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Women’s FA Cup glory could make for a ‘breakthrough’ season for Man Utd

The kind of consistency that underpinned Manchester United’s fight for trophies in two competitions last season – in the WSL and the FA Women’s Cup – has been absent in 2023/24.

United have been very impressive this season, including defeats to Everton, West Ham United and Tottenham Hotspur in the first half of the campaign. Nothing beats a long-awaited first win over Chelsea in the quarter-finals of the cup, the only home opponent they had never beaten.

But Liverpool’s home and away defeats, dropping the points they didn’t do last season against the likes of Tottenham at home, West Ham away, Brighton & Hove Albion and Leicester City, and taking a step back in their record against the ‘big three’. in the league it was hard to swallow.

Rachel-Brown-Finnis, the former England goalkeeper turned champion, explains how United have not conceded more than two runs in a row in the WSL in 2023/24, as she talks to them. 90 min ahead of Sunday’s FA Cup final.

“I am playing at Stamford Bridge against Chelsea [in the WSL in January], were below average and didn’t bring the energy or desire to look like a cohesive team. But they delivered Man United’s best performance of the season in the semi-finals,” Brown-Finnis said.

“They have to remember what that felt like, remember what they did before, remember everything they need to do and deliver that performance. [in the final]. The truth they can do against Chelsea, I think that is the frustration of the fans, the players and the manager as well. “

United’s return to Wembley continues their quest for a first major trophy, having fallen short this time last year. They now have experience on their side, with rivals Tottenham making their first trophy in the final, and motivation fueled by pain to ensure they get over the line this time.

“Anything new or unknown, you tend to be afraid or unsure. A lot of those feelings and emotions are numbed because they’ve been there for a long time,” Brown-Finnis explains.

“It’s extra motivation to watch Chelsea go up, get the winners’ medals and the trophy…I’ve been runners-up a few times. Watching them get their medals because it just gives you this opportunity if you ever get another chance to be in the final, you want to be that team that’s dancing around, cheering and making angels of snow and confetti will get that fresh in their minds from last year we were the winners.”

Ella Toone, Millie Turner

Man Utd produced one of their best performances in the semi-final against Chelsea / Visionhaus/GettyImages

Much of the pre-match narrative from United’s perspective focused on whether an FA Cup win could ‘salvage’ an otherwise disappointing campaign. It’s a combination of breaking new ground in one competition, while simultaneously suffering setbacks in another.

“In the end, the form this season was not the best, but to win this cup and I think it should be considered a successful season,” continued Brown-Finnis.

“There have been games where they had good results, but disappointing games and the pressure was on the players and Marc Skinner. At the end of the season, to win the FA Cup for the first time. I think we will start to calm down and calm down the fans who have been talking about what they want from Manchester United.”

Rachel Brown-Finnis was speaking on 90 minutes to promote the ‘Trophy Pour” which has seen the FA Cup reach Manchester and London in the run-up to the final. Offering fans the chance to get a photo with the trophy, it was accompanied by a special Adobe Women’s FA Cup coffee van as a nod to the original 1971 winners Southampton celebrating their trophy triumph.

“We are outside the National Football Museum, which used to be able to re-promote women’s football. Most people know now that it was closed for a long time, but the historians at the National Football Museum have been stepping up. to show women’s football – the pioneers of the past, but also the achievements of the present and the future. And it is good to be able to go to school Ella Toone’s old one in Manchester, one of them wearing a red shirt on Sunday, apparently won the Euros too. Manchester is a football, I don’t think they discriminate whether it’s women’s or men’s football.


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