Matildas stars inspire Arsenal to league cup success amid sad Sam Kerr reality

Arsenal's Aussie trio of Kyra Cooney-Cross, Caitlin Foord and Steph Catley all made an impact in their side's league cup success.

Arsenal's Matildas trio have played an instrumental role in helping the London side claim league cup glory, exposing Chelsea's lack of firepower without injured star Sam Kerr. The Matildas captain was absent with an anterior cruciate ligament injury that has ruled her out of the remainder of the Women's Super League (WSL) season as well as the upcoming Olympic campaign.

And without their star forward the Blues failed to find the back of the net in 120 minutes of football. While Arsenal brought their Aussie triple threat on as substitutes and they played a vital role in the Gunners lifting the league cup trophy. Caitlin Foord and Steph Catley were introduced late in normal time, while Kyra Cooney-Cross was brought on in extra time.

Arsenal's Matildas trio of Kyra Cooney-Cross, Caitlin Foord and Steph Catley left and Chelsea's Sam Kerr right
Arsenal's Matildas trio of Kyra Cooney-Cross, Caitlin Foord and Steph Catley all starred in their side's league cup success, while Chelsea struggled to find the back of the net without Sam Kerr. Image: Getty

All three made an immediate impact, with the former pair's fresh legs and the latter's passing game proving ultimately decisively. For 116 minutes the two sides were locked at 0-0 and as penalties loomed, Catley and Foord linked up on the left flank to create what ended up being the game-winner.

Catley released Foord with a beautiful pass, before the winger cut inside in trademark style. The ball was then worked to Swedish star Stina Backstenius who found the back of the net with a decisive strike. From there on Arsenal defended with all they had to stave off Chelsea and deny them a possible quadruple of league, FA Cup, league cup and Champions League - a feat only once previously achieved by an English team, Arsenal themselves in 2007.

Emma Hayes and Jonas Eidevall come to blows at full-time

Post-match the managers came to blows, with Chelsea's Emma Hayes shoving Arsenal's Jonas Eidevall before later accusing the Swede of "male aggression" on the touchline. Eidevall denied the allegation and said others "need to look in the mirror".

The disagreement followed Eidevall taking exception to Chelsea using an alternative ball for a quick throw-in late in the game. The move was controversial due to pre-match Chelsea insisting the game would not use a multi-ball system.


Matildas dealt Katrina Gorry and Clare Hunt double blow

The Matildas will not just be without Sam Kerr for the upcoming Olympics, with Holly McNamara's (ACL), Lydia Williams (ankle), Charlie Rule (hip) and Chloe Logarzo (hip) all set to miss the Paris Games. And Katrina Gorry and Clare Hunt could join them on the sidelines for the upcoming Games after both picking up injuries just months out from Paris.

Gorry was injured in West Ham's loss to Chelsea in the WSL. The 31-year-old took to social media last week to tell fans her WSL season was over.

"I've spent the last few days sitting with my emotions," she wrote. "Now it's time to face this next challenge and trust in my body to come back stronger." Five rounds of the Women's Super League remain, with the competition set to wrap up in mid-May.

DAGENHAM, ENGLAND - MARCH 24: Katrina Gorry of West Ham United leaves the field at half-time on crutches during the Barclays Women's Super League match between West Ham United and Chelsea FC at Chigwell Construction Stadium on March 24, 2024 in Dagenham, England. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
Matildas duo Katrina Gorry (pictured) and Clare Hunt are both in doubt for the upcoming Olympics after picking up injuries just months out from the Games.

It is unclear exactly how long she will be on the sidelines but she will be racing the clock to return in time for the Matildas' first Olympics match against Germany on July 26. While Hunt is currently sidelined with a stress fracture.

Hunt, who has risen to prominence in the past 12 months, missed her club side Paris Saint-Germain's 3-1 win over Montpellier last Monday, with French media reporting she was out with a stress fracture in her foot. The seriousness of her injury is currently unknown but she could also face a race against time to be fit for Paris. A Football Australia spokeswoman last week said there was "no current update" on Hunt's condition.

with AAP