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Arsenal star Frida Maanum ‘conscious and talking’ after collapse on pitch



Arsenal star Frida Maanum is “conscious, talking and well” after collapsing on the pitch during the Conti Cup final.

The game between Arsenal and Chelsea at Molineux was stopped for eight minutes while Maanum, 24, received treatment from medics after collapsing off the ball.

Her teammate Stina Blackstenius, who went on to score the winning goal in Arsenal’s 1-0 victory after extra time, was one of the first to notice that the Norwegian was in trouble, rushing across the pitch and gesturing to the sidelines for help.

Players were called to the benches while paramedics assessed the situation and Maanum was quickly helped onto a stretcher and taken off the pitch for further treatment.

Arsenal confirmed minutes later that the Norway international was stable and awake minutes later as the game continued into extra time, with Alessia Russo replacing Maanum in the Arsenal line-up.

“When something like that happens whether you’re a teammate or an opposition player, I think it affects both teams,” said former England international Fara Williams on commentary.

“You just want the best for Frida Maanum, whether the game had to be abandoned for those reasons.

“Our well wishes are with her. Fingers crossed. I wish her a speedy recovery and hope that it isn’t as bad as what it looks.”

The final was played in front of a Conti Cup final record crowd of 21,462, but those fans who made the trip on Easter Sunday had to wait for the best of the action.

Chelsea appealed for a penalty for a handball against Katie McCabe, but those calls were dismissed. There was also a further concern for Arsenal with Leah Williamson, who has only just returned from injury, having to be replaced by Laia Codina for the second half.

The game was eventually won in the 116th minute by Blackstenius, who bundled her way past Erin Cuthbert before beating Hannah Hampton in the Chelsea goal.

And as Russo revealed afterwards, Blackstenius was a fitting scorer of the winner.

“I think it was written in the stars that her best mate went and scored the winner for her,” Russo told the BBC.

She added: “It’s devastating to see one of your team-mates go down like that. We’re all wishing and praying that she’s okay.

“Frida is a massive player and plays with every single bit of her body and she did that today. We just hope she’s okay.”

Hayes accuses Eidevall of ‘male aggression’

Emotions were running high after the final whistle as Chelsea manager Emma Hayes clashed with the victorious Jonas Eidevall.

Hayes, a trailblazer in English football who is leaving Chelsea at the end of the season, did not shake his hand but instead appeared to push the Swedish boss and wave a finger in his direction.

She explained afterwards that she was unhappy with Eidevall for “squaring up” to Blues captain Erin Cuthbert in the final minutes of the game.

“I think there’s a way to behave on the side of the pitch and not for the first time, I’ve been in women’s football a long time and I don’t think we should tolerate male aggression like we did today,” Hayes said.

“Fronting up or squaring up to a player is something that’s unacceptable. I’ve never been booked in 12 years of my career but I think there’s a way to behave on the touchline. He received a yellow card but perhaps should have been more.”

Eidevall replied that he “can’t really take it seriously” and explained that the disagreement had initially come about with Hayes and Cuthbert about the match ball, which he had just avoided catching while Chelsea were chasing the game.

“My word on what was happening would be that before the game we had a discussion between the clubs about whether to use one ball or multi-ball system,” Eidevall said.

“In this situation, Arsenal said multi-ball, Chelsea said one ball. The decision was to play the final on a one ball system.

“The ball goes out of play, the Chelsea player wants a new ball to take a quick throw-in and I said ‘we play with only one ball and you guys were the ones who decided that’.

“Obviously it now drives all kinds of emotions in there, nothing more, nothing less. I can’t see that I did anything, had any form of contact with anyone – either a player or a coach. That was it.”

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