Emma Hayes was reliving the highlights of yesteryear as she watched her Chelsea side down Manchester United 3-1 in the semi-finals of the FA Women’s Continental Tyres League Cup.
The Blues will head down the road to Plough Lane in search of their third consecutive Conti Cup title and will face either Manchester City or Tottenham in the final.
Goals from Pernille Harder, Jessie Fleming and Jess Carter were enough to see Chelsea advance with Vilde Boe Risa the scorer for United.
Hayes said: “I thought tonight’s performance reminded me of Chelsea of old in how we dominated physically.
“Our football is getting better, that’s the pleasing thing with finding solutions in the right moments. We’re solving problems.
“They executed the game plan to perfection tonight. My only disappointment is we conceded a goal when I don’t think we looked like conceding all night.”
Both sides turned more defensive in the second half before Manchester United goalkeeper Sophie Baggaley was sent off for taking out Sam Kerr.
Chelsea could not make the player-advantage work further in their favour, but their strong first-half performance was enough to see them advance.
Hayes added: “I really enjoyed it. I knew it was coming. I’ve seen the growth of this group since Christmas and I think this squad is going from strength to strength.
“It was the togetherness of everything – the way we pressed, the way we sat in. I thought it was such a dominant display from us.
“Every game is [important]. When you’re champions, you’ve got something to protect. We love being champions, and we knew the final is back here [South London].
“I love being at home, we have the best fans, they drive the team on. That sort of support will give you a lift.”
The final takes place at Plough Lane, the home of AFC Wimbledon, on March 5 but before then Chelsea must face one of their potential opponents, Manchester City, in a huge clash at the top of the Barclays FA Women’s Super League this weekend.
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