Arseblog Exclusive! Louise Quinn and Leah Williamson React to Cup Final Defeat at Wembley

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Arsenal Women fell to a 3-1 defeat to Chelsea Ladies at Wembley in the FA Women’s Cup Final on Saturday. Gunners’ centre half pairing Leah Williamson and Louise Quinn spoke exclusively to Arseblog News immediately after the game.

LOUISE QUINN

On the performance……
It’s a tough feeling, we could have been better. But for games like this one, you really have to turn up on the day and put everything on the pitch. We had the effort and the will to win, but in some parts of the game, it just wasn’t happening today.

On playing against Chelsea’s fluid attack…..
Their movement is very tough to mark and they were on their game today. Maybe sometimes we gave them too much space, but as a defender I’m a bit devastated, you feel like you have to take a lot of the responsibility. But that’s just the way it goes sometimes.

On the game against Manchester City next Saturday…..
We’ve just got to let today and tonight pass and then go into tomorrow with a clean slate. That’s what we’re here to do, it’s our job to pick ourselves up after losses because they do happen- big ones occasionally.

We’ll be back at it tomorrow with a good mentality. We were just in an FA Cup Final, so we know we’re not a bad team. But we will concentrate on the league again and try to finish well.

LEAH WILLIAMSON

On Chelsea’s bravery……
Chelsea gamble a little bit, if they lose and you analyse the game, you would say ‘they leave four up all the time’. But it works and the players at the back are so quick to mop up and set them on their way again. It’s a relentless attack, they don’t give you time to breathe.

As a defender, often you’re playing four v four at the back against them which is tough. I think that’s why they won today more than anything else. Even if they bank up and look to defend, they still leave bodies forward and players who are capable of scoring goals.

As a centre half, if I have a striker to mark and I know that’s my job that’s fine, but I couldn’t tell you who I was marking today because they change the players in their attack all the time, they don’t play fixed positions. But there is a way to combat it and we have found it at times in our games against them this season, but today the gaps were too big and we couldn’t limit their movement.

On how Arsenal evaluate their season…….
I feel like since Joe came in we’re back on a journey again, we had lost that a little bit. Despite today, I feel like we’re building something. But pretty much every game we have played since around November has been a must win game and that takes its toll emotionally. In every single game we have known no less than a win will do, in the league and in the cups.

Everybody has given everything on that journey and maybe it caught up with us over the last week or so. I was hoping we could at least get a cup double, but we haven’t given up on second place yet. We will take the game to Manchester City next weekend. We’ve had a strong second half of the season, especially defensively where we have been quite solid and that’s what I was hoping for.

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Jim Hyatt
Jim Hyatt

Well analyzed ladies. Helps us a bit away understand the why of the game’s progress…otherwise it’s just “goals and saves”. It sounded to me like Arsenal had some chances early on and if they had been able to finish a couple of times then it might have changed how the game went later on. I thought the gunners were really IN IT at 2 – 1…but Kirby’s goal kind of doused the fire quite a bit. Again, thanks for your expertise on game strategy.

Fungunner
Fungunner

Great interviews, Tim. It was agonising, watching on the telly. I so feel for them. Leah Williamson summed it up in her evaluation of the season. Tiredness, mental and physical, has caught up with them. All those injuries made it even harder to get over the poor start to the campaign. But we are still a very good side. These two are a fantastic complementary defensive pairing and IMO, Quinn has been one of Arsenal Women’s best signings for years.

Hugely optimistic about Montemurro and our squad, though of course we need reinforcements desperately.

Stillberto
Stillberto

Indeed, it looks like we’ve just run out of steam at the end- a bit like City did a few weeks back. Should be looking at a few coming in from Germany in the summer- Kemme, Walti and Schnaderbeck on the radar.

Fungunner
Fungunner

Just googled them – they sound interesting. The only one whose name I recognised was Kemme but couldn’t remember anything about her.

Fungunner
Fungunner

Forgot to say as well – talking about what a great pairing they are – the way they come across is exactly how I see them, in that Quinn is a defender to the core, and Leah is such an intelligent player and a student of the game. I can see her managing in 20 years’ time.

Mach
Mach

Fatigue has caught up with us, but hope we can finish strongly and look to build up the team in the new season. Lots to look forward to.