Arsenal win Women's FA Cup: Kelly Smith key to win - Losa

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Women's FA Cup final archive: Arsenal beat Chelsea in 2016

Manager Pedro Martinez Losa described Kelly Smith as a "magician" after the England legend's key role in Arsenal's Women's FA Cup victory over Chelsea.

Danielle Carter's sublime first-half strike was enough to secure a 1-0 win in the Wembley final.

But Losa was quick to praise 37-year-old Smith, who was increasingly influential playing in an advanced midfield role.

"With her personality and experience, she was phenomenal," Losa said.

"It is easy to plan especially with a player like Kelly. She can be a magician in moments. She gave us what we needed from a tactical part and with the character she brought.

"Kelly can make a difference in any team. With speed in the wide areas, we were capable to combine in the middle better than Chelsea."

Risk and reward

Pedro Martinez Losa, Alex Scott and Kelly Smith
Arsenal manager Pedro Martinez Losa with the Women's FA Cup trophy alongside Alex Scott (left) and Kelly Smith

Arsenal's high-tempo approach saw them dominate the 2015 FA Cup winners from the outset and Losa said the risky approach was their best hope of winning the game.

"We wanted to press them high from the beginning and make them uncomfortable," he said.

"We knew it would be difficult because it is such a big pitch but we were fantastic and the performances got better and better. We wanted to impact them mentally from the beginning.

"The players deserved it. It was a fantastic victory. We are a winning team with players who know how to taste a victory."

High praise for the high-press

Danielle Carter
Danielle Carter curled in a superb goal to give Arsenal victory over the previous holders

Chelsea boss Emma Hayes was magnanimous in defeat, praising Arsenal's risky "high-press tactics" and admitting the better team won.

But she had no doubt that her team, who face Women's Super League leaders Manchester City on Thursday, will respond.

The Blues missed out on the Women's Super League title on the final day of the 2014 season but Hayes said that setback was vital in motivating them for the double-winning season of 2015.

"The players will look hard at the game and be disappointed but that's what's made us champions," Hayes said.

"I don't think we can have any complaints. It was a fantastic performance by Arsenal.

"They dominated the first half, particularly the first and second-ball moments. As we know in football, that's what usually gives you a heads up."

Solutions to setbacks

Emma Hayes on Twitter

Chelsea host Man City at Staines in their next league match. Both teams have won all their WSL matches but City have five wins from five, with the Blues having played a game less.

"It's time for the players to pick themselves up for Thursday," Hayes added. "It's my job to bring out the best in them even after a massive setback. We don't have time to sulk.

"But we will bounce back from that. We have a group that will look for solutions.

"Everybody wants to beats us because we are the top team in the country. If people don't think Liverpool or Arsenal will have a say in the league then I think they are being naive."

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