Arsenal defeated Coventry United 4-0 on Friday to make it through to the Women’s FA Cup semi-finals, where they’ll meet their arch-rivals Chelsea, who defeated them 3-0 in the last final.
Chelsea defeated Birmingham 5-0, while West Ham won 1-0 away to third-tier Ipswich and Manchester City defeated Everton 3-0 to qualify for the semi-final. The full semi-final draw is Arsenal v Chelsea and West Ham v Man City.
Our semi-final will be played on Sunday, 17th April, while the final will take place at Wembley Stadium on Sunday, 15th May. As the men’s team will be away at Southampton on the previous day, you have to wonder if the club will be interested in putting the game at the Emirates Stadium rather than at Borehamwood.
Jonas Eidevall rotated his squad for Coventry United, as widely expected against a side sitting at the bottom of the Championship table. He ended up making nine changes from the side that beat Brighton in the League.
Kim Little and Stina Blackstenius were the only players to retain their place in the side. Both were subbed out just before the hour-mark as the Arsenal manager was obviously preparing for the Champions League tie against Wolfsburg.
The starting XI was Williams; Wienroither, Beattie, Boye-Sorensen, McCabe; Little, Maanum, Nobbs; Parris, Blackstenius, Heath. All the players that hadn’t received a lot of playing time recently were given a start to keep them fresh physically and mentally.
At the same time, they know that they are not likely to be in the starting XI against Wolfsburg, but may have a chance against Tottenham in the North London Derby.
Coventry had a good game and defended very well, and it was good to see four different goalscorers in the game with Blackstenius, Mead, Parris, and Miedema on the scoresheet.
That should give some of those players extra confidence in front of goal, which will be needed in the Champions League tie where chances are at a premium and you need to be clinical when they come.
The next two home games will be played at the Emirates Stadium against Wolfsburg and Tottenham and hopefully, a good crowd will be turning up to support the players. I don’t find it very pleasant to force people to sit in the lower tier as the view there is not great at all.
The alternative is getting a club-level seat for a reasonable value, but it would make sense to open the upper-tier seats for those who want to see the game properly, especially the tactical set-up.
The upcoming games are make-or-break and will shape the Gunners’ season
There are three trophies to aim for or four if you count the Champions League places. It is obvious that unless there is an unexpected collapse, the Arsenal will be back next season in the tournament entering in the second round or at the group stage.
Whether they can win at least one trophy this season is the big question, and we should get the answer by the end of next month.