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Women's FA Cup 2023/24 Final Guide

Saturday, 11 May 2024

Everything you need to know ahead of today's historic final between Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur



There will be a first-time winner of the Women’s FA Cup on Sunday when Manchester United take on Tottenham Hotspur in the 2023/24 final (2:30pm (BST) kick off) at a sold-out Wembley Stadium.  This will be United’s second final in a row after losing to Chelsea last year whilst for Spurs it is their first time in a major showpiece occasion.

Here is our guide to the final including information about how Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur got to Wembley, the sides, the stadium and transport, and TV/radio coverage.


How they got to the final

Manchester United entered the cup at the fourth round stage.  There they met at home eventual FA Women’s National League Northern Premier Division champions Newcastle United.  The Red Devils convincingly beat them 5-0 with the goals coming from Ella Toone, Nikita Parris (2), Rachel Williams and Melvin Malard.

They travelled to Championship side Southampton in the fifth round and won 3-1.  Toone gave United the lead before Lexi Lloyd-Smith equalised for the Saints.  Williams scored twice in the final 15 minutes to seal the victory for the visitors.

Manchester United were handed another away game on the south coast in the quarter-finals, this time to Brighton & Hove Albion.  They were again comfortable winners, this time 4-0.  Millie Turner, Parris, Lucia Garcia and Lisa Naalsund were their goalscorers this time.

In the semi-finals they were drawn at home to Chelsea, the winners of the FA Cup in the last 3 seasons, in a repeat of last season’s final.  Garci and Williams put the Red Devils 2-0 up before Lauren James got a goal back for the Blues in first half additional time.  United held on to knock the holders out and progress to the final again.

Tottenham Hotspur also entered the cup in the fourth round.  They were drawn at home to Championship side Sheffield United and came from 2-0 down to win 3-2.  Sophie Haywood and Jessica Sigsworth had but the Blades ahead before a brace from Bethany England and a very late Rosella Ayane winner saw Spurs go through.

They faced Championship opponents at home again in the fifth round, this time Charlton Athletic.  Kit Graham scored the only goal with 15 minutes left as Tottenham won 1-0.

Manchester City travelled to the Gaughan Group Stadium in the quarter-finals to face the Lillywhites.  Mary Fowler gave the Cityzens an early lead but England equalised for Spurs in the sixth minute of second half additional time.  There were no goals during extra time so it went to a penalty shootout. 

Tottenham won that 4-3 with Amy James-Turner scoring the decisive spot kick.

In the semi-finals, they were drawn at home again, this time taking on Leicester City at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.  Jutta Rantala gave the Foxes the lead in the first half but Jessica Naz equalised for the Lillywhites with seven minutes remaining.  An additional 30 minutes were required, and Martha Thomas scored the winner with two minutes remaining to send Spurs to Wembley.


Past Meetings

Tottenham have never beaten Manchester United in the WSL or Championship in their 12 meetings.  United have won on 10 occasions whilst the other 2 were draws.  This will be the first time they will have played each other in a cup competition.

In their first WSL game against each other this season, the Red Devils won 4-0 away at Spurs in December.  It was a comfortable win for them with Hannah Blundell, Ella Toone, Melvine Malard and Hayley Ladd finding the net on that Sunday evening.

They met at Leigh just three weeks ago and this time it finished in a 2-2 draw.  Malard gave United the lead before Bethany England and Jessica Naz put Tottenham ahead at half time.  Maya Le Tissier scored a second half stoppage time equaliser for the Red Devils as the sides shared the points.


Photo: Ryan Asman

Manchester United

Marc Skinner has led Manchester United to their second successive FA Cup final, though he is not that popular amongst sections of their fans.  In the WSL, after finishing runners-up last season, this season has been disappointing with United currently sitting in 5th place in the league. 

Manchester United had a pretty comfortable passage through to the semi-finals where they knocked out holders and winners from the last 3 season’s Chelsea.

Since the semi-final, they have picked up 4 points out of 9 in the league but lost their last game 1-0 away to rivals Liverpool. 

One of the Red Devils star players this season has been Nikita Parris.  She is their leading goalscorer this season having scored 8 goals in the league and another 3 in the FA Cup, and reportedly turned down a move to the USA to stay with United so she could play in the final.

Super sub Rachel Williams, who previously played for Tottenham, has scored four times in the cup this season for United, including what turned out to be the decisive goal in the semi-final against Chelsea.

United could well line up in a 4-2-3-1 formation, and other players who could be involved include Mary Earps, Millie Turner, Maya Le Tissier, Lucia Garcia, captain Katie Zelem, Ella Toone, Jayde Riviere, Geyse and Melvine Malard.

Skinner confirmed in his pre-final press conference on Friday that there are no fresh injury concerns for the Red Devils before Sunday.


Photo: Ryan Asman

Tottenham Hotspur

Robert Vilahamn joined the club as head coach last summer and has a great first season in charge, leading Spurs to the cup final and 6th place in the WSL.  Though he will be without one of their key players this season, Grace Clinton, as she is ineligible to play in the final against her parent club.

On their way to the final, his side have scored a few very late goals including deep into second half stoppage time against Sheffield United and Manchester City, and two minutes from the end of extra-time in the semi-final.

They have drawn all three league games they have played since the semi-final with their last outing finishing 2-2 at Everton.

Two-time FA Cup winner with Chelsea, Bethany England, has hit a bit of form for the Lillywhites, scoring in their last 3 league games as well as 3 times in their run to Wembley. 

Former United player Martha Thomas is Tottenham’s leading scorer in the WSL with 7 goals and also scored the winner in the semi-final. 

Spurs have lined up using 4-3-3 or 4-2-3-1 formations in recent matches.  The likes of Charlotte Grant, Ashleigh Neville, Molly Bartrip, Jessica Naz, Celin Beizet, Eveliina Summanen, Amy James-Turner, Olga Ahtinen and Amanda Nilden could also be involved at Wembley.

In his pre-final press conference on Thursday, Vilahamn confirmed there was a full squad in training apart from long-term injury absentees.


Wembley Stadium and transport information

This will be the 10th FA Cup final to take place at Wembley Stadium since it started being played there in 2015.

Tottenham’s supporters will be at the west end of the stadium whilst Manchester United’s will be at the east.

The closest stations to the stadium are Wembley Stadium (National rail from London Marylebone station), Wembley Park (Jubilee and Metropolitan Underground lines) and Wembley Central (Overground from Euston station in London and Bakerloo Underground line).  Check the National Rail and TfL websites for up-to-date information.

A number of TfL buses stop close to the stadium including the numbers 83, 92, 182, 223, 440, 483.

National Express coaches have direct event day services to Wembley.

Official car parking has now sold out.

General admission turnstiles open at 12:30pm (BST) with hospitality doors opening an hour earlier at 11:30am (BST).

Wembley has a restricted bag policy with each person allowed to take in one small bag no bigger than A4 size.  All bags will be searched before entering the stadium as well as security checks and searches on supporters.

Wembley Stadium is a cashless venue with only card/contactless payments accepted throughout.

Wembley Stadium has a no-street-drinking zone on Olympic Way and surrounding streets.  Fans found drinking alcohol in this area will be asked to hand it over.  There are bars and restaurants in the local area or alcohol will be available in the east fan zone.


Fan Zones

There will be two fan zones to the east and west of the stadium.  You must have a match ticket to enter the east fan zone which has a limited capacity and the stadium’s bag policy will apply.

The west fan zone (Arena Square) will have things such as a DJ, football freestyler, football skills games, competitions, face painters and a much more.

The east fan zone will have a resident DJ as well as food, soft and alcoholic drinks (alcoholic ones will stop being served at 1:30pm (BST).

Both fan zones will be open from 11:00am to 2pm (BST).


Match Officials

The referee will be Abi Byrne, her second FA Cup final in the middle after also being in charge of the 2019 Wembley showpiece, and she will be assisted by Sophie Dennington and Nicoleta Bria.  The fourth official is Kirsty Dowle and Levi Gray is the reserve assistant referee.  VAR will be in use for the final with David Coote and Natalie Aspinall in charge of that.


TV/Radio coverage

In the UK, the final will be shown live on BBC One/Sport Website/iPlayer with coverage starting at 1:50pm (BST).  There is live radio commentary on BBC Radio 5 Live and also on talkSport2. 

Outside of the UK, check local listings or the FA Player.

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