Hayes and Eidevall tension clouds final meeting – Full Time with Jessy Parker Humphreys


Chelsea lost a third consecutive Continental Cup final after Stina Blackstenius’ 116th-minute winner secured Arsenal the trophy for the second year in a row. A tense game was overshadowed by the collapse of Frida Maanum towards the end of normal time, but Arsenal rallied after a long stoppage to find a winner.

The match might have marked the final meeting between coaches Jonas Eidevall and Emma Hayes, with tensions spilling over at the end as Hayes gave Eidevall a small push when he went over to shake her hand at the final whistle.

After the match, Hayes spoke strongly about the way Eidevall had acted, referring to how he had behaved towards Erin Cuthbert, Chelsea’s captain on the day.

“It’s essential we role model in the right way, but I’m not up for male aggression from the touchline and fronting up to players. That’s unacceptable. I was disappointed and I told Jonas that. I don’t think it’s OK to behave like that.

“He got a yellow card and probably should have been sent off. I’m all for competing to win, I’ve never been booked in 12 years. I accept he’s a winner but his behaviour wasn’t acceptable.”

Eidevall demurred, saying that his frustration during the game had stemmed from a disagreement over whether to play a multi-ball system for the final. Chelsea had requested a single-ball system but with the clock ticking down and them chasing the game, Cuthbert had gone to pick up a different ball to get the game restarted quickly.

“I don’t see it as a big thing. I definitely don’t see myself as aggressive in that situation. That’s very irresponsible, putting that label on it.”

The incident was another chapter in what has been a fascinating rivalry between the two managers where the off-pitch jibes have been almost as eye-catching as the on-pitch match-ups. After two games this season where one manager had distinctly come out on top, it was fitting that their final meeting was more of a chess match, with both teams looking nervous about making any mistakes early on.

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Hayes and Eidevall renewed their rivalry on Sunday (Marc Atkins/Getty Images)

Eidevall does have previous when it comes to his behaviour on the sidelines. Manchester City manager Gareth Taylor accused him of “bullying” the fourth official after his team’s 2-1 loss to Arsenal in the WSL in November, although there was no mention of Eidevall’s behaviour in the referee’s post-match report.

There was also an incident in Eidevall’s first season at Arsenal when he yelled in the face of Scotland striker Martha Thomas, who was playing for Manchester United at the time, during a Continental Cup match, after a perceived high challenge. The FA declined to charge him for his behaviour.

Hayes’ behaviour marked a rather ignominious end to her quest for a quadruple in her final season. Regardless of Eidevall’s actions during the match, she still pushed him, and there are also question marks about her decisions during the game. Despite Chelsea playing their eighth game of the month, in comparison to Arsenal’s fifth, she only made two substitutions before Arsenal’s goal with the opposition looking notably fresher as the match became increasingly transitional.

It is also the second high-profile incident of the month for the manager after she called relationships between players “inappropriate”. Hayes later said she regretted her choice of words. There is no doubt that being Chelsea manager is a pressured job, exacerbated by the desire to succeed in her final season, but the U.S. role, which she begins at the start of June, is the most demanding in women’s football.

The attention on Hayes is not going to let up when her time at Chelsea finishes.


What you might have missed

All four contenders for Championship promotion won over the weekend, with Sunderland’s 3-0 win over Watford maintaining their top spot under pressure from second-placed Crystal Palace, whose 5-1 win at Durham kept them one point behind with a game in hand. Four points separate Sunderland, Palace, Southampton and Charlton Athletic. With three games left to play, and all four teams having lost at least once in their last five, there could be plenty more twists to come.

Women’s Championship table

Team Pld GD Pts

1

Sunderland

20

14

40

2

Crystal Palace

19

32

39

3

Southampton

20

14

36

4

Charlton Athletic

19

10

36


Player of the week

Ella Toone continued her up-and-down season for Manchester United by coming up with two big goals in their 4-1 win over Everton. Everton had gone ahead in the 10th minute after Netherlands striker Katja Snoeijs latched onto a poor pass from Maya Le Tissier back to goalkeeper Mary Earps. It took United a while to get back into the game — Turner only scored the equaliser in the 57th minute — but two goals from Toone in five minutes secured the win. It means Toone is the first Manchester United Women’s player to reach 50 goals for the club.

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(Lewis Storey/Getty Images)

Goal of the week

No one should have been surprised to see a bunny taking centre stage on Easter weekend but Khadija ‘Bunny’ Shaw’s spectacular goal for Manchester City in their 4-1 win over Liverpool was an effortless reminder of her brilliance. She might be known for her dominance in the penalty area but this showed her at her technical best as she controlled a bouncing ball outside the box, cut in past one defender, before rocketing it into the top right-hand corner.

It means Shaw has had a goal contribution in her last nine WSL appearances and, with 19 goals scored and four games to go, she has a chance of breaking the single-season record of 22, set by Vivianne Miedema in 2018-19 and matched by Rachel Daly last season.

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Moment of the week

Aston Villa got a late equaliser against Leicester City to draw 2-2. It was Leicester’s first match since manager Willie Kirk was sacked following a club investigation into an alleged relationship with a player. Villa had taken the lead through Adriana Leon but poor defending — including conceding from a high turnover — saw them 2-1 down.

But a clever finish from Daly drew them level as she contorted her body to volley in Jordan Nobbs’ cross. Daly has struggled to replicate her form from last year as her expected goals (xG) overperformance of 2022-23 has regressed, but she helped her side to a point here.

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(Morgan Harlow/Getty Images)

Elsewhere in Europe

Bayern Munich set up a final with Wolfsburg in the DFB-Pokal but required penalties to beat Eintracht Frankfurt. The league leaders had gone ahead in the fourth minute with a penalty from Georgia Stanway but Geraldine Reuteler equalised for Frankfurt. Wolfsburg beat Essen 9-0 in the other semi-final.

Meanwhile, in Spain, Barcelona got revenge on Levante for being the only team to hold them to a draw in the league this season by beating them 5-0. That gave Madrid CFF the opportunity to get into pole position for the final Champions League spot but a surprise 3-0 loss to Granada means that just one point separates the three teams gunning for third.


What’s next?

The players now head off on an international break, with European Championship qualifiers beginning for UEFA teams. England host Sweden at Wembley on Friday before heading to Dublin to play the Republic of Ireland at the Aviva Stadium.

(Top photo: Getty Images)





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