Chelsea boss Emma Hayes highlights her sides resilience after the Blues overcame Arsenal by 2-1 in the Continental Cup Final.

An injury time winner from star striker Bethany England was enough as the Blues recorded their first ever Continental Cup final success in their history at the City Ground. 

But Blues boss Hayes was quick to admit that the Gunners were the better ‘footballing’ side on the day.

‘The better team did not win the game; the most resilient team won the game,’ she said. ‘I value defending and I value resilience. It isn’t always about being the best team, it isn’t always about possessing the ball the most.

READ: Chelsea 2-1 Arsenal player ratings: Emma Hayes’s side make history with first ever Continental Cup title

‘This is the third time we’ve played Arsenal this season and the previous two we were extremely dominant in. No one in our camp thought this would be a dominant Chelsea performance – far from it. To win the game after they out-possessed us, they dominated, shows what a great team we really are.

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‘It’s just about getting one more goal than the opponent. I talked earlier in the season about this team not being clinical. Well, we’re clinical now.

‘People don’t remember performances in finals, they remember results. They won’t be saying in three years’ time, “Remember that dominant Arsenal performance?” They’ll just say Chelsea won. It’s about producing winning football and results.’

England wasn’t the only star player who made the difference to really spur the Blues onto success. Goalkeeper Ann-Katrin Berger arguably produced her best performance since joining the Blues in January.

The 29-year-old produced five outstanding saves to really keep Hayes’s side in the game, and the boss wasn’t scared to single the German International out for her heroic performance after the game alongside Beth England.

‘She was unbelievable, she really was,’ Hayes added. ‘I didn’t realise this before, but I have a lot of players who hadn’t won anything before and I think Ann was one of them.

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‘She finished second a lot and I’ve got a lot of players who have been in that position in their career. So it mattered. For Ann – came to the club to win trophies. Sam Kerr – came to the club to win trophies.

‘We always talk about attacking being the most dominant feature of a football match, instead of saying why doesn’t Chelsea deserve to win the game on the basis of an outstanding goalkeeping performance. It’s not often we have to defend like that and still come through.

‘With Beth, I love the story. She had to earn it. There was no way I was going to give it to her easily and she’ll tell you that!

‘There’s nothing more joyful than when a player, who you don’t really know if they’re going to cut it at the top level, gets their head down and puts everything into their career. The talent was always there, but now you’re starting to see the fruit of hard work and perseverance.

‘I really think England have got a player who can add something to them going to the next stage. I was saying during the week she seems to be scoring the hardest goals and missing the easiest ones, but she can say the opposite to me today. That’s probably the easiest finish she’ll ever have. But she’s a credit to herself and her family.’

The West-Londoners are next in action on Sunday March 15 as they take on Everton Women away from home in the FA Cup.

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