Arsenal Women defeated Manchester City 1-0 at Adams’ Park on Wednesday night to claim their 5th Continental Tyres Cup in 7 years. Tim Stillman spoke to captain and official Player of the Match Kim Little immediately after the game.
On captaining the team on her 150th Arsenal appearance in a cup final after 10 months out with injury
I got injured soon after I re-signed with the club last year, but I wasn’t terribly frustrated. I got an injury, which is part of football and I’ve taken that time to get fit again and reset mentally. It’s so nice to be back playing with the team again, playing and just having fun. Obviously winning and nights like tonight help a lot!
On playing in an unfamiliar left wing role in the final
I’ve come into a very settled team that hasn’t conceded for 6 matches and the midfield and defence have been very structured. It was a different position for me, but I came inside a lot and played almost as a fourth midfielder and I think it worked well for us tonight.
Jordan [Nobbs] and Danielle van de Donk worked so hard and Dom [Janssen] was so solid as well. I was able to get on the ball and pick passes, I think this shape won us the game in the end, especially with how we played in the first half.
On Manchester City dominating the second half in search of an equaliser
We dominated the first half and got the goal, so inevitably they were going to come into it in the second. We also have a lot of players who are returning from injuries or who have had niggles over the last month or so and you could see that in our play at the end that we were a bit fatigued. But we managed the game really well and very much deserved the win.
On coming into the final on the back of 6 consecutive clean sheets
Joe has put a big emphasis on this since he came in, that we have to be better defensively to win games. You can see that clearly in our play now, we’re more resilient and our habits are better. When we have the ball, we give it away less, which puts the defenders under less pressure. That’s what we’re most proud of behind the scenes, the way we keep the ball.
On match winner Vivianne Miedema
She showed her class tonight, she didn’t see much of the ball at all but when we needed her most, she finished the one chance she got.
On using the Conti Cup win as a springboard for further success
Winning a cup is a huge bonus, but it’s very different to the league and we want to be more consistent in the league and to win it again. Primarily, it is the WSL that we want to be dominant in again. This is a platform for us to build towards that and you can see we’re taking steps towards it now. I think we can be very proud of our performance today and we can go from strength to strength.