06.03.2024

Blackstenius treble sees Arsenal cruise to Conti Cup final with 4-0 win over Aston Villa

Stina Blackstenius, Frida Maanum, Leah Williamson, Alessia Russo

Stina Blackstenius’ first-half hat-trick fired holders Arsenal into the Continental Tyres Women’s League Cup final with a clinical 4-0 victory over Aston Villa.

The competition’s most successful club ensured their spot in the 2023/24 showpiece thanks to four goals inside 40 minutes at Meadow Park.

Blackstenius scored twice inside the opening 11 minutes before Frida Maanum curled in a delightful effort to put the hosts in full control.

Striker Blackstenius then completed her hat-trick on the stroke of half time to see Arsenal safely through to their ninth final in the competition.

Recalled to the Gunners starting line-up on a night where both sides were missing some key personnel, Blackstenius made her presence felt instantly in Borehamwood.

In the opening seconds of the contest she raced in behind the Villa defence and crossed for strike partner Alessia Russo but the Lionesses star was unable to generate the contact required at the far post.

Blackstenius looked sharp and made no mistake when poked clear on goal by Maanum, rifling home from a narrow angle on nine minutes.

The Swede’s second arrived just moments later as she reacted quickest to thump into the roof of the net after a Beth Mead cross intended for Russo sat up nicely.

Maanum then scored the goal of the night, curling a delicious effort from the right edge of the box into the top corner after a lay off from Mead.

And it was nearly four on the midway point of the half, but Katie McCabe’s free-kick from distance fizzed off the top of the crossbar.

It did not take long for Blackstenius to find Arsenal’s fourth as she finished off her treble in style, guiding home Lotte Wubben-Moy’s cross with a cushioned header to put the seal on an irresistible half from Jonas Eidevall’s side.

Arsenal pushed for more after the break as Maanum saw an effort disallowed for offside before Steph Catley fired just over from distance.

Villa showed some promise on the break as the game wore on but were denied a consolation on a couple of occasions after some quick thinking from Wubben-Moy and McCabe.

Arsenal can now sit back and enjoy tomorrow’s second semi-final when Manchester City host Chelsea at the Joie Stadium, with the final to be played at Molineux on Sunday 31st March.

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