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Conti Cup: Bumper Guide

Friday, 29 March 2024

All you need to know ahead of this weekend's Conti Cup final between Arsenal and Chelsea



Arsenal and Chelsea will meet in the FA Women’s League (Conti) Cup final for the second season in a row on Sunday 31st March in Wolverhampton (kick off 3pm (BST)).  The Gunners beat the Blues 3-1 in last season’s final at Selhurst Park in front of a record crowd of 19,010 to win the trophy for a sixth time.  This looks like it will be Jonas Eidevall’s sides only chance of silverware this season whilst for Emma Hayes, in her last few months as manager at Chelsea, it could be the first of four trophies.

Here is our guide to the final including information about how Arsenal and Chelsea reached Molineux, the sides, the stadium and transport, and TV/radio coverage.


How they got to the final

Arsenal entered in the group stage this season after their early exit from the UEFA Women’s Champions League.  In Group D, they first faced Bristol City who they beat 3-1 with Frida Leonhardsen Maanum, Lotte Wubben-Moy and Stina Blackstenius scoring the goals.  They played Southampton next, and the Gunners came from behind to win 2-1 thanks to Maanum and a stoppage time winner from Amanda Ilestedt. 

Their next match in the group was a north London derby against Tottenham Hotspur.  It finished 3-3 after 90 minutes with Blackstenius, Maanum and an Amy Turner own goal finding the net for Arsenal.  The Gunners won the penalty shot out for the extra point 4-3 with Jen Beattie scoring the decisive spot kick. 

Blackstenius scored a hat-trick in their final group match as they beat Reading 6-0.  The other goals were scored by Caitlin Foord, Laia Codina and Beth Mead.

Their quarter-final away to Championship side London City Lionesses was delayed a week due to a waterlogged pitch at Princes Park.  Arsenal were comfortable 4-0 winners thanks to a brace from Cloe Lacasse and further goals from Kim Little and Alessia Russo.

The Gunners had a home semi-final against Aston Villa, and they chalked up another big win, this time 4-0.  All the goals were scored in the first half with Blackstenius getting her second hat-trick in this season’s competition and Maanum also found the net.

Due to being in the Champions League group stage, Chelsea only joined the Conti Cup at the quarter-final stage.  In that round they also faced Championship opponents in Sunderland.  Sjoeke Nusken and Fran Kirby scored two each with Aggie Beever-Jones getting their other goal as they won 5-0.

The Blues travelled to Manchester City in the semi-final.  Lauren James scored the only goal of the match in the 8th minute, and thanks to some superb goalkeeping from Hannah Hampton in the second half, Chelsea won 1-0 and progressed to the final. 


Past Meetings

Both of the sides meetings in the Women’s Super League this season have finished in comfortable home wins.  In December at the Emirates Stadium, Arsenal were 4-1 winners.  Mead had given the Gunners the lead before Johanna Rytting Kaneryd quickly equalised for Chelsea.  Ilestedt put the hosts back ahead before a brace from Russo completed the victory. 

The Blues were 3-1 winners at Stamford Bridge earlier this month.  James put them ahead before Nusken scored two deflected efforts to make it 3-0 at half time.  Catarina Macario put into her own net for Arsenal’s consolation goal late in the match.

In the Conti Cup, there have been six meetings between the sides with Arsenal winning four of them and Chelsea two.  The two previous meetings in the final have resulted in one win each. 


The current holders come into the final off the back of a 3-1 win away to Aston Villa last Sunday in the WSL.  They are currently third in the league, six points off top spot, and made early exits in both the Champions League and FA Cup this season. 

Lia Walti, Vivienne Miedema, Lina Hurtig, Teyah Goldie and Kaylan Marckese will all miss the final as injured whilst Amanda Ilestedt is pregnant and unavailable.  Katie Reid is cup-tied having played in the Conti Cup for Watford earlier in the season.

This will be the Gunners 10th final and they have won the Conti Cup six times (2011, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2018, 2023) whilst also finishing runners-up three times.  Their success last season saw them lift a trophy for the first time since the WSL title in 2019.

Their star players this season have included Lotte Wubben-Moy and Victoria Pelova.  Wubben-Moy has been a rock at the back for the Gunners this season and has popped up with the odd goal too.  Dutch midfielder Pelova has controlled of what has happened for Arsenal this season and is joint leader of assists in the WSL this season.  Other key players include Stina Blackstenius, who loves a goal in the Conti Cup, and Alessia Russo.


The Blues currently sit top of the WSL table and are in the FA Cup and Champions League semi-finals.  Their last match was a 1-1 draw against Ajax on Wednesday.  They are currently on a seven-game unbeaten run.

January signing from Everton Nathalie Bjorn is cup-tied whilst those with long-term injuries such as Sam Kerr and Millie Bright will also be missing.

Chelsea reached their first Conti Cup final in 2020, which they won, and they defended the trophy in 2021.  The last two seasons have seen them lose in the final to Manchester City and the Gunners.

Amongst their star players this season have been Sjoeke Nusken and Lauren James.  Summer signing Nusken has turned out to be a very versatile player for the Blues having played in various defensive and midfield roles as well as scoring her fair share of goals.   James has scored many important goals for Chelsea this season including the opener against Arsenal in their recent league match and the winner in the Conti Cup semi-final.  Other players that have impressed include Erin Cuthbert and Johanna Rytting Kaneryd.

Molineux Stadium

This season’s final will take place at Molineux Stadium, home of Wolverhampton Wanderers FC.  This will be the first women’s cup final at the stadium but it has hosted Lionesses matches a couple of times in recent years, including the 3-1 win over Germany that won Sarina Wiegman’s side the first Arnold Clark Cup. 

Molineux opened in 1889 and was the first stadium built for use by a Football League club.  The ground was one of the first in Britain to have floodlights installed and in the 1950s hosted some of the earliest European Cup matches.

There are four separate stands at Molineux all built since 1979 and its capacity is 32,050.  The stands are named after Billy Wright, Stan Cullis (Chelsea end), Steve Bull and Sir Jack Hayward (Arsenal end). 

It is a cashless stadium, and only bags smaller than A4 size will be allowed in after being searched.  Supporters (not U14s) will also be searched at the turnstiles.

The stadium is centrally located in Wolverhampton and is within walking distance of the city centre and plenty of amenities such as pubs, bars and places to eat. 

Wolverhampton station is a 15-minute walk away from Molineux though there are no direct trains from London on the 31st March due to the line between Euston and Milton Keynes being shut.  If going from London, trains are still running from Marylebone station to Birmingham where you can get train/trams to Wolverhampton, or replacement buses from Bedford to Milton Keynes then train if going from St Pancras.

A number of local bus pass close to the ground, and the main bus/coach station in Wolverhampton is again about a 15-minute walk away.

Park and walk is available at Wolverhampton Racecourse but parking must be booked in advance.  It is about a 20-minute walk from there to the stadium.

There is no general spectator parking at Molineux but there is some on-site accessible parking which must be booked through the Wolverhampton Wanderers Fan Services team.  City centre car parks are available on matchdays.


Fan Zone

There will be a fan zone before the match, which will open around 3 hours before kick-off, and this will be behind the Sir Jack Hayward Stand


Match Officials

The referee for the final is Cheryl Foster and she will be assisted by Emily Carney and Ruby Sykes.  The fourth official is Adewunmi Soneye and Matthew Joyce is the reserve assistant referee.  VAR will be used for the first time in the Conti Cup final, and Michael Salisbury and Sian Massey-Ellis will be in charge of that.

TV/Radio coverage

In the UK, the final will be shown live on BBC Two/Sport Website/iPlayer with coverage starting at 2.30pm (BST).  There is live radio commentary of the final on BBC Radio 5 Sports Extra and talkSPORT 2.  Outside of the UK, it will also be available to watch live on the FA Player (check local listings).


Tickets & Fan Guide

Tickets are still available on this link - Event Information Screen - eTickets (

FA Fan Guide with lots more information about the day - FAN-GUIDE-CONTI-CUP_FINAL2.pdf (




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