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Manchester City Women defeat West Ham United in the FA Cup Final

Manchester City Women claimed the FA Cup for the second time in three years courtesy of a 3-0 victory over West Ham United on Saturday.

City went into the game at Wembley chasing a domestic cup double, after defeating Chelsea in the League Cup Final earlier in the season.

They were big favourites to beat West Ham, having racked up a 10-2 aggregate scoreline against the London club in their two league meetings this term.

However, the Hammers made things difficult for City, keeping them at bay until the 52-minute, but Nick Cushing’s side ultimately ran out comfortable winners.

West Ham had the best chance in the first half, with City goalkeeper Karen Bardsley needing to be alert to keep out Jane Ross’ fine header.

The Hammers also had a penalty appeal turned down as Alisha Lehmann went down in the box under Jill Scott’s challenge, but the officials felt the City star had not made contact with the forward.

City sprang into life after the break and they deservedly took the lead courtesy of a swerving strike by Keira Walsh.

Lehmann had a chance to equalise for West Ham, but the Swiss international fired straight at Bardsley.

Georgia Stanway doubled the lead in the final ten minutes with a deflected shot and Lauren Hemp’s cool finish from close range late on sealed the win.

The crowd of 43,264 at England’s national stadium one of the largest for a women’s game in Europe, although it fell just short of last season’s competition record of 45,423.

City have now won six major trophies under manager Nick Cushing since 2014 and they will finish the domestic season without losing a fixture if they avoid defeat at Arsenal in the Women’s Super League next Sunday.

Despite coming out on the wrong side of the result, the Hammers will be able to reflect on a satisfactory first year as a professional club.

West Ham jumped up from the third division with a successful licence application to join the top tier last summer and reaching the FA Cup Final in their first season at that level can be viewed in a positive light.

TEAMS

Manchester City (4-3-3): Karen Bardsley, Abbie McManus, Steph Houghton (capt), Jen Beattie, Demi Stokes, Jill Scott, Keira Walsh, Tessa Wullaert, Caroline Weir, Nikita Parris, Georgia Stanway.

Substitutes: Lauren Hemp for Parris (82), Claire Emslie for Weir (85).

Substitutes not used: Ellie Roebuck, Gemma Bonner, Pauline Bremer, Janine Beckie, Megan Campbell.

West Ham United (4-3-3): Anna Moorhouse, Erin Simon, Gilly Flaherty (capt), Brooke Hendrix, Claire Rafferty, Ria Percival, Kate Longhurst, Cho So-Hyun, Adriana Leon, Jane Ross.

Substitutes: Brianna Visalli for Rafferty (62), Leanne Kiernan for Ross (65), Rosie Kmita for Simon (89).

Substitutes not used: Becky Spencer, Vyan Simpson, Brianna Visalli, Rosie Kmita, Lucienne Reichardt.

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