Arsenal v Chelsea: Women’s FA Cup Final – Live!

Labyrinthine Covid Reminder System Is The Real Reason For The Delays

Sunday May 9, 1971 was a big day for the Bolton and District Cricket Association League. Atherton CC was beaten for 68 by Astley and Tyldesley Collieries, who snuck their way to victory through a wicket. I know because the scores for that league were printed in the Guardian the next day. The same goes for the results of the Cross Cup, Glossop League, Shettleston Marathon, North of England Lacrosse League and Longwood 10-mile Road Race, and I’m not really making any of that up.

A sporting event shone, or rather shines by its absence: the inaugural final of the women’s FA Cup. Nada. Nothing. Sweet guy. Not even the score. (Southampton beat Stewarton Thistle 4-1, with Pat Davies scoring a hat-trick.) The world has changed since DCI’s heyday Gene Hunt, and it’s not just the Guardian that embraced women’s football. Today’s final between Arsenal and Chelsea will be a celebration of 50 years of the FA Cup and the quality of sport.

The quality of both teams makes it a perfect final. It is also an enigma of the future: In which season did the country’s top two teams face each other in the FA Cup final, having finished first and third in the league?

The answer, of course, is 2020-21. This game belongs to last season, when Arsenal finished behind Chelsea and Manchester City, and is now being played due to the backlog caused by Covid. Arsenal have replaced City as Chelsea’s main rivals this season, no matter what Emma Hayes is saying publicly, and the two are embroiled in a frantic race for the title.

One of them will go down in history today. Either Arsenal will win the FA Cup for a 15th time, a record, or Chelsea will do so for the third – and, more importantly, complete their first domestic treble.

More importantly, the result will be in all the papers tomorrow.

To start up 14h.


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