Arsenal Ladies manager pays tribute to ‘team behind the team’ after FA Cup victory

Arsenal ladies lift the Women's FA Cup

Arsenal ladies lift the Women's FA Cup - Credit: Archant

Wembley Stadium has a special place in the hearts of Arsenal Ladies after it became the scene of their triumph over Chelsea in the “biggest day” in women’s football in this country.

Last Saturday (14), one day after a final session at the Gunners’ training base in London Colney, Arsenal Ladies took on the Blues, who in 2015 won a double, when they became champions of the FA Women’s Super League and the FA Women’s Cup.

Despite going into the match as underdogs, Arsenal Ladies beat their opponents 1-0, and no doubt pleased Gunners boss Arsene Wenger who had urged them at his weekly press conference at the training grounds to “come back with the cup”.

Wenger said earlier this month that the women’s game has transformed over the decades since he has been involved in football, and he was “very happy” that attitudes had changed about women playing the sport.

On the FA’s website, Arsenal defender and former England defender Casey Stoney was quoted before the game describing the final as “the biggest day in women’s football in this country”.

After her team’s win she tweeted: “Oh yes that dream just came true!!! Walking up the Wembley steps to lift the FA Cup. Thanks to my Arsenal Ladies team for making it happen.”

The victory was also hailed by the team’s manager Pedro Martinez Losa, who told the media afterwards: “It feels unbelievable. It is a dream come true. I feel very proud of the way we played the final.”

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Losa warned, however, that although the club had won the FA Cup, he expected the competition to become even tougher, as the opponents are “good professionals and it is going to be more competitive”.

About 33,000 people attended Saturday’s clash at Wembley Stadium – which Losa described as a “perfect pitch”.

He added: “I think that women’s football is growing. It has been my responsibility for 15 years when I became a coach in the women’s game to play well.”

Losa thanked the players – the majority of whom live in London Colney – and paid tribute to the “team behind the team” including the squad’s doctor and physiotherapist.

Chelsea Ladies captain Katie Chapman admitted: “I just don’t think we performed well enough as a team and Arsenal deserved it.”

It was the 14th time that Arsenal Ladies had won the competition, prompting Stoney to say afterwards, “I can’t take the smile off my face. I’m just trying to soak up every minute because it’s not every day you get to play at Wembley in a FA cup final.”