Hayes: These women will go down in history!

Even though she had to watch her team dig very deep to win the Women’s FA Cup again at Wembley, with Manchester City twice cancelling out Chelsea leads and taking the game into extra-time before Sam Kerr struck the winner, Emma Hayes was confident throughout that she would end up the winning manager.

The way the game plan worked, the way the players stuck to it and the leadership they showed on the pitch were some of the reasons why, as well as the quality on display. Kerr scored twice, either side of a wonder strike by Erin Cuthbert in the 3-2 win.

Hayes emphasised time and again how happy she is with this win that completes back-to-back Doubles.

‘To find the winning goal was so gutsy,’ she praised. ‘I loved the game plan. It was really aggressive but you had to grind and you had to work. We stopped Man City’s momentum in the way that we pressed but it meant we had to suffer, and we were full of cramping and groin strains and everything else, but to dig it out doesn’t surprise me.

Honestly, those women they will go down in history. I will look back in 10 years’ time and I’ll be thinking that group is immense. It’s the best team I’ve ever coached. I totally understand that we always want to talk about perfection in football but having been on the winning side more often than not, let me tell you it’s about human endeavour. And we have a group of people who do exactly what we said. They are not going to be on the losing team, they’ll find a way.’

The Chelsea boss revealed she briefly took herself away from the team huddle at the end of the 90 minutes and was impressed with what she saw, with the players taking it upon themselves to talk and organise – the type of leadership culture she has worked hard to install.

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