Manchester City beat Arsenal on penalties to win third Continental Cup


Manchester City avenged last season’s Continental Cup defeat to Arsenal by beating them 4-2 on penalties to lift the trophy for the third time.

Nick Cushing’s side had several opportunities to emerge victorious in normal time with Nikita Parris and Janine Beckie hitting the bar in the second 45 minutes. City captain and former Arsenal player Steph Houghton had a header saved at the end of half-time which could have changed the game completely had it been converted.

WSL top scorer Vivianne Miedema was understood to be suffering from fatigue and therefore took her place on the bench. With Arsenal missing her presence up front, the Gunners were not at their best, partly due to so many key players being out injured, and now only have the league to focus on.

Despite City’s best efforts, the sides could not be separated in normal or extra time so it had to come down to penalties.

Georgia Stanway and Kim Little scored the first penalties for their respective sides. Lauren Hemp had her penalty saved by Arsenal goalkeeper Sari van Veenendaal before Man City’s Karen Bardsley kept out Leah Williamson’s spot-kick.

Claire Emslie converted from 12 yards to give City the advantage which was increased when Bardsley denied Danielle van de Donk. Houghton scored her penalty as she contributed to her sixth Conti Cup win. Dominique Bloodworth scored Arsenal’s second penalty before Beckie ended the contest as Man City won 4-2 on penalties.

In the end, the best team won. Now the attention turns back to the WSL where Man City are the only unbeaten team this season and have a two-point advantage ahead of second-placed Arsenal. It certainly won’t be a dull match when these sides meet again on the final day of the league season.


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