Arsenal Women at the SSE Women's FA Cup Final 2018
PHOTO: Nick Webster | Sportsbeat

Joe Montemurro: “They took their chances and they were just better than us.”

Chelsea’s individual brilliance was the difference between the sides in the SSE Women’s FA Cup final victory, according to Arsenal boss Joe Montemurro.

The Blues ran out 3-1 winners in front of a record Women’s FA Cup final crowd of more than 45,000 at Wembley on Saturday thanks to a Ramona Bachmann brace and a Fran Kirby strike.

Dutch international Vivianne Miedema was on target for the Gunners, which pulled it back to 2-1 after Switzerland’s Bachmann’s two fine efforts early in the second half put Emma Hayes’ side in control.

But Kirby’s sumptuous hit from 18 yards sealed Chelsea’s second FA Cup crown and these three defining moments of quality left Arsenal boss Montemurro acknowledging the west Londoners deserved the win.

“They’ve got three players up top who are world class and you make one error in transition and all of a sudden they’re running at you and you’re in trouble,” said Montemurro.

“They took their chances and they were just better than us.

“The second goal was probably the one which hurt us. I actually felt we started the game with a little bit of rhythm. I adjusted a couple of things and we looked like we could have probably got something.

“But at the end of the day they were better, they dominated in patches, we dropped off a little bit too much, gave them too much space and they’ll hurt you.”

Montemurro took charge of Arsenal in November following the departure of Pedro Martinez Losa and has masterminded an upturn in form and fortunes.

They defeated Manchester City to lift the Continental Tyres Cup in March and have steadily climbed the FA WSL 1 table following an indifferent start to the season.

And the manager was quick to praise his players for their attitude and work rate snice he took the hot seat, but vowed there was still a long way to go to establish the Gunners as the dominant force in the women’s game once again.

“The players have worked hard and deserve everything they get,” added the boss. “They’ve turned things around in terms of where we’re at and created a very good platform for us to go forward in the coming years.

“It’s a long-term process of building and we’ve had to change some things this year and we’re very proud of what we’ve achieved.

“But we’re still not happy, we want to be up there with the best and the more exposure we get to these games and teams like Chelsea the better we’ll be.”

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