Consistency the difference in FA Cup semi-final defeat says Eidevall

Arsenal manager Jonas Eidevall speaks to Katie McCabe (left) and Kim Little after the Vitality Women's FA Cup semi final

Arsenal manager Jonas Eidevall speaks to Katie McCabe (left) and Kim Little after the Vitality Women's FA Cup semi final - Credit: PA

Jonas Eidevall felt 'consistency' was the difference in Arsenal's Vitaly Women's FA Cup semi-final defeat to Chelsea on Sunday.

Goals from Guro Reiten and Ji earned a 2-0 win for the holders and set up an FA Cup final against Manchester City at Wembley Stadium next month.

And Gunners boss Eidevall said: "Consistency, that’s the difference. The quality of the deciding actions was also the difference.

"To beat a team like Chelsea we need to be consistent and we can't be dependent on scoring the first goal in games like this, we need to keep on doing the right things. 

"We saw in the first 40 minutes that we have the quality to play against and beat Chelsea but we need to do that much, much better. It’s not the easiest thing to fix but we need to work on it."

Arsenal started the game well, but failed to take any of their early chances and on their need to be more clinical, Eidevall added: "You always want to be more clinical, but my biggest disappointment is how we reacted to the first goal and the last five minutes of the first half, that was really, really poor. 

"We lost our focus and made a lot of individual mistakes. None of those things are associated with a winning team in my mind. We need to learn and to nullify those moments."

Chelsea’s Guro Reiten celebrates scoring her side's first goal against Arsenal

Chelsea’s Guro Reiten celebrates scoring her side's first goal against Arsenal - Credit: PA

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Beth Mead had a huge chance to give Arsenal the lead a minute before Chelsea opened the scoring and speaking of that moment of the game, Eidevall said: "Of course it is better that Beth scores and we don’t concede but we can’t allow a goal like that to define our performance. 

"That’s the disappointing part, we didn’t give ourselves the chance to win the game. If we had carried on being consistent, carrying out the game plan, even if we had lost 1-0 and it wasn’t enough, then ok, maybe it isn’t your day and you can accept it. 

"If we want to be a winning team we cannot be dependent on scoring the first goal, of course it is an advantage but we need to have the mentality of being consistent, carrying on doing all the right things and we didn’t do that."

Having exited the FA Cup, Arsenal can only win the Super League title and on potentially ending the season without a trophy, Eidevall admitted: "I am very disappointed with this match, but I am very motivated to do everything to finish the season as strongly as possible, that’s what we need to do. 

"It has been clear for us that when we play at our best we can play against any team, but we need to develop consistency on doing our basic principles over and over again. 

"That is the most important thing for the rest of the season to feel like we are growing with that and then we can develop into being a really strong team."

Irish international Katie McCabe started the tie at right-back and why that was, Eidevall explained: "There were several thoughts about this. A little bit matching up in defence against Guro Reiten who has been in excellent form and trying to get an aggressive player like Katie against her in defence. 

"But also, with the way their wing-backs press the space should be open for Katie to drive inside on her left foot. I think for a number of reasons I don’t think either of those things worked out that well."

On the value of repetition in big games this season, Eidevall went on to add: "Repetition is one thing, because then you have a strong shared mental level. I also think it’s accountability, to keep each other accountable for the way we play and not to let one mistake become two or three mistakes. 

"If somebody is jumping out of position or making bad decisions, then we need to communicate and tell that player to do it differently. 

"Or sometimes we might need to play easier so that we don’t make the second and third mistakes. So one part is repetition, the other is how we communicate so that we hold ourselves accountable on the pitch."

Arsenal are back in action on Sunday when they travel to Everton for a 6.45pm kick-off, with the game live on Sky Sports.