Frida Maanum in stable condition after collapsing on pitch

Arsenal Norwegian midfielder Frida Maanum is in a "stable condition" after collapsing during Islington's Women's League Cup final victory over Chelsea on Sunday.

The 25-year-old Norwegian collapsed and fell to the ground without any contact or impact from an opponent during the Women's League Cup final, in which Islington beat Chelsea after Stina Blacktenius' goal in extra time on Sunday.

Frida Maanum, who joined Arsenal three years ago, was given oxygen through a mask and was eventually stretchered off after being treated for around eight minutes on the pitch at Wolverhampton's Molineux Stadium as more than 20,000 fans in the stands wondered what had happened.

Paramedics and team medical staff rushed onto the pitch to assist Maanum when she suddenly fell to the ground without the ball in second-half stoppage time at Molineux. She was given oxygen on the pitch but did not require CPR.

Frida Maanum is taken from the pitch at the English Women's League Cup final. GETTY IMAGES
Frida Maanum is taken from the pitch at the English Women's League Cup final. GETTY IMAGES

The player, wearing a mask and accompanied by her teammates, was stretchered off as her teammates expressed concern for her health.

Both teams remained on the pitch and the match resumed, with Alessia Russo replacing Maanum and Stina Blacktenius scoring the winner in extra time (116th minute) in a bittersweet victory dedicated to her teammate. 

"Frida is conscious, talking and in a stable condition. She will continue to be closely monitored by our medical team. We're all with you, Frida," read a statement from Arsenal. 

"It's devastating to see one of your teammates go down like this. "We're all hoping and praying that she'll be all right. I think it was written in the stars that her best friend went and scored the winner for her. Frida is a massive player and plays with every inch of her body. She did that today. We just hope she's OK," said Russo, who replaced the Norwegian in the final.

Speaking to the BBC after scoring the winner, Blackstenius said of Maanum: "It's always very difficult. She's a teammate and a friend to all of us. We care so much about her. You worry a bit when something like this happens. We said we wanted to do this for her, to get this win for her, because she couldn't be with us at the time."

Chelsea coach Emma Hayes, who is leaving the club at the end of the season to take charge of the USA women's national team, said: "The players' welfare always comes first. I really hope she is OK. It's always worrying when something like this happens. 

Maanum, 25, was born in Lyn, Norway, before playing in Sweden and eventually joining Arsenal for the 2021-2022 season. She has also represented her country's national team since 2017.