With no first team game this weekend with players coming back from international duty, focus was on the Youth Teams who were playing in their respective cups.
On Saturday, the u16 team defeated Oxford United away 3-0 to qualify for the FA Girls Youth Cup final where they will play Chelsea.
The final is traditionally played at St George’s Park and open to friends and families.
On Sunday, the Academy (u21) team led by Lauren “Potts” Phillips beat Chelsea 2-0 to set-up a semi-final against Ipswich Town.
Our Academy team is actually an u19 side because all the girls born in 98 and 99 have left the team in the last two summers due to a lack of first team opportunity.
England u17 internationals Melisa Filis and Ruby Grant scored the two goals in an entertaining game under very difficult weather conditions.
The crossfield wind diverted any high balls in such a way that, during the second half, a clearance from Chelsea went up and forward and then flew backwards and out for a corner kick.
Overall, it was a medium intensity game with limited fouling and no-one getting ‘stuck in’ or with and aggressive mentality. It was a game played in an excellent spirit with both teams trying hard to play football in a positive manner.
Both goals were long-range shots. For the opener, Filis received the ball on the edge of the box. She managed to pivot and rifled a powerful low shot that went into the inside side netting. Power and precision from the Arsenal centre-forward on the day.
The second goal was a powerful 30-yard-shot from Grant that the Chelsea goalie mis-handled, exactly the same way the Uruguay goalie messed up the Griezmann shot in the World Cup quarter-finals last year.
Arsenal then proceeded to control the game and no more goals were scored, despite a resurgent Chelsea fightback in the second half.
Grant had a good chance in the final part of the game, when she was set-up by Hazard, but her shot went wide.
Overall, it was a well-deserved victory and there is a good chance of a double cup final.
The opposition, Ipswich, will be top quality as they defeated Manchester City 4-1.
The game will be played on 24th March at Herts University.
The first team will be back on Thursday at home to Bristol in a must-win game in the title race.