Manchester City eliminated Arsenal from the Women’s FA Cup in the fifth round on Sunday and are bidding to continue their remarkable form ahead of a league clash with reigning champions Chelsea
If Alex Greenwood believes in her chances, it’s as good a sign as any to listen.
The England and Manchester City star knows what it takes to win, and following City’s 1-0 victory over Arsenal in the Women’s FA Cup on Sunday, she believes her side have what it takes not only to claim the FA Cup title off reigning champions Chelsea but to strip them of their league title as well.
“If you turn up thinking you’ve already lost the game, you probably have. It’s a mindset situation for us now,” Greenwood told BBC Sport. “We’re so strong mentally and go into every game thinking we can win. Why not? We are in a great position in the league and are three points off [leaders Chelsea].
“We look strong from set pieces, we look strong from defending set-pieces and the group is just really confident. We’re a different outfit now.
“We want to win the league. In the past, we’ve said ‘We’ll see how it goes, we’ll see what happens’. I’m not afraid to say it any more – I want to win the league and I want to go there next week and beat Chelsea.”
City have two chances to do so, with a Women’s Super League clash scheduled for this Friday between the league’s first and second-placed sides and a semi-final clash in the League Cup following shortly after.
Friday’s clash between second-place City and first-place Chelsea is nothing if not a title decider, with both teams revelling in remarkable double-digit unbeaten runs in all competitions (Chelsea are 11 unbeaten, with City on 10) and just three points separating the pair in the league.
Friday’s affair between the league’s top two sides is especially riddled with intrigue and jeopardy, not least a shot at redemption for City. In a league match earlier in the season, City wholly dominated and dictated proceedings before everything devolved into a bizarre series of events as Greenwood was sent off for alleged time-wasting before her teammate Lauren Hemp eventually followed in the second half.
Ten-woman City did well to fend off Chelsea’s salvos but after Hemp’s departure, Chelsea eventually bundled an equaliser over the line, keeping their unbeaten run intact.
It was a sucker punch of a result for City, who have not been quiet about their mission of upending the WSL’s status quo. When asked about what success looked like at the start of the season Taylor said: “It means winning the WSL this season. We need to win the league. We’ve looked at it and we feel we can achieve it.”
Without a piece of silverware to tout since claiming the League Cup title in 2022 and having never won the WSL in his City tenure, the pressure on Taylor to buck Chelsea out of their rhythm in Emma Hayes’ final season at the club will only have increased with his comments.
But City’s result against Arsenal will stir belief in City going into Friday. Victory when not at one’s best is the sign of a title challenger. Couple that with the inspired performance of goalkeeper Khiara Keating, and Greenwood’s confidence doesn’t seem too far-fetched.
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