FRAN KIRBY says scoring at Wembley felt like a ‘dream’ — as Chelsea beat Arsenal to clinch the 2018 FA Cup. And the England ace is relishing th
FRAN KIRBY says scoring at Wembley felt like a ‘dream’ — as Chelsea beat Arsenal to clinch the 2018 FA Cup.
And the England ace is relishing the chance to repeat that feat when the sides face off at the stadium later today, live on BBC1.
Fran Kirby hopes to score against Arsenal at Wembley after netting against the Gunners in the 2018 FA Cup final[/caption]
The two WSL title chasers will battle out in this year’s delayed FA Cup Final, with the game pushed back to December due to the Covid pandemic.
And Chelsea will be hoping for a rerun of their 3-1 Cup win in 2018, with Kirby netting their third goal.
The Blues ace, 28, said: “Wembley is a stadium you dream about scoring in when you’re growing up.
“To be able to do it is a dream come true. I really enjoyed that final back in 2018.
“I recall that moment they scored in the second half and there was a bit of pressure with me thinking are they going to come back and get another one.
“But I was really pleased to score there, it was an honour.”
Scoring for the Blues has not been too much of an issue for Kirby of late.
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The playmaker passed the 100-goal mark for the WSL champions in November.
Her brace in 5-0 demolition of Birmingham saw her become Chelsea Women’s all-time top scorer.
And it’s an achievement that the Reading born forward is particularly proud of following her battles with injuries and the heart condition pericarditis.
Kirby said: “I think a lot of my time at this club has been cut short because of injury and illness.
“So for me to be able to score 100 goals is really, really special.
“I think from everyone’s reaction because you can see how happy people were for me. I was super proud to do it.”
Among those who will be at Wembley cheering on Kirby and her team-mates is the former Blues skipper Katie Chapman.
The ex-Fulham, Charlton and Arsenal ace, who played in her first FA Cup final at 14, will be among the Cup-winning captains being celebrated at Wembley later as part of the contest’s 50th anniversary.
Katie Chapman says it was daunting to play the Cup final at Wembley in 2015[/caption]
Emma Hayes’ side defeated Notts County 1-0 with Ji So-yun netting the winner.
And the London-born Blues star has fond memories of the moment she made history as the first skipper to lift the Women’s FA Cup at Wembley.
Chapman said: “It was quite daunting, and it was also really exciting because it’s the home of English football.
“Before then female players had never had the opportunity to play the Cup final there and to have it at Wembley every year now is fantastic for the women’s game.
“Being the captain, my mindset was, I want to be the one walking up those stairs to pick up the trophy.”
A win for Chelsea would see them achieve a delayed treble following their WSL and League Cup triumphs earlier this year.
But a victory for their London rivals Arsenal would see them pick up their 15th FA Cup trophy.
Arsenal will be hoping to win their first major trophy under Jonas Eidevall at the FA Cup final[/caption]
It would also be a first under new manager Jonas Eidevall. The club currently holds the record for the highest number of trophy wins in this competition.
The Swede, 38, spoke about his fear of black cats when asked, ahead of the final, if he had any superstitions.
Eidevall joked: “I do have some superstitions. I don’t like letting black cats cross my way . . . ever.
“If Emma Hayes sees us arrive, she will probably buy a thousand cats with all the money they have at Chelsea.
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