Lucy Bronze says City’s 2021/22 campaign has been a true ‘two-half season’.
Gareth Taylor’s side got off to a rocky start, winning just five of our first 14 games, but bounced back emphatically at the start of the year, emerging victorious in 21 of our last 23 games in all competitions.
During this sensational run of form, we also won our fourth Continental Cup with a stunning victory over Chelsea and reflecting on the end of the league tenure, Bronze admits his team’s progress has been astonishing.
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“We feel good,” she said mancity.com. “It’s the best the team has felt all year.
“After some disappointments this season, what we have achieved is fantastic. It says a lot about the character of the team and the individuals who performed, worked hard and stuck together.
“It’s been like two different seasons in one… We were in a tough spot just before Christmas but we couldn’t do much but focus on ourselves. That cliché of ‘a game at the times” was very common at that time.
“We just took it all in our stride, not looking too far ahead of the cup finals or too far behind disappointing results and performances. It was just about getting the result on the day and building on that. .
“Since Christmas we’ve had a great run, picking up points and scoring goals. It’s good that we got a trophy and are in another final, and the Champions League is where this team should be.
“Somehow it’s more special [because of the start] but it’s also disappointing because you think, “Where would we be if we would have performed better or if we hadn’t had so many injuries?”
“But even if you would have asked a team in full form at the start of the season if they wanted to end the season with potentially two trophies and a place in the Champions League, they would say it would be a very good season. ”
City end the campaign with a mouth-watering clash in the FA Cup final at Wembley on Sunday against League champions and fellow Continental Cup runners-up Chelsea.
Bronze, who scored in the 2017 FA Cup showpiece when we first wrote our name on the trophy, admits the competition will always hold a special place in her heart and says she couldn’t dream of a more exciting couple.
“I couldn’t imagine two top teams going against each other with the way things have been lately,” she added.
“Both teams have very good players and have good momentum, win games and play well. Even though there will be key players missing from both sides, which makes a difference in how each team puts together, it will be a fantastic one-on-one.
“There are going to be a lot of things to talk about before the final. We had never faced them in the Final before and now we will have faced them twice in the National Cup Final in one season!
“They won three of our games during the season, we won one… They probably had a smoother ride, as we dipped very low and then reached very high.
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“The FA Cup is always special. I never take it for granted. Every FA Cup final reminds me of when I was young and had the aspiration to play in a final, to have those dreams …
“Your first FA Cup final is a special moment. It was a big moment in my personal career, even though I lost – I was 17, playing against the best team in the country at Arsenal.
“After West Ham [semi-final] match, Alanna Kennedy said, “This will be my first match at Wembley” and all the girls were like, “You’re going to love this!”
“Once you’ve had that experience, it’s very special to see someone else have it and it takes you back to your first time.
“I hope everyone enjoys it and it will be another great moment for us.”