Goals galore: The Conti Cup 2018-19

The 2019-20 FA Continental League Cup kicks off this weekend. Twenty-three teams are vying to take home the title, and 21 of those would be doing it for the first time.

Of the eight editions of the cup, Arsenal have won it five times, while current holders Manchester City have won three times. Last season's final was a tight encounter between the two, with Man City ultimately victorious after a 4-2 penalty shootout win. The game stood at 0-0 after extra time: only the third non-scoring draw of the whole competition at the end of open play - the first two both involved Birmingham City.


The rules of the Conti Cup mean that there are no draws allowed at any point in the competition - draws at group stage result in a penalty shootout, with two points awarded for a victory from spot kicks. Last year, in 57 games, 222 goals were scored. The six highest scoring games after open play were...


Arsenal 9 - 0 Lewes

Lewes hosted Arsenal at The Dripping Pan in the group stage of the cup. The Rooks, playing their league football in the Championship for the first time following promotion the previous season, were stunned by Arsenal, who produced hat-tricks for two players.


Vivianne Miedema and captain Kim Little both netted three, with Daniëlle Van de Donk, Katie McCabe and Lisa Evans all getting one each.


Arsenal went on to top the group, with four wins from four, while Lewes finished mid-table with six points, having claimed victories over Charlton Athletic and Millwall Lionesses.



Crystal Palace 7 - 2 London Bees

In the final game of Group One South, Crystal Palace beat local rivals London Bees comprehensively at Hayes Lane. The game looked relatively evenly matched at first - the Bees cancelled out Palace's opener within four minutes, and then took the lead six minutes later.


Yet Palace weren't to be beaten, player of the season Ashlee Hincks scored three more goals to add to her opener, while Chloe Burr got two, and Charmaine True one.


The result had no effect on the next round, the three points for Palace was only rewarded with a third place group stage finish, and Chelsea and Brighton advanced to the knock-out stage ahead of them.

In the end though, the Bees had the last laugh: Palace ended up finishing two places below them in the Championship, with ten points between them.



Manchester City 7 - 1 Brighton & Hove Albion

Manchester City hosted Brighton at the Academy Stadium and went ahead after five minutes when former striker Nikita Parris scored her 50th city goal.


Brighton levelled three minutes later when Danielle Buet converted from the penalty spot, but that was the only mercy City allowed them.


A brace from Lauren Hemp, and a goal a piece from Caroline Weir, Claire Emslie, Georgia Stanway and Janine Beckie made it a runaway victory for the ultimate champions.



Chelsea 7 - 0 Yeovil

Chelsea, guaranteed themselves a place in the knock-out round in style when they faced Yeovil in the second last game of the group stage, hitting the Glovers for seven at Kingsmeadow. The teams had met two weeks prior in the WSL, and it was groundhog day in the first half, when Chelsea again went into the dressing room with a 4-0 lead. A second minute goal from Adelina Engman was followed by strikes from Drew Spence and Bethany England and an own goal from Nicola Cousins.


After the break, Chelsea didn't let up the pressure: Engman and Spence doubled their tallies while Erin Cuthbert also got on the scoresheet.


The only team to achieve all possible points at group stage, Chelsea were eventually knocked out by Man City in the-semi finals.



Chelsea 6 - 1 London Bees

Chelsea opened their 2018-19 League Cup account with a comprehensive win away to London Bees. Emma Hayes' side opened the scoring after seven minutes when Ramona Bacchman converted from a Drew Spence pass. Two minutes later, Spence got a goal of her own, and both players ended the game with braces.


Fran Kirby and Bethany England also gone one each, while a consolation goal from Lauren Pickett meant supporters at The Hive Stadium went home with something to cheer about.



Bristol City 5 - 2 Aston Villa

Neither Bristol City nor Aston Villa made it past the group stage, but they put on a show when they met at the Stoke Gifford Stadium.


City went 4-0 up with doubles from Lucie Graham and Juliette Kemppi. Villa looked to mount a fightback when Natasha Baptiste converted on the hour mark, but the game was beyond them. Katie Robinson added another for the hosts before Nadine Hanssen doubled Villa's total in what was almost the last action of the game.


City missed out on the quarter-finals by two points, beaten to the second qualifying spot by Birmingham City.

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