The draw for the semi-finals of the Women’s Continental Cup was made on Saturday afternoon, as the four remaining teams learned their fate.
Reigning champions Arsenal were drawn with Manchester United, while Chelsea will host last year’s finalists Manchester City. The fixtures will be played on 6/7 February, with the two London clubs hosting the ties.
The #ContiCup semi-final draw has been made at the final venue Bramall Lane…@ArsenalWFC v @ManUtdWomen@ChelseaFCW v @ManCity— The FA Women's Super League (@FAWSL) January 12, 2019
Ties to be played on Tuesday 5 February or Wednesday 6 February pic.twitter.com/iwqeLhNhLg
The winners will progress to the final, which will be held at Sheffield United’s Bramall Lane. It will be held on 23 February, just over two weeks after the semi-finals have been played.
There could be a repeat of last year’s final, as Arsenal and Manchester City are one step away from a second consecutive appearance. The Gunners triumphed 1-0 on that occasion, thanks to a goal from Vivianne Miedema.
The four semi-finalists are unsurprisingly the four strongest teams in this year’s Continental Cup, having all won their respective groups. Chelsea are statistically the best, finishing Group One South with five wins from five and 15 points.
In the seven years of the competition’s existence, only Arsenal and Manchester City have been crowned winners. The Gunners are far ahead with five victories, while the Citizens won twice in 2014 and 2016.
While Arsenal and Manchester City have plenty of experience in the Continental Cup, their two opponents are far more novices in the competition.
Chelsea are looking to reach their first ever Continental Cup final, having only gone as far as the semi-finals previously. The Blues were close to reaching their first final in 2018, but they were beaten 1-0 by Manchester City at Kingsmeadow.
On the other hand, United are participating for the first time ever, having formed just eight months ago. It is a remarkable achievement for the Red Devils to reach this stage of the competition, as they hope to make history.