That's how you keep Lauren James quiet! Winners & losers as Arsenal silence Chelsea's rising star on way to Conti Cup glory

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The Gunners were victorious in Sunday's final, beating the Blues 3-1 to win their first trophy since the Women's Super League title in 2019

Arsenal ended their four-year wait for a trophy on Sunday with a 3-1 win over Chelsea in the Continental Cup final, picking up the first silverware of the Jonas Eidevall era.

The Gunners went into this game having only won one of their last 14 clashes with the Blues, the last of which came when Emma Hayes' side knocked them out of the FA Cup just seven days earlier.

However, things went much better for the team from north London on this occasion, with goals from Stina Blackstenius, Kim Little and a Niamh Charles own goal seeing them comeback to triumph, after Sam Kerr had put Chelsea ahead with only 98 seconds on the clock.

So, who shone on the big day and what impact could this result have going into the business end of the season? GOAL picks out the final's winners and losers...

  1. WINNER: Stina Blackstenius
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    WINNER: Stina Blackstenius

    With injuries to Vivianne Miedema and Beth Mead, there's a lot of pressure on the shoulders of Arsenal striker Blackstenius to be the main goal-scoring threat in this team.

    She's had her doubters and there were even reports in January that the club offered her to Manchester United as part of a deal to try and secure the services of Alessia Russo.

    This huge game, though, spun on Blackstenius' big moment. After Kerr gave Chelsea the lead with only 98 seconds on the clock, Arsenal dominated but needed to mark that with a goal quickly and, thanks to Blackstenius, they did.

    She showed great reactions to pounce on the loose ball in the box and produced a wonderfully sharp finish as she did so. It levelled things up and allowed the Gunners to maintain momentum that would put them 3-1 up before the break and, in the end, make them trophy winners.

  2. LOSER: Lauren James
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    LOSER: Lauren James

    One of the absolute stars of the season so far, not just for Chelsea but for any team in Europe, Lauren James wasn't given the chance to get into this final.

    With the Blues having their backs against the wall in the first half, she was hardly allowed a kick. When she was, she found herself thwarted brilliantly, often by the impressive Lia Walti.

    Minimising her threat was key to the Gunners get a win today, because James is a game-changer and one of the most talented and in-form players in the country. But they did exactly that.

  3. WINNER: Jonas Eidevall
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    WINNER: Jonas Eidevall

    This was a big day for Arsenal boss Eidevall. The Gunners have certainly taken steps forward since his arrival in the summer of 2021 but, without trophies, that's not enough for England's most successful club in the women's game.

    To get a trophy was finally confirmation of all of those steps forward and, crucially, a big psychological boost for a team that has struggled against Chelsea for a while now.

    It will give Eidevall's team a massive lift as they head into the final months of the season, which includes a Champions League quarter-final against Bayern Munich and a title race involving Chelsea.

    It also ends Arsenal's trophy drought, with this the women's team's first piece of silverware since winning the Women's Super League in 2019.

  4. LOSER: Emma Hayes
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    LOSER: Emma Hayes

    With her team struggling as Arsenal dominated, Chelsea boss Emma Hayes tried everything in her dugout to change things.

    She made numerous substitutions - one before half time and one at the break, too - switched to multiple different formations and moved players on the pitch to different roles.

    However, the constant chopping and changing felt like it stopped Chelsea gathering momentum. The change to a 3-4-3 set-up in the second period, with just two players in midfield, was a particular surprise given the Blues had struggled to get hold of the ball in there with three.

    Her team's best spell came towards the end of the game, but it was too late at that point. Arsenal managed to adapt to and overcome it all to get the better of their London rivals.

  5. WINNER: Kim Little
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    WINNER: Kim Little

    Arsenal's captain, Arsenal's leader, Little was the stand-out player on the pitch in this final. Her quality shone through, not only in what she can do with a ball but in how she can dictate play and control a game's tempo.

    She was instrumental in the first-half dominance the Gunners enjoyed and in how they turned it into goals. Her ice cold penalty in a moment of real pressure perfectly illustrated her composure and the value she brings to these big games, too.

    The Scot was deservedly named Player of the Match and got to lift a trophy again for this club, a club for which she's won so many and been so crucial to.

  6. LOSER: Jelena Cankovic
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    LOSER: Jelena Cankovic

    It was a difficult first final for Jelena Cankovic, who had been in good form ahead of the game and has made a strong impression in recent months after joining Chelsea last summer.

    The Serbia international struggled to get on the ball in her No.10 role, such was Arsenal's dominance, and failed to track Frida Maanum back for the Gunners' equaliser, which didn't please Kerr.

    As Hayes assessed what she could do to change things from the dugout, it was Cankovic who was subbed off before half time to allow Kadeisha Buchanan to come on the pitch.

    This defeat wasn't on Cankovic and this game won't define her time at Chelsea, that's for sure, but she's had - and will have - better days.