Since losing to Arsenal in December, Chelsea have enjoyed an unbeaten run spanning ten matches – picking up all three points in nine of those games. While points weren’t at stake on Sunday, Emma Hayes’ side would be considered as favourites to confirm their progression to the quarterfinals of the Adobe Women’s FA Cup.
CHE: Hampton, Lawrence, Carter, Björn, Charles, Cuthbert, Leupolz, Kaneryd, Kirby, Reiten, Ramírez
CRY: Lambourne, Reilly, Nolan, Everett, Gibbons, Percival, Sibley, Arthur, Sharpe, Hughes, Hopcraft
Five minutes in at Kingsmeadow, Fran Kirby attempted the spectacular as she took on a dipping volley that came close to sneaking past Demi Lambourne – but luckily for the Eagles’ shotstopper, her effort flew over the crossbar.
The best chance of the half would fall to Johanna Rytting Kaneryd as the interval approached, as she excellently rounded the keeper. It looked certain that the Blues would open the scoring, although the Swedish international could only pick out the side netting.
With a little over fifteen minutes remaining, Chelsea went through on goal and struck the crossbar through Mayra Ramírez. Sjoeke Nüsken found the back of the net with the rebound, but much to her dismay, the offside flag denied the Blues the opening goal.
But Sunday’s hosts would finally break the deadlock ten minutes from time. Ramírez would capitalise on her chance this time around, as the star signing flicked it past Lambourne in sensational style after work from Ashley Lawrence on the right flank.Embed from Getty Images
The Blues came close to doubling their lead in added time as Melanie Leupolz saw her deflected strike clatter against the woodwork – but a slender 1-0 win was enough to progress to the quarterfinals at the expensive of a spirited Crystal Palace side.
Chelsea will find out their next Adobe Women’s FA Cup opponents on Monday.