Emma Hayes slams ‘male aggression’ after clash with Arsenal coach as Chelsea’s quadruple bid ends

Arsenal's Leah Williamson, front left, and Kim Little, front right, lift the trophy after winning the FA Women's Continental Tyres League Cup Final soccer match between Arsenal and Chelsea at Molineux Stadium, Wolverhampton, England, Sunday March 31, 2024. (Nick Potts/PA via AP)

Arsenal’s Leah Williamson, front left, and Kim Little, front right, lift the trophy after winning the FA Women’s Continental Tyres League Cup Final soccer match between Arsenal and Chelsea at Molineux Stadium, Wolverhampton, England, Sunday March 31, 2024. (Nick Potts/PA via AP)

WOLVERHAMPTON, England (AP) — Emma Hayes, the incoming coach of the U.S. women’s national team, appeared to push Arsenal coach Jonas Eidevall and later complained about “male aggression” after Chelsea’s quadruple bid ended with defeat in the Women’s English League Cup final on Sunday.

Arsenal won 1-0 in extra time after Stina Blackstenius scored in the 116th minute at Molineux.

Hayes appeared to push Eidevall and say something to him as he went to shake her hand after the final whistle.

When questioned later, the Chelsea coach said “I’m not down for male aggression on the touchline.”

Hayes was not happy with what she described as “fronting up with players.”

“For me that’s unacceptable and, yeah, I was disappointed and I told Jonas that. I don’t think it’s okay to behave like that.”

There was an exchange between Eidevall and Chelsea player Erin Cuthbert in extra time as Arsenal closed in on victory.

“I don’t see me as aggressive. She is irresponsible putting that label on it,” Eidevall later said of Hayes’ “male aggression” comments.

Hayes will take over as U.S. coach at the end of the season when she will lead the team at the Paris Olympics.

She was aiming to complete a quadruple of trophies in her final year at Chelsea, but Blackstenius’ goal ensured Arsenal secured the League Cup. Chelsea is second in the Women’s Super League — three points behind first-place Manchester City, having played a game fewer.

Hayes is also hoping to win the Champions League for the first time after guiding Chelsea to the semifinals, where it will face defending champion Barcelona.

Her team has also advanced to the semifinals of the FA Cup and will play Manchester United.

The League Cup final was paused after Arsenal’s Frida Maanum collapsed off the ball and received medical treatment on the field. Arsenal said later that Maanum was conscious and in a stable condition.

“The first thing after the game, we don’t care about winning, we care about how it is with Frida and we are so happy that she is doing well,” Eidevall said.

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