Manchester City Women

Gareth Taylor 'blown away' by Man City's Continental Cup final second-half display

Ali Rampling
Manchester City won the 2022 Continental Cup thanks to a terrific second half display
Manchester City won the 2022 Continental Cup thanks to a terrific second half display / Justin Setterfield/GettyImages
facebooktwitterreddit

Manchester City boss Gareth Taylor admitted he was 'blown away' by his side's second half performance as City turned in an electric display in the second 45 to beat Chelsea 3-1 and win the 2022 Continental Cup final.

City had trailed 1-0 at the break with Chelsea in full control, but burst out of the blocks in the second period, Caroline Weir netting twice either side of Ellen White's poacher's finish to end Chelsea's run of three successive domestic trophies.

"I'd love to go and watch the second half again," said Taylor. "I'm going to watch it on the bus on the way home because I was just blown away by the girls, they were just incredible in every aspect. We just seemed to be revitalised."

"Momentum is so difficult to coach against," added Emma Hayes. "It's the hardest thing - once it shifts... All of a sudden the game's drifting in another direction. That's how football is. Sometimes that works in your favour and sometimes it doesn't."

City had endured a tricky first half to the season having been plagued with injuries, but have started to look back to their old selves following the return of key personnel.

It was Chelsea who were left to rue absentees during Saturday's final, with Jessie Fleming and Fran Kirby ruled out late on due to illness, and Erin Cuthbert still sidelined.

The absence of Fleming and Cuthbert was particularly crucial given the energy the pair provide and how flat Chelsea looked in the second half.

"Erin's a massive player for us but so is Jessie Fleming in different ways," said Hayes. "It's their engines, it's their running ability. That's where I feel we suffered today; in the transition moments."

The win for City is particularly momentous given the outside pressure Taylor faced following his side's tough start to the campaign. An unprecedented injury crisis resulted in makeshift starting elevens - including Jill Scott deputising at centre half - and heavy defeats to Arsenal and Chelsea, in addition to dropped points elsewhere leaving them well adrift of the WSL leaders.

Taylor admitted he came off social media to shut out the noise during said period - and emphasised the importance of the win on the rest of their season.

"I think what this give us is it goes beyond winning this trophy - the belief levels will be huge going into the remainder of the season."

The trophy is Taylor's second since taking charge of City in the summer of 2020, and also represents a first loss for Chelsea in a domestic cup final since the 2017/18 FA Cup final defeat against Arsenal

"They don't get beaten in finals very often," said Taylor. "And this was a proper final tonight."

facebooktwitterreddit