Six months on from the tournament’s suspension, the 2019/20 Women’s FA Cup nears its conclusion as two North-West sides play semi-finals this week.
Everton and Manchester City Women were both victorious on Sunday afternoon (27 September) and have set up ties against Birmingham and Arsenal respectively.
The 2019/20 FA Cup was postponed in March due to the coronavirus pandemic, but clubs and the FA fought for the competition to be finished, and it will do so at Wembley on 31 October.
Birmingham City vs Everton
Everton stunned Women’s Super League champions Chelsea with a 2-1 win at the weekend, especially impressive given that the visitors were in line to complete a domestic treble.
Emma Hayes’ side went into the game unbeaten in domestic competition since April 2019 and looked to continue that form as they went ahead in the fourth minute at Goodison Park.
Goals from Everton captain Lucy Graham and Valerie Gauvin turned the tie on its head though and the Merseyside club saw the game out to make it through to the semi-finals.
Speaking to the club’s official website, Everton manager Willie Kirk said: “There have been some great historical FA Cup wins here by the club.
“We can say we are part of that history now.”
The Toffees, without an FA Cup trophy since 2010, face a Birmingham City side who defeated Brighton & Hove Albion in a penalty shootout in the quarter-finals.
Gauvin will be hoping that her winning goal will earn her a place in the starting 11 after coming on at half-time against Chelsea, while other summer signings such as Ingrid Moe Wold and Nicoline Sorensen will look to keep their place.
The game will be played on Wednesday evening live on BBC Four, with kick-off coming at 7.15pm.
Manchester City vs Arsenal
Manchester City set up a semi-final tie against Arsenal following a 2-1 victory over Championship side Leicester City.
The cup holders had a favourable fixture on paper, facing the only second tier side left in the competition, but it wasn’t plain sailing for City.
Goals from Chloe Kelly and Georgia Stanway put the WSL side in a comfortable position before Leicester did pull one back from the penalty spot, but they couldn’t find an equaliser.
Head coach Gareth Taylor told the club website: “I have big belief in what we can achieve. The games are coming thick and fast now.”
City’s signings from across the pond, Sam Mewis and Rose Lavelle, could be in line to feature – could be in line to feature with the latter yet to play for the Citizens – while Lucy Bronze could start in the FA Cup for the first time since 2017.
In Arsenal though they face the experts of this competition, having lifted the trophy a record 14 times, and they’ve also scored 19 goals in their last three matches in all competitions.
The Gunners made it to the semis after defeating North London rivals Tottenham Hotspur 4-0 at the weekend and will be confident heading into Thursday’s tie, which kicks off on BBC Two at 19.15pm.