top of page

Match Report

First half hat-trick for Blackstenius sees the Gunners fly

Stina Blackstenius steals the show as Arsenal sail through to the Conti Cup Final

Gareth Taylor Man City_edited.jpg

Arsenal WFC

10 March 2024


A first half Stina Blackstenius hat-trick helped holders Arsenal reach the 2024 FA Women’s League Cup (Conti Cup) final as they comfortably beat Aston Villa 4-0 in the semi-final on Wednesday evening at Meadow Park. Frida Maanum scored the Gunners other goal, and they had chances to win by more including Katie McCabe hitting the crossbar.

Arsenal’s first opportunity came within the first minute when Blackstenius’ cross found Alessia Russo but she couldn’t direct the ball towards goal at the far post.

After some nice play down the right-hand side, Blackstenius gave the Gunners the lead in the 9th minute with a thumping finish from inside the area.

They doubled their lead two minutes later when Beth Mead’s cross was headed back and Blackstenius finished from close-range this time.

The home side looked threatening every time they attacked with Maanum’s dangerous low cross being cleared behind for a corner.

The visitors first opportunity came in the 17th minute but a cross to the far post was but wide by Alisha Lehmann. 

A minute later, Arsenal made it 3-0 when Mead passed to Maanum who hit a fabulous shot first time from just outside the area.

A Steph Catley free kick from near the touchline was kept out by Villa’s goalkeeper Anna Leat two minutes later after nobody in the area could get a touch on it.

McCabe’s free kick from 25-yards hit the crossbar and bounced behind as the hosts went close to scoring a fourth in the 23rd minute.

The visitors had a rare attack in the 33rd minute but this was cleared behind for a corner by Leah Williamson.  Another Villans cross was cleared from danger by McCabe.

Blackstenius completed a first half hat-trick in the 39th minute after another free kick caused confusion in the Villa box and she headed in Lotte Wubben-Moy’s hooked ball back to her.

Three minutes into the second half, Maanum thought she had made it 5-0 when she put the ball into the net from close range but the assistant referee had their flag up for offside.

Catley shot over from the edge of the area in the 51st minute, then Maanum sent a shot straight at Leat a minute later as Arsenal looked to increase their lead further.

A combination of Wubben-Moy and Williamson defended well to stop an Ebony Salmon attack, but Arsenal went straight up the other end with Blackstenius poking the ball over.

Mead curled a shot wide for the Gunners in the 61st minute, maybe via a deflection, but a goal kick was given by referee Paul Howard.

Wubben-Moy, who is having a very impressive season, made another block to stop Salmon in the 63rd minute.  From the corner, Rachel Corsie headed into the side netting, which was about as close as the visitors came to scoring all night.

Maanum’s long-range shot was saved for the hosts, then Kyra Cooney-Cross sent an effort over from 30-yards.

Former Arsenal player Jordan Nobbs’ shot from 30-yards was easily saved by Manuela Zinsberger in the 72nd minute. 

Caitlin Foord cut in the 80th minute but her effort was deflected away by the Villans defence.  Victoria Pelova then saw a shot deflected behind shortly after coming onto the pitch as a substitute for the home side. 

Blackstenius was played in five minutes from the end of the match but this time fired over.   Pelova shot over after being played in by Foord. 

These turned out to be the final chances as Arsenal progressed to the final in Wolverhampton on Sunday 31st March where they will look to win the Conti Cup for the seventh time.

When speaking to the media after the match, Arsenal head coach Jonas Eidevall said it was important they used their whole squad with all the players having played a lot recently both domestically and internationally.  “It was important to put a lot of trust in the squad” he continued and pointed out you get different things from different players in a position on the pitch.

Eidevall mentioned that the men’s win and performance on Monday against Sheffield United “inspired a lot of our players today” and “it is a nice thing to have a one club mentality and being able to take inspiration.” 

He praised the Gunners fans saying they “consistently keep the standards high, turn up away and at home and I am so happy for our fans as well, and we can create something special again, travel in numbers and make Molineux our home for the day.”

Eidevall admitted he is a lucky coach with “so much talent to choose from”.  He added Arsenal want to compete in every competition they are in and “happy to be in the final”.  He thinks the final will be an even game and who hits their performance level on the day will be victorious.


Line ups

Arsenal (4-2-3-1): Zinsberger, McCabe, Williamson (c) (Codina 63’), Wubben-Moy, Catley, Cooney-Cross, Walti (Pelova 80’), Mead (Foord 63’), Maanum (Lia 90’), Russo (Little 80’), Blackstenius

Unused substitutes: Williams, Earl, Bouhaddi

Goals – Blackstenius 9’, 11’, 39’, Maanum 18’


Aston Villa (4-3-3): Leat, Mayling, Turner, Patten, Pacheco, Nobbs, Corsie (c), Dali (Mullett 84’), Lehmann (Magill 46’), Daly, Hanson (Salmon 44’)

Unused substitutes: Poor, MacPhail, Slaway

Booked - Corsie


Referee – Paul Howard

Attendance - 3,507

bottom of page