Chelsea not surprised by Manchester City’s fabulous form says Hayes ahead of FA Cup final | OneFootball

Chelsea not surprised by Manchester City’s fabulous form says Hayes ahead of FA Cup final

Logo: FAWSL Full-Time

FAWSL Full-Time

Chelsea manager Emma Hayes says that nobody at the club is surprised by Manchester City’s form ahead of tomorrow’s Vitality Women’s FA Cup final at Wembley.

The Blues come up against a Manchester City side who are bidding for a 14th consecutive victory in all competitions. The Cityzens recovered from a disastrous injury-hit first half of the season to finish third in the Barclays FA Women’s Super League while they also defeated Chelsea 3-1 in the FA Women’s Continental League Cup final in March.

When commenting on Manchester City’s recent form in the pre-match press conference, Chelsea boss Hayes said that nobody in her dressing room has been surprised by their results.

“No, not at all, everyone in this dressing room knows how good those players are,” Hayes said when asked whether she was surprised by Manchester City’s great form. “We knew that the setbacks were temporary.

“Everyone in my dressing room rates Manchester City.”

Chelsea have spent most of the season playing catch up behind Arsenal in the Barclays FA Women’s Super League’s title race. Even when they got themselves in-front, they still needed a final day 4-2 victory over Manchester United to ensure that they retained their status as champions. Hayes went on to say that her side have been playing with pressure for weeks whereas this weekend’s opponents Manchester City have been battling a different kind of pressure.

She said “Would they (Manchester City) prefer to be sitting with a title in their hands? Yes, they were competing for third place but Manchester City expect to be competing for the top position. I think we’ve had to play with the pressure of having to win every game to win the title, it is different pressures for different teams. I’m not saying that you are any more relaxed in that position but it is a lot harder when it is so tight and if you don’t win, you lose the title.

“I have seen the team grow and grow under Gareth’s (Taylor) leadership. They are a team that have come together in a difficult moment and recovered from a really tough moment. They’ve got outstanding talent, particularly in Lauren Hemp, what a player, I love watching her play. It’s exciting for England in the summer but I hope she’s amazing in the summer and terrible on Sunday.”

Chelsea’s games against Manchester City are so often tactical battles and Hayes has likened this weekend’s clash to a chess match.

“They are real tactical battles,” Hayes said. “We feel the same way about each other. This is a chess match between two sides and we’ve got our strengths which can expose them and they have their strengths which can expose us and that’s what you want from a football match.

“I just know that I’ve got a plan and it is important for the team to know that we will have to suffer too because they possess the ball very well and we are not always going to have it. We will need to be disciplined but in possession, I think we have got the ability to score goals so we will play to our strengths.”

The 2021/2022 Vitality Women’s FA Cup final kicks-off at 2.30pm on Sunday afternoon.

View publisher imprint