Arsenal Women 0-0 Man City Women (pens: 2-4): Karen Bardsley the penalty shootout hero as City win League Cup
Last Updated: 23/02/19 5:05pm
Manchester City beat Arsenal 4-2 on penalties after a goalless Women's League Cup final.
Janine Beckie scored the winning penalty in the shootout, after Karen Bardsley had saved two Arsenal spot-kicks.
The 120 minutes of normal and extra-time ended goalless, meaning it was settled from 12 yards, with Bardsley the hero as she repelled both Leah Williamson and Danielle van Donk.
Neither goalkeeper was tested until first-half injury-time when Steph Houghton rose highest to head a Caroline Weir corner at goal. Sari van Veenendaal was equal to it, but she could only parry straight to Gemma Bonner who meekly steered the rebound wide.
A straight free-kick from Weir was flicked towards goal by Nikita Parris and looked set for the back of the net, so much so that Houghton was wheeling away to celebrate, but the ball bounced back off the bar and Arsenal managed to scramble the ball away.
City almost won it in in the 93rd minute when Beckie fired a shot from inside the area but it bounced off the bar and out.
It seemed inevitable for a long period that the game would require a penalty shootout and that was how it was settled.
Arsenal: Van Veenendaal (7), Arnth (6), Quinn (7), Williamson (7), Veje (6), Bloodworth (7), Little (7), Van de Donk (7), Evans (6), McCabe (6), Mead (6)
Subs: Hazard (6), Miedema (7)
Man City: Bardsley (8), Stokes (7), Beattie (7), Houghton (8), Bonner (7), Walsh (7), Scott (7), Weir (8), Wullaert (6), Stanway (7), Parris (7)
Subs: Beckie (7), Hemp (6), Emslie (n/a)
Man of the match: Caroline Weir
Georgina Stanway, Claire Emslie and Houghton all found the back of the net from 12 yards from City, with Lauren Hemp the only one to fail.
Bardsley spent her time in between penalties in conversation with referee Lucy Oliver, earning a booking for her words but she will feel it was worth it when she dived to save the efforts from Williamson and Van Donk, before Beckie kept her nerve to win it.
The moment Beckie knew it was a goal, she ran to Bardsley, before the rest of the squad made it to them to celebrate City's third League Cup triumph.