Mead: Chelsea loss will fuel Arsenal in final

Beth Mead has said she believes Arsenal can bounce back from their defeat to Chelsea in the Women’s Super League (WSL) earlier in the month and retain the Conti Cup when they face the same opponents in the final on Sunday.

The two teams have one of the longest-running rivalries in women’s football and their meeting at Molineux is a repeat of last year’s Conti Cup final, in which Arsenal strode to a 3-1 victory over Emma Hayes’ side at Selhurst Park.

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In the league, Arsenal handed Chelsea their biggest league loss in five years in December with an emphatic 4-1 victory at the Emirates Stadium. However, Chelsea outclassed the North London side in the return fixture to win 3-1.

“We’ve both punished each other this season,” Mead said ahead of the final. “We did it in the home, like they did it in their home leg, and probably both teams didn’t quite turn up.

“It is going to be a game of which team turns up best, which tactics come off best for each team. As a team and individuals, it is on us to get that right but as well, the managers will try to outsmart each other, and they have both done that against each other this season.”

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