Arsenal women have been drawn against Aston Villa in the Conti Cup – assuming the can beat London City Lionesses in their re-arranged fixture.

Arsenal were due to face London City Lionesses during the week but the game was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch.

With the other ties concluded, teh draw was made for the semi-finals with Arsenal drawn at home against Aston Villa, assuming the win their outstanding tie.

Conti Cup semi-final draw:

  • Manchester City vs Chelsea
  • London City/Arsenal vs Aston Villa

A date has not yet been set for the rescheduled fixture.

8 February 2024

London City boss sacked after Arsenal game postponed

ROME, ITALY - AUGUST 29: Lazio women head coach Carolina Morace looks on during the Women Serie A match between SS Lazio v UC Sampdoria at on August 29, 2021 in Rome, Italy. (Photo by Marco Rosi - SS Lazio/Getty Images)
ROME, ITALY – AUGUST 29: Lazio women head coach Carolina Morace looks on during the Women Serie A match between SS Lazio v UC Sampdoria at on August 29, 2021 in Rome, Italy. (Photo by Marco Rosi – SS Lazio/Getty Images)conti cup

Arsenal fans preparing for a crucial Conti Cup quarter-final against London City Lionesses on Wednesday night were met with unexpected news: the match was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch, but that wasn’t all.

With kick-off meant to take place at 7pm, London City sacked their manager Carolina Morace just minutes before what would have been half-time in the game.

While the postponement due to heavy rain at Princes Park was frustrating, the news of Morace’s departure added another layer of intrigue to the already high-stakes encounter. Now, the Gunners will face a London City side in disarray, led by temporary manager Darren Smith, when the rearranged fixture eventually takes place.

The Italian coach, appointed in July 2023, endured a difficult past few months. London City languished in 10th place in the Championship, winless in their last six league games. Despite a promising League Cup run, topping a group including Crystal Palace and Lewes, the board decided a change was needed.

The club’s recent acquisition by Michele Kang, owner of US side Washington Spirit, hints at lofty ambitions and it seems that Morace was not meeting those standards.

Morace has had a distinguished career in football both as a player and a coach before her tenure with the London City Lionesses. Born in Venice, Italy, Morace played as a forward during her footballing career. She is best known for her scoring prowess, having been a leading striker in the Italian Serie A and for the Italian national team.

Her playing career spanned several clubs in Italy, where she was renowned for her goal-scoring ability. She began her career at Giugliano, before moving on to clubs such as Lazio, where she was particularly prolific, and then Trani and Modena. Over her career, she amassed an impressive goal tally, making her one of the top scorers in Italian women’s football history.

On the international stage, Morace represented Italy from 1978 to 1997, scoring over 100 goals for her country. Her international career highlights include participating in the inaugural FIFA Women’s World Cup in 1991, where she made a significant impact.

Transitioning into coaching after her playing days, Morace has had an extensive coaching career at both the club and international levels. Notably, she served as the head coach of the Italian national team from 2000 to 2005, where she was the first woman to lead the squad, implementing tactical and technical advancements in the team.

Morace also made history as the head coach of the Canadian national team from 2009 to 2011, leading them to the CONCACAF Women’s Gold Cup victory in 2010 and qualifying for the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

Elsewhere in the Cup

While Arsenal await their rescheduled date, other Conti Cup ties unfolded. Chelsea cruised to a 5-0 victory at home to Sunderland, Manchester City edged past Tottenham 1-0, and Aston Villa triumphed over Brighton on penalties after a goalless draw.