Women’s football fans across the country are in for a treat if Chelsea and Manchester City end up going head-to-head in the SSE Women’s FA Cup semi-finals, according to England legend Sue Smith.
Chelsea booked their place in the last four of the competition on Sunday, signalling their intent with a comprehensive 3-0 win over Liverpool.
That tie was the only one of the four quarter-finals to take place though due to the weather, leaving seven teams still in the hat for Monday’s semi-final draw, conducted by Smith live on BBC Radio 5 Live.
Chelsea were given a home tie against either Manchester City or Sunderland on April 15, with either Durham or Everton taking on Charlton or Arsenal in the other tie.
And Smith, twice an FA Cup runner-up with Leeds United, was relishing the prospect of two of the country’s leading women’s teams battling it out for a place in the final at Wembley on May 5.
“For me a potential Chelsea versus Man City clash is the tie of the round,” she said. “They are two of the best teams in the country, they’re playing in the Champions League, doing well in the WSL, it will be a great spectacle.
“When they played each other in the league, I watched a lot of other football too that weekend but that was probably the best game I watched from a skill and entertainment perspective.
“Both teams have won the competition before and sometimes it’s about the mentality and knowing how to come through difficult situations throughout the course of the season. They both have very experienced players.”
Manchester City are the current SSE Women’s FA Cup champions having lifted the famous trophy in front of a record 35,271 crowd last year.
That was their first success in the competition with Chelsea, currently leading their northern rivals by a point in the Women’s Super League, claiming their maiden win in 2015.
This year both semi-finals will be broadcast live on the BBC, with Smith believing it is further proof of the progress of the women’s game.
“The SSE Women’s FA Cup is growing each year and that’s really pleasing to see,” she added.
“We had over 35,000 people come watch at Wembley last year and hopefully we can get even more this time around. For the players, the chance to run out at Wembley for the final is something very special. It’s the date in the women’s footballing calendar that people look out for.
“And now with both semi-finals being shown on the BBC it’s a chance to show off the game even more which is great.”
Tickets are now on sale for the SSE Women’s FA Cup Final on Saturday 5th May at Wembley Stadium connected by EE.
For more information about tickets and SSE’s involvement in women’s football visit www.sponsorship.sse.com.