Eidevall praises Little and his Conti Cup-winning aces as Arsenal end trophyless run with defeat of Chelsea

JONAS EIDEVALL hailed Kim Little’s ‘phenomenal’ display as Arsenal went all guns blazing, sinking Chelsea. 

Their nightmare start turned into a dream finish – with Highbury legend Ian Wright watching as the Gunners lifted the Conti Cup after a 3-1 win. 


The performance saw Stina Blackstenius answer her doubters with her equaliser paving the way for a fightback. 

It also saw skipper Little get her wish of another ‘special’ cup-winning moment with Arsenal ending a silverware dry spell stretching back four years to 2019. 

The midfield veteran was among her side’s standout performers netting a goal that gave them a lead over the beaten Blues.

Gunners chief Eidevall said: “When you thought she couldn’t get better, she put on that performance. 

“I told Kim straight after the game, I wasn’t sure if it was possible this is the best you’ve been since I’ve been the coach. 

“She was phenomenal. She played close to a perfect match. 

Arsenal’s first trophy win under Eidevall was watched by a 19,010-strong Selhurst Park crowd including club CEO Vinai Venkatesham 

The result saw Chelsea consigned to league cup final heartbreak for a second successive year. 

And the Gunners sealed their first tournament final victory over their rivals since the 2016 Women’s FA Cup final. 

Eidevall said: “When you look at the last decade, Arsenal have not been the leading club in women’s football in England. Historically, it has been. 

“That is of course an ambition for the club to go back to regain that position in women’s football again. 

“With that being said, with the number of trophies that we won in the last 10 years, we know it’s difficult,

“It’s a really tough competition.

“But that’s the ambition for us to come back to, and to compete in any trophy that we go in for.

“it was really nice that we could go the whole way (in this one) because it can fill us with belief.

“What was important is that we showed we could come back from a defeat last Sunday.

“From losing a game and turning it into a winning result, we showed that we could win a final against Chelsea. 

“They’ve been winning a lot of finals lately here domestically.

“Hopefully it can fill us with belief going forward.”

Arsenal were caught cold in the second minute after a loose ball led to Guro Reiten crossing for Sam Kerr to head home. 

They mounted a fightback winning a couple of corners before eventually levelling in the 16th minute.

They did so with Blackstenius slotting home after Frida Maanum’s strike deflected off Magda Eriksson. 


Arsenal took the lead several minutes later after Katie McCabe was caught by Sophie Ingle with Little’s spot-kick sending Ann-Katrin Berger the wrong way. 

A McCabe and Berger collision saw play paused after both went down following the Gunner ace’s high challenge

And Republic of Ireland international was later cautioned. 

Rafaelle made some vital interventions thwarting Kerr on the counter before prompting a Niamh Charles own-goal on the stroke of half time. 

The second spell saw Erin Cuthbert’s shot fly wide off the post with Lauren James firing over in the 55th minute

And Leupolz came close pulling one back late on with Arsenal holding out to seal their trophy triumph.

Chelsea boss Emma Hayes said: “I asked my analysts what they did differently.

“They didn’t do anything apart from Foord coming in and being a bit more narrow.


“There wasn’t anything distinctly different. 

“Their aggression was different, the intensity of what they did in and out of possession – Kim Little ran the show – that’s not about tactics, that’s just about players.

“More of their players played well today than us. It’s a football match, that’s what happens. It’s their week.”