Holders Manchester City reached the 2019-20 Women’s FA Cup final with an impressive display against Arsenal.

Steph Houghton’s curling free-kick put City in front before Jordan Nobbs levelled with a fine long-range strike.

But United States midfielder Sam Mewis quickly restored City’s lead and they remained on top in the second half.

World Cup-winner Mewis’ first goal in English football sent City through to the club’s third Women’s FA Cup final, all of which have come since 2017.

Record 14-time winners Arsenal had been bidding to reach their 17th final but were not able to reproduce the form they had shown in September, when they scored 19 times in three games in all competitions.

City bring Arsenal back down to Earth

Despite the Gunners arriving in Manchester in red-hot form, City dominated the ball for much of the game, especially in the first 25 minutes and they were deservedly rewarded with Houghton’s fine opening goal.

The England captain curled her direct free-kick through a gap in the Arsenal wall and just inside the near post, netting her first goal since December 2019.

Against the run of play, Arsenal levelled when Nobbs hit a terrific, swerving strike from distance than beat Ellie Roebuck, five days after the midfielder had netted another fine individual goal with a lobbed effort in Saturday’s quarter-final win over Tottenham.

But the Gunners were not on level terms for more than two minutes, as Chloe Kelly’s cross was diverted by Ellen White straight into the path of Mewis to fire home from close range, after she made a late, well-timed run into the box.

Replays showed that the ball may have struck White on the arm in the build-up, but the officials do not have the option of referring such an incident to a video assistant referee in this competition.

For Mewis to hit the winning goal was fitting, on a night when she controlled the midfield.

Physically strong, the United States star’s height, presence and composure on the ball kept possession for the hosts for long periods and Arsenal’s usually free-flowing side could not respond.

Her US team-mate Rose Lavelle came on for her City debut in the second half, after recovering from an ankle knock, and looked lively in the closing stages as the holders saw out the win relatively comfortably.

Yet it was in defence that the hosts were most impressive, as English quartet Lucy Bronze, Gemma Bonner, Houghton and Demi Stokes produced a compact, resilient display that ensured a quiet night for Arsenal’s star striker Vivianne Miedema.

Sunday, 1 November’s final [14:30 GMT kick-off] will be live on BBC One, as both City and Everton bid to add to their two previous cup triumphs.

Line-ups

Man City Women

  • 26Roebuck
  • 20Bronze
  • 6Houghton
  • 4BonnerBooked at 29mins
  • 3Stokes
  • 22Mewis
  • 24Walsh
  • 19Weir
  • 9KellySubstituted forParkat 80′minutes
  • 18WhiteSubstituted forLavelleat 65′minutes
  • 10Stanway

Substitutes

  • 1Bardsley
  • 7Coombs
  • 8Scott
  • 11Beckie
  • 14Morgan
  • 16Park
  • 21Lavelle
  • 27Greenwood
  • 34Benameur

Arsenal Women

  • 1Zinsberger
  • 16Maritz
  • 6Williamson
  • 22Schnaderbeck
  • 15McCabeBooked at 45mins
  • 10LittleSubstituted forWältiat 50′minutes
  • 7van de Donk
  • 8Nobbs
  • 9Mead
  • 11Miedema
  • 19Foord

Substitutes

  • 3Wubben-Moy
  • 5Beattie
  • 13Wälti
  • 20Maier
  • 21Gut
  • 24Stenson
  • 30Mace

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