Women's Team

Bronze: Extra edge to Conti Cup Final

Lucy Bronze says there will be an extra edge to Saturday’s Continental Cup Final.

City face Chelsea in the showpiece match at Wimbledon’s Plough Lane in a 17:15 (UK time) kick-off as the two sides go head-to-head for the first time in a Final, having proven familiar foe in previous rounds and league encounters throughout the years.

Lifting the trophy three times in 2014, 2016 and 2019, City are preparing for our fifth Conti Cup Final in our eight-year career as a top-flight side.

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Facing one of our fiercest competitors in the quest for silverware, meetings with Chelsea have thrown up some of the most entertaining and hotly-contested games – and Bronze believes the rivalry creates an intriguing and exciting subplot of an already highly-charged contest.

“It’s going to be a great occasion,” she told mancity.com. “We played Chelsea recently [in the league] and the game was pretty tight so we’ll be looking to improve on what we did there.

“In a Cup Final, anything can happen on the day. We’re really desperate to get our hands on silverware after a disappointing start to the season and what better chance than a Cup Final against one of our biggest rivals in Chelsea?

“We’ve never played them in a Final so there’ll be an extra edge for both teams and more of an occasion to beat the other one.”

With Chelsea having had the upper hand in recent meetings and the game being played in Wimbledon, Bronze admits people may claim City head into the game as underdogs.

However, the three-time Champions League winner asserts the two sides are more evenly-matched than has been suggested.

“Both teams have a lot to prove and a lot to play for,” she added.

“People may be looking at Chelsea to win the game with them being there and on a better run of form but having said that, I don’t think they’ve been at their best.

“They were knocked out of the Champions League in the early rounds, after being in the Final last year and they’ll be disappointed with some of their results, and they’ve also had a couple of injuries.

“In comparison to us, it doesn’t seem as bad but I’m sure that looking at themselves, they’ll have wanted to do more this season.

“It’s definitely not going to be easy for them.”

Bronze, who was named in the FIFPro World XI the fourth time in the past five years, is no stranger to the big stage, boasting a glittering CV of personal and collective accolades.

Having enjoyed so much success, including Conti Cup Final glory with a goal in the 2016 Final against Birmingham, the right-back certainly knows what it takes to win and has encouraged her teammates to give their all without fear in a bid to clinch a fourth triumph in the competition.

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“It takes hard work and a never-say-die attitude,” she stated. “In all of the Finals I’ve played in, it’s always come down to the tiny little moments being decisive.

“Especially thinking back on the 2016 Conti Cup win with City, the winning goal came from a flick-on from a corner in extra-time.

“Even though we had been the better team, it was a case of taking advantage of one moment – whether that’s the other team switching off or having that little bit more hunger than they do.

“Those are the things that make the difference and hopefully, we’ll have the bit between our teeth to prove we can get that little moment and stop them from having one.”

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