Meadow Park had a redemption for goalkeeper Khiara Keating as Manchester City won 1-0 and 14-time FA Cup winners Arsenal were beaten in the fifth round.
Keating endured taunts from the home crowd and a late Arsenal charge, including making a superb save from a Victoria Pelova header destined for the top corner, pushing Lotte Wubben-Moy’s effort and a set-piece he looked to cross. line, in added time, to make up for the errors she made in both goals in City’s 2-1 win here in the Women’s Super League in November which left her in tears.
“She got a lot of stick when she came here last year,” said City manager Gareth Taylor. “The reason we love the game is if a young player goes through that and comes through with a clean sheet.” City now face Tottenham in the quarter-finals after Monday’s All-Ireland final.
Tottenham v Manchester City
Liverpool v Leicester
Brighton v Manchester United
Everton v Chelsea
The games to be played on Sunday 10 March
There was no VAR or backline technology to show definitively whether Beth Mead’s corner had finally found Keating in the dying minutes of extra time and she looked sheepish as she pulled the ball away as Arsenal claimed to have crossed the ball the line. “I don’t know,” Taylor said, if it was. “I always tell the players to play the whistle.”
Arsenal manager Jonas Eideval said: “We are very disappointed at the moment. In the end there are small margins, maybe that’s over the line, whether or not there’s a penalty for a no-ball challenge…those are tough decisions to deal with at the moment but it’s the job what we have now is to control what we can. discipline.”
Arsenal were drawn against the WSL title rivals in the fifth round for the second campaign in a row, having been destroyed by Chelsea at the same stage last year, and it was Laia Aleixandri’s effort that finished them off this time.
There has been no love lost between the two sides this season with Taylor accusing Eidevall of bullying the fourth official during his side’s 2-1 loss to Arsenal in the league. Eideval called it “borderline defamation” afterwards but said he moved past it before the start of the cup and “didn’t think about it”.
There was no fraternal aspect to the action on the pitch at Páirc Monair even if the frustrations of it were put aside, it was a fierce encounter, and Wubben-Moy was lucky to escape a penalty with for an elbow into Khadija Shaw’s head. inside the box – a challenge not too dissimilar to the one that saw Aston Villa’s Rachel Daly handed a retrospective three-match ban.
Shaw gave Arsenal the lead, while Katie McCabe and Lauren Hemp battled for dominance on City’s right wing, metaphorically and literally – after fouling Hemp, McCabe poked England’s head a little too often and her shoulder prompting a reactionary shove sent by McCabe. to the ground theatrically.
Perhaps the most interesting talking point at half-time was the break that the game reached without a card being branded, with ragged passing and turnovers with few chances. Caitlin Foord had the best of the game, having the only shot on target of the half when she cut inside from the left but her effort was straight at Keating.
Things began to pick up in the second half with Arsenal pressing much higher chances started to come at both ends, but after City’s biggest threat, Shaw, was withdrawn with injury, it would be They lead from a set piece, Aleixandri. crowding in after substitute Steph Catley failed to clear.
Keating was close to keeping City ahead as the clock ticked down, landing Mead’s effort straight at her, pushing out Pelova’s header from the top corner and saving from Wubben-Moy.
It would be one more moment of drama, Mead’s corner going towards the goal and the keeper catching it after crossing the line. There were protests but no goals were given and City condemned Arsenal for back-to-back goals.
Holders Chelsea moved one step closer to a fourth straight FA Cup crown with a 1-0 win over the Championship side Crystal Palace at Kingsmeadow thanks to a great goal from January signing Mayra Ramírez.
Emma Hayes initially changed all 11 players from the side that beat Sunderland 5-0 in their Conti Cup defeat in midweek, but Fran Kirby came back to replace Lauren James, who was a late withdrawal from the line.
It was a brave display from Palace, who held the hosts goalless for 81 minutes as Ramirez opened her Blues account with a brilliant back-foot flick to book her side another trip to the last eight last.
There were wild scenes at Wolverhampton when Beth Merrick was awarded a 67th minute penalty wolves – one of two remaining third-tier sides – Katie Robinson’s first-half opener was canceled out for the relegation-threatened WSL side Brighton.
The teams remained on level terms until Emma Kullberg’s first goal for Brighton put the Seagulls ahead on 88 minutes before the Sweden international completed her hat-trick inside a stunning eight minutes.
Manchester Unitedlast season’s runners-up, claimed a 3-1 victory over the Championship outfit Southamptonand Rachel Williams headed home twice after Lexi Lloyd-Smith canceled out Ella Toone’s opener in the eighth minute.
Kit Graham’s low, long-range effort in the 76th minute Tottenhamand win 1-0 over there Charlton the finals of the Championships ended, and Sophie Roman Haug and Melissa Lawley scored Liverpool win 2-0 away City of London Lionesses. PA Media
As a result, City get 10 and sit three points ahead of Arsenal in the league and three behind leaders Chelsea. The other FA Cup quarter-final ties will see Liverpool host Leicester, Chelsea travel to Everton and Manchester United visit Brighton.
Taylor said: “Any small slip up in a cup competition you’ve done. The WSL is like a cup competition where you have to be flawless, [but] we have positioned ourselves very well.”
For Eideval, silverware prospects are narrowing. “I can’t let myself be sad and stay in that mode for very long,” he said. “I have to look forward to seeing what we were doing well today so we can build on that.”