Women’s FA Cup final: Chelsea forward Sam Kerr warns Man United - ‘I win trophies every time I go to Wembley’
Asked why Wembley is her favourite place to play, Sam Kerr smiles. “Every time I go there it’s for a trophy,” she says. “I’ve never been to Wembley and not won a trophy.”
That bodes well for Chelsea’s chances in Sunday’s Women’s FA Cup Final, when the holders meet their WSL title rivals Manchester United.
Chelsea have been the dominant force in the women’s game in England over the past decade and are targeting their 13th major trophy under Emma Hayes. United, meanwhile, are bidding to win their first piece of major silverware.
Chelsea are one point behind United in the WSL, with a game in hand, and, while Arsenal are still in the hunt, it looks like a straight shootout between the two clubs for the title.
But, for now, Kerr insists she has only FA Cup glory on her mind.
Chelsea lost the Continental Cup Final to Arsenal in March and were beaten by Barcelona in the semi-finals of the Champions League, so are hungry for success.
“The first year I was here we lost in the quarter-final to Everton and the girls were very quick to tell me that if you want to win one trophy, it’s the FA Cup,” says Kerr, who scored the winner in extra-time as Chelsea beat Manchester City in last season’s final.
“Hopefully, we can keep it at Chelsea. When you win one trophy, you can’t help but want more. We’re still fighting for the Cup and the League. I love the pressure, love big games, love being able to have a moment in your hands and do something great.
“Emma is the mastermind behind it all. It’s drilled into us every day that we’re here to win trophies. This team always steps up when there’s a big occasion.”
United stand on the verge of a first major trophy since the club reformed the women’s team in 2018.
Chelsea have won both WSL meetings this season, but United have reduced the gap between the two teams. They have won seven successive matches since losing to Chelsea in March, and boast four European champions in Ella Toone, Alessia Russo, Nikita Parris and Mary Earps. “You get the best out of people when they’re challenged”, adds Kerr.
Chelsea remain without England pair Millie Bright and Fran Kirby, although Pernille Harder is back.
Chelsea midfielder Erin Cuthbert says: “We have respect for United. What they’ve done this season and their want to grow is amazing. We beat them in both games [this season]. That’s quite a big psychological advantage, but the gap is getting narrower.”
Chelsea will seal their fourth successive title if they win their remaining games against West Ham, Arsenal and Reading.
Cuthbert is not concerned that their momentum could be halted if United prevail at Wembley.
“Is there a chance? Always — but we’ve got to make sure that chance is zilch on Sunday,” she says.
“I feel like everybody wants to see us fail this season, but the greatest thing about this team is that we bounce back in big moments. Winning is a core part of Chelsea teams.
“The performance against Lyon in the [Champions League quarter-final] home leg gave us a lot of energy. Even just going to the Nou Camp and showing what we were capable of gave everybody in the dressing room a lift. We were gutted to go out but saw it as a turning point to really kick on.”