teams still in the hat for Monday’s semi-final draw, conducted by Smith live on BBC Radio 5 Live.
Chelsea were given a home tie against either Manchester City or Sunderland on April 15, with either Durham or Everton taking on Charlton or Arsenal in the other tie.
And Smith, twice an FA Cup runner-up with Leeds United, was relishing the prospect of two of the country’s leading women’s teams battling it out for a place in the final at Wembley on May 5.
“For me a potential Chelsea versus Man City clash is the tie of the round,” she said. “They are two of the best teams in the country, they’re playing in the Champions League, doing well in the WSL, it will be a great spectacle.
“When they played each other in the league, I watched a lot of other football too that weekend but that was probably the best game I watched from a skill and entertainment perspective.
“Both teams have won the competition before and sometimes it’s about the mentality and knowing how to come through difficult situations throughout the course of the season. They both have very experienced players.”
Manchester City are the current SSE Women’s FA Cup champions having lifted the famous trophy in front of a record 35,271 crowd last year.
That was their first success in the competition with Chelsea, currently leading their northern rivals by a point in the Women’s Super League, claiming their maiden win in 2015.
City missed out on further silverware last week when they lost the Continental Tyres Cup final to Arsenal, but with the double still on, Smith was predicting they would be too strong for Sunderland next up.
“Man City are flying high in the league but Sunderland will put everything into the tie and it will be great for the club if they can progress. It is a one-off game and anything can happen,” she added,
“Man City will be hoping for a slip up by Emma Hayes’ team in the league and then they can defend their title.
“But they’ll also be eyeing up defending their SSE Women’s FA Cup crown.”
Tickets are now on sale for the SSE Women’s FA Cup Final on Saturday May 5 at Wembley Stadium connected by EE. For more information about tickets and SSE’s involvement in women’s football visit sponsorship.sse.com
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