The best Continental Cup final moments – ranked

The best Continental Cup final moments – ranked

The Continental Cup final has played host to a selection of the WSL’s greatest teams and players since its 2011 inception, and as a result has provided a collection of memorable moments.

From dramatic late winners to moments of individual genius, penalty shootout drama to cup upsets, the final has frequently delivered on the entertainment front.

Here’s a look at some of the Continental Cup final’s finest moments.

Karen Bardsley, Janine BeckieKaren Bardsley, Janine Beckie
Bardsley was the hero in 2019 | Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

The 2019 Continental Cup final was far from a classic, as Manchester City and Arsenal played out a 120 minute stalemate. But any 0-0 can be salvaged by a spot of penalty shootout drama, and up stepped City goalkeeper Karen Bardsley.

The Cityzens initially trailed in the shootout after Lauren Hemp saw her spot kick kept out by Sari van Veenendaal, but Bardsley then saved from both Leah Williamson and Danielle van de Donk to ensure the trophy was taken back to Manchester.

Arsenal were made to work for their 2012 Continental Cup final win by a stubborn Birmingham – the second best team in the country at the time – who kept the Gunners at bay for 82 minutes before their resolute was broken by a piece of Kim Little magic.

The Scotland international collected the ball on the right hand side of the Birmingham box, weaving inside and making the space for a shot, before unleashing a fabulous curling effort from the edge of the effort that arced into the top corner. The goal proved decisive, as Arsenal ran out 1-0 winners.

It seems weird to think of Manchester City as underdogs. But in 2014 the Cityzens were just that, as they went into the Continental Cup final off the back of their first season as a renovated, top flight, professional club.

They played an Arsenal side who had dominated the competition until that point, winning the first three Continental Cup finals. The Gunners did go into the final having recorded their worst ever top flight finish – but seeing the newbies triumph thanks to Izzy Christiansen’s big old leap and header to secure their maiden major trophy was still a shock to the system.

Bethany EnglandBethany England
England struck at the death to win the 2020 final for Chelsea | Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

Rivals Arsenal and Chelsea met in a Continental Cup final for the very first time in 2020, and Beth England put the Blues ahead inside 10 minutes.

However, the Gunners went on to dominate, but could not find a way past the outstanding Ann-Katrin Berger until five minutes from time.

The game looked to be destined for extra time with the momentum with Arsenal, only for England to pop up again in the 92nd minute to win the competition for Chelsea for the first time. It’s the drama Mick, I just love it.

Jordan Nobbs was the star of the show as she inspired Arsenal to a 3-0 victory over 10-player Notts County in the 2015 Continental Cup final.

The England midfielder finished at the near post following a surging run from the halfway line to give the Gunners the lead – as good a goal as you could hope to score in a cup final. She then went and bettered it before the first half was out.

Laura Bassett saw red for Notts before Nobbs picked up the ball 30 yards from goal and sent a fizzing strike into the roof of the net.

Having already netted a pretty special free kick, Rachel Yankey grabbed Arsenal’s fourth in spectacular style during their 4-1 victory over Birmingham in the inaugural Continental Cup final.

The winger collected Jayne Ludlow’s cushioned pass on the edge of the box with her back to goal, took one touch to control the ball before spinning and firing a sweetly-struck volley into the top corner. Beautiful.

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