Chelsea 1 Manchester United Women 0

Sunday 14 May 2023 16:38

Manchester United were narrowly defeated 1-0 by Chelsea in the Vitality Women’s FA Cup final at Wembley.

Despite early chances for Alessia Russo and Leah Galton, the latter having her 'goal' after 20 seconds ruled out for offside, the Reds could not open the scoring in the first half.

It took until after half-time for Chelsea to the get the only strike of the game through Sam Kerr when she was found in space inside the penalty area.

With seconds left in injury time, every United player including goalkeeper Mary Earps went up the field in search of an equaliser but it proved to be in vain as the holders won the Women's FA Cup for the third year in a row. 

United Women's historic first FA Cup final line-up.


Marc Skinner made just one change to the side that beat Tottenham Hotspur in the Women’s Super League last weekend with captain Katie Zelem coming back into the team following her suspension.

Just seconds into the game, United fans thought their team had taken the lead when Galton put the ball in the back of the net but it was quickly ruled offside by the lineswoman. The decision was verified by VAR, as the system was used for the first time in the competition.

Five minutes later, Kerr was found in space on the wing but Reds defender Maya Le Tissier was there to thwart the Chelsea forward.

United continued to push and after careful build-up play, the ball was floated into Alessia Russo, only for Blues goalkeeper Ann Katrin Berger to get there first. 

At the back, Skinner's side were doing well to keep Chelsea at bay and when Galton won possession in our half, the team countered quickly with Toone running down the wing and finding Parris but her curling shot was straight at Berger.

A foul by Hannah Blundell led to a Chelsea free kick just outside the box but the resulting set piece led to Magdalena Eriksson’s header going off target.

Just after the half-hour mark and once again it looked like United were about to take the lead. The ball found the feet of Millie Turner but Berger managed an impressive dive to save the deflected shot.

It was definitely the Reds who dominated the first half and Galton almost ended it with a breakthrough goal when Russo’s cross into the box found her. The United winger could not quite make the rihght connection and the ball went high over the cross bar.

Against the run of play, Kerr was once again found on her own on the wing with just minutes of the first half left. Her cross found former Reds forward Lauren James but her header was denied by Earps, who used quick feet to scramble across the goal and claw the ball away with an impressive one-handed save.

Chelsea 1 United 0: Talking points from Wembley


The key points from the Vitality Women's FA Cup final, as the Reds fall narrowly short.


Emma Hayes’ side came out strongly for the second half and it wasn’t long before they had their next chance of the game.

Chelsea broke down the left and found United’s defence out of place. Kerr’s short cross went straight to substitute Pernille Harder but she couldn’t get a good contact on the ball and it was a comfortable save for Earps.

With 68 minutes on the clock, the FA Cup holders took the lead with Kerr's goal.

Harder, who was immediately impactful when coming on, put in a low cross between Earps and the defence and left Kerr with an easy opportunity to slip it into the back of the net.

Skinner’s side continued to fight after the goal went in, with a chance for Russo to equalise. 

In front of 77,390 fans, a world-record crowd for a women's domestic game, United went agonisingly near to levelling in the closing stages.

Berger flapped at a driven cross from the right by Lucia Garcia, but although the ball fell to Galton, her shot was blocked and the final whistle went minutes later.

The Reds' exciting FA Cup run ended in heartbreak for Toone, Le Tissier and co.


Chelsea: Berger, Leupolz (Ingle, 56), James (Buchanan, 88), Reiten, Perisset, Eriksson, Fleming (Harder, 56), Mjelde, Kerr, Charles (Carter, 72), Cuthbert.

Substitutes not used: Musovic, Svitkova, Kaneryd, Abdullina, Cankovic.

Yellow card: Charles, 55.

Goal: Kerr, 68.

United: Earps, Batlle, Le Tissier, Turner, Blundell (Garcia, 78), Zelem, Ladd (Thomas, 90), Toone (Mannion, 78), Parris (Williams, 61), Galton, Russo.

Substitutes not used: Baggaley, Boe Risa, Riviere, Naalsund, Cascarino.

Match videos:

  • Russo: Lessons to learn Video

    Russo: Lessons to learn

    Alessia Russo reflects on a difficult afternoon at Wembley for United Women...

  • Ladd: We can take confidence from this Video

    Ladd: We can take confidence from this

    Despite losing the Women's FA Cup final to Chelsea, Hayley Ladd says there were plenty of positives for the Reds...

  • Thorisdottir: I'm gutted Video

    Thorisdottir: I'm gutted

    Maria Thorisdottir joins Zarah Connolly pitchside to dissect our Women's FA Cup final defeat...

  • Fans excited for the final Video

    Fans excited for the final

    Ben Ibson chats to our supporters on Wembley Way and hands out some very special gifts...