Manchester City won the Women's FA Cup on Saturday evening with a hard-fought 3-0 win over a depleted West Ham in front of 43,264 fans at Wembley.
The crucial goal came early in the second half from Keira Walsh, who took aim from 25 yards with a speculative shot which wrong-footed Amy Moorhouse in the Hammers' goal.
City continued to pile on the pressure without ever looking secure, West Ham's Alisha Lehmann in particular causing Nick Cushing's side a number of problems with her pace and constant running, but the result was wrapped up with ten minutes to go when Georgia Stanway's shot squirmed in from a deflection of Brooke Hendrix.
Lauren Hemp wrapped up the result two minutes from time when she dinked the ball over the onrushing Moorhouse from the left-hand side of the box.
Key Talking Point
City regained the FA Cup despite a shaky first half in which they were lucky not to concede a penalty when Alisha Lehmann went down in the box – with replays appearing to show slight contact before she went down.
The 2017 FA Cup winners weren't to be denied though, and thoughts now turn to next weekend's season finale against WSL champions elect Arsenal at Meadow Park.
The Gunners wrapped up the title last weekend with a 4-0 win over Brighton, but City can regain a measure of pride to go with their cup win if they can avoid defeat – having not lost a domestic match all season.
Subs: Hemp (7), Emslie (N/A).
Star Player - Keira Walsh
At the centre of all of City's best moves, Walsh picked apart a tired West Ham with precise passing and neat control on the ball – putting the icing on the cake with a long-range finish which completely wrong-footed Moorhouse.
Only @keira_walsh third goal for Manchester City. A good time to get it is an understatement.— Rich Laverty (@RichJLaverty) May 4, 2019
An honourable mention too for Karen Bardsley, who kept City in the match in the first half with one particularly fine save from a Jane Ross header; springing to her right to palm the ball away.
Key Talking Point
The Hammers came into the match shorn of a number of players – to the point that manager Matt Beard could only name six substitutes for the biggest one-off match in the club's history.
Despite that, there were only two changes from the starting lineup for the dramatic semi-final penalty shootout win over Reading –
The underdogs started strong, looking solid throughout the first half, but looked to run out of legs a little as the match ran on. Rarely was that more in evidence than around the hour mark when, in a foot race with Steph Houghton, Jane Ross was outpaced by a solid couple of yards. She came off maybe 90 seconds later.
Star Player - Alisha Lehmann
3-0. Game's out of West Ham's grasp now, but Alisha Lehmann has been absolutely superb. Can't fault it.— Chris Deeley (@ThatChris1209) May 4, 2019
Desperately unlucky not to strike for the Hammers at some point in the match – constantly burning her opposite number with pace and trickery on the touchline before she found herself in acres of space on the counter-attack with about 25 minutes to go. The pass from substitute Leanne Kiernan let her down though, forcing her to shoot from 20 yards rather than get into range and truly test Bardsley.