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Assistant manager Paul Green heaped praise on Chelsea's players as they powered to an SSE Women's FA Cup final victory over Arsenal.
A delightful Ramona Bachmann double and Fran Kirby's excellent strike sealed a 3-1 success for the Blues, with Vivianne Miedema giving the Gunners hope with a close range finish to make it 2-1 after Bachmann struck twice early in the second period.
The triumph, in front of a record crowd of more than 45,000 at Wembley, was the second time Chelsea have lifted the trophy after beating Notts County in the 2015 showpiece and it was revenge for the 2016 final between the two sides, which saw Arsenal defeat the Blues, heavy favourites on the day, to lift their 14th crown.
But the west Londoners showed no signs of nerves this time around and Green was left beaming after their commanding display at the home of football. "I thought it was an outstanding performance from start to finish - we played some excellent football and those three goals would light up any final," said Green. "I thought there of them were excellent strikes and we thoroughly deserved winners.
"At half time, Emma Hayes and I encouraged the strikers once they were in one against one situations to be a bit more direct and try and drive at them and take them into the box rather than be so intricate and trying to find combinations around the box. I thought they did really well and we got the joy from that with all three goals."
It was Chelsea's first trophy of the season and they will hope to add to their silverware cabinet in less than a month's time with the FA WSL 1 title race going down to the wire. Chelsea lost to Wolfsburg in the UEFA Women's Champions League semi finals the week before, and Green added the FA Cup title was the perfect way to rally from the European disappointment.
"It was a great way to bounce back - to get to a European semi-final, obviously you want to go to the final but Wolfsburg did show over the two legs that they were the better team," he added. "We've still got a way to go but certainly domestically we're one of the dominant teams and we showed that and you can't ask for a better way to bounce back from a European exit than winning the FA Cup."
Chelsea's individual brilliance was the difference between the sides in the SSE Women's FA Cup final victory, according to Arsenal boss Joe Montemurro.
"They've got three players up top who are world class and you make one error in transition and all of a sudden they're running at you and you're in trouble," said Montemurro. "They took their chances and they were just better than us.
"The second goal was probably the one which hurt us. I actually felt we started the game with a little bit of rhythm. I adjusted a couple of things and we looked like we could have probably got something.
"But at the end of the day they were better, they dominated in patches, we dropped off a little bit too much, gave them too much space and they'll hurt you."
Montemurro took charge of Arsenal in November following the departure of Pedro Martinez Losa and has masterminded an upturn in form and fortunes. They defeated Manchester City to lift the Continental Tyres Cup in March and have steadily climbed the FA WSL 1 table following an indifferent start to the season.
The manager was quick to praise his players for their attitude and work rate since he took the hot seat, but vowed there was still a long way to go to establish the Gunners as the dominant force in the women's game once again.
"The players have worked hard and deserve everything they get," added the boss. "They've turned things around in terms of where we're at and created a very good platform for us to go forward in the coming years.
"It's a long term process of building and we've had to change some things this year and we're very proud of what we've achieved.
"But we're still not happy, we want to be up there with the best and the more exposure we get to these games and teams like Chelsea the better we'll be."
For more information about SSE's involvement in women's football visit https://sponsorship.sse.com/
by Jimmy Booker, Sportsbeat
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