Arsenal Women took a big step to their 15th FA Women’s Cup on Sunday as a last-gasp Louise Quinn winner against Everton Ladies booked their ticket to Wembley.
Arsenal dominated most of the game and scored either side of half-time through Danielle Carter and Quinn.
However, despite Arsenal’s overall dominance, Everton didn’t give them an easy game and got a goal back through Chloe Kelly.
The win helped continue Arsenal’s great run of form as it was their ninth in 11 games and gives Joe Montemurro’s side of finishing the season with a cup double.
After an even opening ten minutes, Arsenal had the first sight of goal on 13 minutes.
Jordan Nobbs was set free down the left wing with a great reserve ball before cutting back for Kim Little who, despite being unmarked, took the ball too wide with her touch.
Everton were still very much in the game and as Chloe Kelly escaped a Dominique Janssen tackle she was able to get a shot off on goal. Unfortunately for her it sailed wide.
After those early chances there was more sparring in the middle of the park as neither side managed to get a foothold in the game.
The visitors then began to take control after around 20 minutes as they had their first sustained spell of possession which ended in a tame shot from Nobbs.
Shortly after, Arsenal had their first goal of the game.
The move started from Sari van Veenendaal in goal who, despite riding her luck, managed to play the ball out to the defence. Moving up the pitch with more precision, Heather O’Reilly was released down the right where she beat Siri Worm before cutting back for Carter who tapped the ball home from a few yards out:
Arsenal were very prominent after the goal and that became evident just after the half an hour mark.
Playing with more freedom, Janssen sprayed the ball to Beth Mead who was playing on the left wing. Mead then laid the ball to Little who was free at the edge of the box but her shot went straight in the hands of Levell.
The Everton keeper’s hands were stung again minutes later as Nobbs took aim from outside the box. Unlike usual though, her shot was straight at the keeper.
As the first-half came to a close, the home side got themselves back into the game, however, Arsenal were able to carry their lead into the break.
Arsenal began the second-half very much on the front-foot, but Everton were the first to show signs of danger.
With Arsenal looking to play out from the back, they were susceptible to the Everton press. This saw Kelly break on the counter but a vital tackle from Louise Quinn stopped her in her tracks.
Just after the hour-mark, after expertly turning her marker, Mead played the ball into Nokellybbs at the edge of the six-yard box, but her shot was well blocked and put over the bar.
Everton then found a lifeline as Dominique Janssen brought Olivia Chance down on the edge of the box which saw the referee award a penalty. Kelly stepped up and converted just to the left of van Veenendaal.
Janssen then had a chance to redeem herself with a free-kick but even though it evaded the wall Levell was able to stop the shot.
Arsenal had a hatful of chance towards the end of the half through Little and substitute Vivianne Miedema, but neither could find the back of the net with their efforts.
In the dying seconds of the game, Arsenal’s dominance finally paid off as with almost the whole squad in the box, Louise Quinn rose highest to stick Jordan Nobbs’ corner into the Everton goal and begin the celebrations:
Arsenal will meet Chelsea Ladies at Wembley in what will be a repeat of the 2016 FA Women’s Cup final after Fran Kirby scored twice to put Emma Hayes’ side through against Manchester City Women.
Before Arsenal make the short trip to Wembley though, they welcome Reading Women to Meadow Park this Wednesday. As for Everton, they face Chelsea next weekend.