Leah Williamson surprise substitution in Women’s League Cup final sparks injury concerns

Leah Williamson came off at half time during the Women’s League Cup final

Sonia Twigg
Sunday 31 March 2024 16:33 BST
Leah Williamson came off at half time in the Women’s League Cup final
Leah Williamson came off at half time in the Women’s League Cup final (Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Leah Williamson was substituted at half time during Arsenal’s Women’s League Cup final against Chelsea.

There was no clear incident in the first half, which finished goalless, but when the Gunners emerged for the second half, England captain Williamson had been replaced by Laia Codina.

Williamson’s right knee was taped up before the game, but it is unclear if she has suffered an injury, or what the extent of it could be.

It will be a concern for Lionesses manager Sarina Wiegman, with the national side due to take on Sweden and Ireland in Euro 2025 qualifiers next week.

Former England and Brighton defender Fern Whelan said on BBC 5 Live during the match on the Arsenal captain’s substitution: “I didn’t see Leah Williamson pick up a knock in the first half, but that is surely an enforced change that has been presented to Jonas Eidevall.

“It is a great replacement to bring on in Laia Codina, but it is a little bit of disruption to the side that maybe they would not have wanted to deal with.”

It could be a big blow for England, as Williamson was due to return for England for the first time since she sustained an anterior cruciate ligament injury that ruled her out of the World Cup in the summer of 2023.

Chelsea went into the League Cup final at Molineux still in the hunt for four trophies in Emma Hayes’ final season at the club before she departs to take charge of the United States national women’s team, arguably the biggest job in the women’s football.

However before then, they remain in the hunt for the League Cup, Women’s Super League, Champions League and FA Cup.

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