Guro Reiten's double leads Chelsea in Continental Cup romp against Arsenal


If a football match takes place but nobody can see or hear it then does it really happen? Arsenal will certainly be hoping their defeat by Chelsea is quickly forgotten. Frustrations were high in the buildup to this Continental Cup group game between last season’s finalists with the lack of live coverage of the tie at the centre and four goals inside 30 minutes doing nothing to placate irritated fans.

“Listen, I always understand,” said the Chelsea manager, Emma Hayes, regarding the fans’ frustration (some clubs have streamed games themselves to make up for a lack of broadcasting). “I know how difficult it is for fans not to be able to come into the stadium and be with their team and not being able to watch must have been extremely frustrating. All I can say is Chelsea are as committed as ever to providing as much as they can and I certainly will be making sure I push the club to value every single game.”

Arsenal were repeatedly carved open by a Chelsea team full of energy from the off but a Caitlin Foord screamer from distance provided an equaliser after the Chelsea captain, Magda Eriksson, had powered a hearer past Manuela Zinsberger.

Chelsea quickly regrouped and continued to pile pressure on Arsenal’s already depleted forces. With the centre-back Leah Williamson relegated to the bench, presumably rested amid a heavy run of fixtures, the 21-year-old Lotte Wubben-Moy, who rejoined Arsenal from the University of North Carolina, in the summer was handed her first start of the season.

The number of Arsenal players wrapped up in the stands looked eerily familiar. Two seasons on the trot they have endured an almost freakish level of injuries to stretch their squad to the max. Lisa Evans, Jill Roord, Kim Little, Steph Catley and Lydia Williams all watched on.

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Magdalena Eriksson (centre) opens the scoring for Chelsea.



Magdalena Eriksson (centre) opens the scoring for Chelsea. Photograph: John Walton/PA

Two minutes after Arsenal scored the equaliser Chelsea restored their lead, a cross from the right poked into the far corner by Guro Reiten. Arsenal were not without their chances and Carly Telford did well to parry away an effort from Vivianne Miedema when one on one. Reiten then pounced again for Chelsea, slashing in from the edge of the area after Zinsberger had pushed away Sam Kerr’s shot. The substitute Beth England added the fourth goal in the closing stages.

This was Chelsea’s sixth victory in a row against their London rivals since the infamous 5-0 drubbing Arsenal dealt their hosts at the same ground in October 2018. It was also their first meeting since Chelsea got the better of Arsenal at Nottingham Forest’s City Ground in February’s Continental Cup final.

Not only have they exorcised the ghosts of that heavy defeat but it is fair to say Hayes’s team have truly pulled away from their cross-city foes.



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