Blackstenius eyes glory as Arsenal look to derail Chelsea’s quadruple dream

Blackstenius eyes glory as Arsenal look to derail Chelsea’s quadruple dream

Arsenal’s top scorer, Stina Blackstenius, is primed to play a crucial role in Sunday’s Continental Cup final against Chelsea.

The 28-year-old Swedish striker finds herself in an unfamiliar position – an impact substitute – but her goalscoring prowess remains undeniable, with 14 goals and 15 goal involvements across all competitions.

Blackstenius’ reduced playing time is a consequence of Arsenal‘s wealth of attacking talent. The return of Beth Mead and Vivianne Miedema from injury, coupled with the arrival of Alessia Russo from Manchester United, has intensified competition for starting berths, particularly in Blackstenius’ preferred central striking role.”It’s been tough, of course,” Blackstenius concedes in an interview with The Guardian. “I haven’t played as much as I did last season. It is tough to not play as much as you want to. [I] try to do the very best I can with the minutes I get…”

However, Blackstenius isn’t dwelling on her reduced role. She acknowledges the unique qualities each attacking player brings and embraces the learning opportunities that come with sharing the pitch with such talent.

Blackstenius’ impact this season goes beyond mere statistics. Her first-half hat-trick in the Continental Cup semi-final against Aston Villa propelled Arsenal into the final against Chelsea. This upcoming match presents a unique opportunity for the Gunners to not only claim a trophy but also avenge their recent 3-1 league defeat at the hands of Emma Hayes‘ side.

Arsenal‘s record against Chelsea is a mixed bag. They secured a league win against them earlier this season and emerged victorious in last year’s League Cup final, where Blackstenius found the net. Building on these positive results is key for Arsenal‘s confidence going into the final.

“We weren’t happy with the performance [in the recent league defeat],” Blackstenius reflects. “We get a new opportunity now to get things right. You get a new opportunity to play better than you did last time.”

While Arsenal‘s season has lacked consistency – they currently sit six points adrift of the top spot in the WSL and have been eliminated from the FA Cup and Champions League – the Continental Cup offers a chance to salvage some silverware. Blackstenius’ hunger for goals and experience playing a pivotal role in cup finals could prove instrumental in derailing Chelsea‘s quest for a quadruple.