Chelsea booked their place in the Women’s FA Cup quarter-finals with a deserved 3-0 victory over Arsenal at Kingsmeadow.

Two goals from Beth England either side of a Jonna Andersson thunderbolt ensured Chelsea’s second win against their London rivals this year.

In an encounter expected to be tight, a clinical Chelsea weren’t given too many problems by a lacklustre attacking display from Arsenal.

Here are five things we learned from the game.

1. Chelsea take more revenge on Arsenal after league thrashing

Chelsea were unbeaten at home for two years before Arsenal travelled to Kingsmeadow for a Super League match back in October. The hosts were left shellshocked, losing 5-0 as the Gunners put on a stunning display.

Arsenal lost last season’s FA Cup final 3-1 to Chelsea only a few months earlier, which is perhaps why the 5-0 thrashing came as such a surprise. There isn’t much between the sides in terms of quality, so fluctuating results are to be expected; 5-0 was certainly excessive, though.

The Blues took revenge in January, winning 2-1 at Meadow Park thanks to Erin Cuthbert’s brace. Still reeling from the last times the sides met at Kingsmeadow, Chelsea weren’t about to allow a repeat on Sunday and duly took a 2-0 into the break this time around, rather than trailing 2-0 as in the league fixture.

A third goal in the second half compounded Arsenal’s misery and completed Chelsea’s retribution. The London derby absolutely lived up to its billing.

2. Beth England’s movement and pace too much for Arsenal

It was a relatively tight contest in central areas, but Chelsea were able to take advantage of the spaces Arsenal left on the flanks. Beth England was particularly exploitative.

England’s pace and movement were simply too much for Arsenal to handle. The 24-year-old would often make runs into the channels and get there before here marker, frightening the visiting defenders with her speed and suddenly putting Chelsea on the front foot.

For both her goals, the first and third of the afternoon, England was in the right place at the right time as a result of her pace. Here second was route one but perfectly executed; England latched onto a flick-on and was always going to beat her marker to the ball, and the finish was unerring.

What’s more, England’s agility was just as useful off the ball as it was on it. She was able to create space for teammates by dragging Arsenal’s defence all over the place with here incisive runs.

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3. Bolt from the Blue proves decisive

It looked as if Chelsea would take a narrow 1-0 lead into the break before Jonna Andersson lined up a shot from 25 yards. Her decision to let fly appeared ambitious at first, but it was the correct choice.

Arsenal goalkeeper Pauline Peyraud-Magnin seemed to lose the flight of the ball, which went through her hands to give Chelsea a 2-0 lead. Whether the ball’s movement was to blame or it was a bad mistake from Peyraud-Magnin is up for debate, but the goal’s impact on the game was undeniable.

The Gunners came out after the break improved, and they may have been more likely to get back into the contest at 1-0. Andersson’s goal ensured that wasn’t the case by giving Chelsea a two-goal cushion, allowing them to soak up pressure and hit Arsenal on the break with a third.

4. Mistakes cost Arsenal as attention turns to Super League

Peyraud-Magnin wasn’t the only player arguably at fault for a Chelsea goal. Full-back Emma Mitchell gave the ball away to Cuthbert in a dangerous area early on, and Cuthbert was able to slice through the Arsenal defence and set up England for the opener.

Following their FA Cup exit, Arsenal’s attention now turns to other competitions. They face Manchester City in the League Cup final next weekend before the Super League title race continues.

Arsenal currently trail leaders Manchester City by two points, but the Gunners have two games in hand and a superior goal difference. Regardless of the result in the League Cup final, Arsenal will surely be motivated to move into top spot in the Super League over the next few weeks.

5. Chelsea emerge as favourites to win the FA Cup again

While Arsenal are left licking their wounds, Chelsea’s convincing victory will have given the Blues plenty of confidence in terms of potentially winning the FA Cup for a second successive season. They have emerged from this difficult tie as favourites to lift the trophy.

Manchester City, who ran out 3-0 winners over Tottenham Hotspur in their tie, are the most difficult possible opponents on their journey to the final, but Chelsea’s history in this competition should give them the drive to overcome the Super League leaders if the sides are drawn against each other.

The post Women’s FA Cup: Five things learned as Chelsea coast past Arsenal appeared first on Squawka News.

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