That was all the springboard Chelsea needed to dismantle their opponents. Ji’s maurauding runs caused Montemurro’s defence no end of issues and they never found a way of nullifying England, Karen Carney or Cuthbert. Nothing embodied Chelsea’s swagger better than their third, when England sauntered into the box, unopposed, and delivered a wonderful flick into the far corner.
Arsenal’s dreams of a domestic treble have been dashed but they will know, secretly, that the damage could have been so much greater against a Chelsea side on this form. Fran Kirby was denied by Pauline Peyraud-Magnin at the death while Arsenal will rue Beth Mead’s lack of composure when she found herself one-on-one in the second half.
“They wanted to get into the spaces with deeper runs and draw us out of areas that I didn’t want the team to get drawn out of,” Hayes said. “We made adjustments and the team adjusted well to the flow. We frustrated them and left players in possession of the ball that didn’t really want to be on the ball.”
Chelsea: Berger; Andersson, Blundell, Bright, Ingle; Carney, Ji (Kirby 70), Eriksson, Spence, Cuthbert (Riley 82); England (Bachmann 65).
Subs: Lindahl (GK), Asante, Carter, Riley, Kirby, Cooper, Bachmann.
Goals: England 5, 58, Andersson 40