All the FA Women’s Continental League Cup quarter-final underdogs showed some resilience but that was broken best by Manchester City’s Pauline Bremer.
Conti Cup Quarter-Final results – Weds 15 January
Chelsea 3-1 Aston Villa
Arsenal 1-0 Reading
Manchester United 2-1 Brighton & Hove Albion
Sheffield United 0-4 Manchester City
Bremer hat-trick sends holders through
Manchester City’s Pauline Bremer continued her rich vein of goal-scoring form despite lower league Sheffield United keeping the holders at bay until 7 minutes before the break.
Keira Walsh played in Bremer to side-footed past Becky Flaherty and it was 2-0 at the interval as the German forward connected with a Janine Beckie cross.
Flaherty did well to thwart Steph Houghton and Laura Coombs but the latter did score when found by Caroline Weir and then Bremer completed her treble with a stoppage-time header.
Chelsea see off stubborn Villa
Chelsea had to be patient against Championship leaders Aston Villa, with a Sam Kerr effort disallowed, Bethany England twice denied by the woodwork and Jodie Hutton clearing Erin Cuthbert’s shot off the line.
Magda Eriksson glanced in Cuthbert’s corner to break the deadlock 10 minutes after the restart, but it was into the final ten when Ji So-Yun doubled the lead from England’s pass.
Even then, Kerri Welsh scored to put Villa back in the game before 16-year-old Emily Murphy sealed the win with her first senior goal for the Blues.
Little marks her 200th Gunners game with late winner
Arsenal had to wait until 4 minutes from time for a Kim Little goal against Reading to put them into the semi-finals.
Lisa Evans was twice denied by Royals goalkeeper Rachael Laws but in the second half Manuela Zinsberger made a crucial save for the hosts and Fara Williams struck the post on the rebound.
Laws also kept out shots from Jill Roord and Danielle van de Donk, while a Beth Mead effort was judged to have not crossed the line but Evans then provided the delivery for Little to make the breakthrough.
United make Brighton pay for penalty miss
Manchester United again reached the last four of the competition as visitors Brighton & Hove Albion missed one of their two spot-kicks.
Katie Zelem’s cross led to Abbie McManus opening the scoring for the Reds but Ini Umotong and Amanda Nilden wemt close for Albion before Jess Sigsworth’s headed against the Brighton bar.
Hope Powell’s side won a penalty when Emily Simpkins was brought down by Amy Turner but Umotong hit the spot-kick against the bar.
Jane Ross met Sigsworth’s cross to double the lead but with 7 minutes left Hayley Ladd brought down Umotong and Kayleigh Green fired home the penalty to make for a tense end to the tie.