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Continental Tyres League Cup: Manchester City Women 2-4 Chelsea Women

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Melanie Leupolz of Chelsea (right) takes on Manchester City's Jill Scott
Melanie Leupolz’s first-half strike was her second goal for Chelsea since arriving in the close season

Substitutes Guro Reiten and Sophie Ingle scored in extra time as holders Chelsea reached the semi-finals of the Continental Cup with a dramatic 4-2 victory over Manchester City.

Super League leaders Chelsea went ahead through Melanie Leupolz’s rasping shot.

City replied and looked set to progress when Lauren Hemp’s fine finish added to Chloe Kelly’s goal for a late 2-1 lead.

But a stunning Niamh Charles made it 2-2 on 89 minutes and Chelsea ruthlessly wrapped up the win.

Emma Hayes’s WSL table-toppers will face either West Ham or Championship side Durham, who meet on Thursday, in the last four, while second-tier Leicester City will play Bristol City in the other semi-final.

Chelsea’s chances of staying on course to retain the trophy they won by beating Arsenal in last year’s final appeared over when Hemp scored with five minutes left of a thrilling game played in teeming rain at the Academy Stadium.

The Blues, who are unbeaten in 31 league matches, had deservedly been 1-0 up at the break, the outstanding Leupolz scoring with a sweet strike when she pounced on Alex Greenwood’s botched clearance.

Stunning extra-time double sinks City

But the hosts replied soon after the restart through Kelly, who showed great persistence to dispossess Magdalena Eriksson before shooting home on the angle.

Hemp brilliantly controlled and volleyed home from England captain Houghton’s pass to put City on the brink of the last four only for substitute Charles to score a sensational equaliser with a delightful looping volley from 20 yards.

The drama continued in extra time with Reiten skilfully scoring on the stretch after great work on the right by Pernille Harder.

And Ingle scored glorious goal to seal the win, smashing a first-time effort into the top corner from 25 yards.

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