Women’s FA Cup: Marc Skinner says ‘we haven’t won anything yet’ after Manchester United reach final

Manchester United manager Marc Skinner warned his side “we haven’t won anything” after they defeated Chelsea to reach the Women’s FA Cup final.

Skinner’s side will take on Tottenham at the national stadium on 12 May.

“I will be very clear, we’ve won nothing yet – it will be an incredibly tough final,” said Skinner.

Lucia Garcia and Rachel Williams were on target for Manchester United, with Lauren James replying for Chelsea.

Skinner added: “Every player played their part, from the starting XI to the players that came on, the magnificent fans, everyone did their bit.

“As a coach these are the real moments that make it worthwhile. When you feel the collective energy of a team like Manchester United it makes you feel alive. These players performed alive and that is why we won the game.”

United made a dream start and scored inside the first minute after they capitalised on a mistake from Eve Perisset before Garcia headed in from Leah Galton’s cross.

Williams headed in a second to give United a 2-0 advantage after 23 minutes, before ex-United player James pulled one back just before half-time for the Blues.

Chelsea dominated the second half but a number of fine saves from goalkeeper Mary Earps kept United in front and sealed a Wembley return.

They face a Tottenham side who they beat 4-0 away from home in December, but Skinner said that result would not have an impact on the final.

He added: “Congrats to Tottenham to get to the final. We have a fight and a shootout in the final and I want to give them the credit they deserve.”

‘Incredible’ Earps shines after England disappointment

Earps, the winner of the 2023 BBC Sports Personality of the Year award, helped England win the European Championship in 2022 and reach the final of last year’s Women’s World Cup.

But the 31-year-old now faces real competition for her place in the Lionesses side, with Sarina Wiegman opting to go with Chelsea’s Hannah Hampton for the 2-0 away win over the Republic of Ireland in a Euro 2025 qualifier last Tuesday.

Earps made a stunning save in the second period to claw out a header from James which looked destined for the top corner. Skinner said the stunning stop reminded him of one made by Arsenal men’s goalkeeper David Seaman to deny Sheffield United’s Paul Peschisolido in an FA Cup semi-final in 2003.

“Mary is not motivated by disappointments, she is motivated by being the best goalkeeper she can be,” said Skinner.

“She has an incredible, beautiful character and with a great character you’re able to do things differently. She can reset from bad moments.

“To make that save I thought she was incredible and a big part of why we won the game. She is Manchester United’s number one, that’s all I get to pick, but she is as an incredible goalkeeper and she is my number one.”

‘To win a trophy with this club would mean everything’

United came second in the WSL last season but they are fourth in this campaign and unlikely to qualify for the Champions League.

But Earps felt this win could still lead to something special.

She told BBC Sport: “It’s heavy when things don’t go our way all year in the league. It’s been really difficult.

“The girls were unbelievable. It was ugly, it was horrible but we don’t care because we won.

“We were all on it, we wanted to win so bad to give the fans something and am so proud we could do it.

“On a pretty not great season it would be everything to win a trophy with this club I’ve been at for five seasons.

“We’ve been lacking aggression in our games this season and this was the performance with the most heart.

“Hopefully the trophy will be ours but we’ve got to earn it. It’s not going to be easy, no way.”

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