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Skinner criticises Conti Cup suspension rules after Chelsea beat United

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MARC SKINNER has called for a rule change on Conti Cup suspensions after Chelsea knocked Manchester United out of the contest.

A Pernille Harder strike was among the goals that saw the Blues advance to their third successive final after beating 10-player United 3-1.

Chelsea are set to face Manchester City or Tottenham the Conti Cup final at Plough Lane

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Chelsea are set to face Manchester City or Tottenham the Conti Cup final at Plough LaneCredit: Getty

They faced a Red Devils side without Hayley Ladd and star playmaker Ella Toone.

Both players were serving suspensions for two yellow cards picked up earlier in the competition.

Skinner said:”My issue is – and I want to stress this in as calm a manner as I possibly can – that the rules need to change from next year.

“We were put at a disadvantage based on the simple fact that we’ve played five games leading to the quarter-finals in this competition.

“And two players accrued two yellow cards at that point and are out of the semis.

Chelsea entered the competition at the quarter-final stage because of they were in the Champions League and can’t accrue the same amount of cards, so we’re at a huge disadvantage.

“Something needs to be addressed just to make sure that there’s a fair opportunity for us to progress with most of our players.

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When asked what changes he believes could be made, Skinner added: “Scrap the yellow cards at the quarter-final stage so when you make it there that’s a new phase with the eight teams starting afresh.

“For us, it’s just about balance. If we play more games, we’ve got more opportunity to accrue more cards.

“So, what I’d like is a reset at the quarter-finals (stage) and if we get two yellow cards (after that) then it’s our fault.”

Chelsea began the positively with Harder seeing a shot blocked by Maria Thorisdottir around the fifth minute.

The 0-0 scoreline lasted until the 26th minute with the Denmark ace burying a bottom corner shot to put the hosts 1-0 up.

Marc Skinner wants to see changes made to suspension rules in the league cup

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Marc Skinner wants to see changes made to suspension rules in the league cupCredit: Reuters

And Emma Hayes’ aces doubled their lead moments later with Jessie Fleming heading the ball over an outstretched Sophie Baggaley.

But the visitors pulled one back with Jackie Groenen’s delightful backheel pass to Vilde Boe Risa, with the midfielder netting from a tight angle in the box.

Chelsea restored their two-goal lead close to half-time.

Jess Carter made a powerful run into the box, smashing the ball home following a cross from Guro Reiten

The second half saw both sides make some changes with Signe Bruun making her Man United debut in the 67th minute following her arrival in the January transfer window.

Our performance reminded me of the Chelsea of old in terms of the way we dominated physically

Emma Hayes

And Chelsea brought on Lauren James, Drew Spence and Sam Kerr who had returned from Asia Cup duty.

Skinner’s side went down to ten players around the 77th minute with Sophie Baggaley given her marching orders.

The red card came after the keeper clattered Kerr on the edge of the box after Chelsea lofted the ball forward for the striker.

The hosts held on to see out a win.

And a clash against Manchester City or Tottenham will await them in the final at Plough Lane on the fifth of March.

Blues boss Hayes said: “Our performance reminded me of the Chelsea of old in terms of the way we dominated physically.

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Emma Hayes praised her players' aggressive approach to their win

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Emma Hayes praised her players’ aggressive approach to their winCredit: PA

“We were aggressive everywhere but also our football is getting better.

“That for me is the pleasing thing. We’re finding solutions in the right moments and solving problems.

“These are the things I love as a coach. They executed the game plan to perfection.”



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