Chelsea Ladies failed to add back-to-back FA Cups as they went down 1-0 to close rivals Arsenal at Wembley this afternoon.
A wonder goal from winger Danielle Carter on 18 minutes was the eventual difference between the sides, but in truth had it been 4-0, the score line would not have flattered the north Londoners.
Quite what happened to the Blues is a mystery, was it nerves, the occasion being too much, it's difficult to see. But the west London side simply could not get out of first gear.
Fran Kirby was alone up front and Arsenal snuffed out anyb service.
Only Gemma Davison, on the right wing performed close to her potential, it was not enough.
Chelsea started off very tentatively and within a minute centre-back Millie Bright lost control of the ball, allowing Danielle Carter to try an audacious lob from 25 yard. It only inched over Hedvig Lindahl's crossbar.
And it got progressively worse for the cup holder, who simply could not get a grip on the north London rivals.
A goal was coming and it did on 18 minutes, when Arsenal's liver wire Danilelle Carter, on the left, cut in a sent a beauty of a right-footed curler around the desperate dive of Lindahl's and the ball nestled in thee far top left-hand corner of the net.
This woke up the Blues who almost equalised within three minute, but Fran Kirby's near post shot was saved by Sari van Veenendaal. The ball bounced back and Josphine Henning appeared to touch the ball with her hand. But referee Sarah Garratt waved play on.]A deep Gemma Davison run on 28 minutes into the heart of the Arsenal defence almost reaped dividends as she passed the ball to Ji So-Yun, but the South Korea forward shot the ball over the crossbar.
A Drew Spence. Shot on 37 minutes went high and wide but. Did indicate that when in and around the Arsenal penalty area, Chelsea can pose a problem or two.
Chelsea replaced Drew Spence with Niamh at half time but the restart was still one way traffic towards their goal and Arsenal were unlucky not to score number two, on 47 minutes when Vicky Losada's powerful header rebounded off the Chelsea crossbar to safety.
Chelsea's Lindahl then acrobatically saved with an out stretched left foot to clear away Carter's deft shot on goal as the north Londoners' went on the rampage for the second goal.
With the game going only one way, Chelsea boss Emma Hayes opted to bring on striker Eniola Aluko for Karen Carney on 55 minutes.
The changes seem to have an affect and on 70 minutes, Ji Son-Yun had an excellent chance to level the score but her angled shot just went over the Arsenal goal.
With time running out, Chelsea essentially gave up on defence, living just three -at the back, going in search of that elusive equaliser.
A late rally, was all Chelsea could muster but, the final was lost before kick-off. This was not the dominant Chelsea of last season by any stretch of the imagination.
Chelsea: Hedvig Lindahk, Hannah Blundell, Millie Bright, Gilly Flaherty's, Gemma Davison, Karen Carney, Ji So-Yun, Fran Kirby, Ana Borges, Katie Chapman, Drew Spence
Subs, Rebecca Spencer, Niamh Fahey, Eniola Aluko, Claire Rafferty, Bethany England
Arsenal: Sari Van Veenendaal, Alex Scott,, Emma Mitchell, Casey Stoney, Vicky Losada, Fara Williams, Jordan Nobbs, Danielle Carter, Asisat Oshoala, Kelly Smith
Subs, Emma Byrne, Natalia Pablos Sanchon, Dominique Janssen, Danielle Van de Donk, Leah Williamson
Referee Sarah Garratt.