Holders Chelsea ease past Manchester United to reach League Cup final

Pernille Harder
(Image credit: Adam Davy)

Chelsea stayed on course for a third-successive Continental League Cup triumph after beating Manchester United 3-1 in their semi-final.

The Blues, trophy winners in 2020 and 2021, will play either Tottenham or Manchester City in next month’s final after scoring three goals in 13 first-half minutes.

Pernille Harder and Jessie Fleming put Chelsea 2-0 up at Kingsmeadow and although United’s Vilde Boe Risa reduced the deficit, Jess Carter struck their third before the break.

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The visitors played the final 13 minutes with 10 players after goalkeeper Sophie Baggaley was shown a straight red card for her challenge on Blues substitute Sam Kerr outside the box.

Harder scored a fine individual goal to break the deadlock for Chelsea in the 26th minute and the unmarked Fleming looped a header over Baggaley to double their lead five minutes later.

The visitors responded immediately when Norway midfielder Boe Risa fired home inside the near post just a minute later.

Manchester United goalkeeper Sophie Baggaley (left) is shown a red card

Manchester United goalkeeper Sophie Baggaley (left) was sent off during the second half (Adam Davy/PA)

But Chelsea regained their two-goal advantage before the break, with Carter bursting into the area to finish.

United threatened on several occasions at set-pieces in the second half, but the Blues held firm to extend their unbeaten run this year.

United lost for the first time in eight games in all competitions, beaten for the first time in normal time since November 21.

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