arsenal talisman pierre-emerick aubameyang worked his magic at wembley once again when he came from behind to beat chelsea to win the fa cup for a record 14th time.
The Gabonese forward leveled Arsenal from the penalty spot before half-time after being fouled by Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta, then produced a world-class defining moment to make the decisive contribution to the inaugural Fa Cup behind closed doors. definitive.
Reading: Fa cup final 2020
Chelsea were hampered by an injury to Azpilicueta in the first half and were struggling even more when they lost the standout Pulisic to a hamstring problem after the break.
while the blues struggled to overcome those setbacks, the brilliant aubameyang was able to give mikel arteta the silver in his first season as manager of the gunners.
Aubameyang, whose Arsenal are understandably desperate to secure a new long-term contract, turned Chelsea defender Kurt Zouma around in the 67th minute before delivering the most audacious shot, bringing down goalkeeper Willy Caballero from an angle.
chelsea’s agony increased further when mateo kovacic was harshly sent off for a second yellow card, awarded by referee anthony taylor for the most innocuous of challenges on granit xhaka.
arsenal closed out victory to secure a place in the european league next season, but it was a bitter disappointment for chelsea manager frank lampard at the conclusion of his first campaign in charge.
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arteta’s winning feeling
arteta’s delight at the final whistle was evident as he secured his first major trophy as manager, having succeeded unai emery in december.
There have been some mixed times, but in recent weeks Arsenal have shown their development by defeating new Premier League champions Liverpool and ending Manchester City’s hopes of retaining the FA Cup by beating them to reach the end. now the gunners have the trophy in their hands after firing chelsea.
In every game they have shown character, courage and resilience, all qualities they have been regularly accused of, and have a world-class spearhead in aubameyang.
A player of that caliber makes the difference in the big games. Aubameyang has proven that, making Wembley his personal playground in both the semi-final and final.
it may have been a surreal occasion, this fa cup final was played in a virtually deserted wembley and lacked much of the traditional ceremony and atmosphere, but arteta and his players still basked in the joy of victory and rightly so .
And when the celebrations are over, Arsenal will know with more certainty what their summer priority should be, even above any acquisition.
The Arsenal must find a way to keep Aubameyang. His cause is furthered by being able to offer him European football, even if it’s the Europa League instead of the Champions League.
It’s simply a talent that gives the arsenal another dimension of danger. it’s a match winner and, in this case, a fa cup final winner.
lampard’s chelsea suffers the pain of wembley
It all started very well for Chelsea and Lampard as they dominated the opening stages at Wembley and led Pulisic’s goal.
The momentum changed after the first half drinks break when Chelsea were unraveled by their own injuries, the vastly improved Arsenal and Kovacic’s dismissal.
chelsea lost the experience of azpilicueta and the exciting talent of pulisic, who injured his hamstring while running towards goal with a very good chance, and so they were fighting an uphill battle.
they tried to recover that previous supremacy but they got a brilliant goal from aubameyang and the expulsion of kovacic.
The Croatian international was shown a second yellow card for a challenge with Xhaka which raised questions as to whether it was actually a foul before referee Anthony Taylor finally handed out the red card.
more or less marked the end of Chelsea’s hopes. Lampard’s first season, which has held so much promise, concludes with a place in next season’s Champions League, but no trophy.
There has been much to admire from Chelsea as Lampard has combined youth and experience, but there is a defensive weakness he must address as he has added to his attacking assets the exciting addition of Timo Werner.
Those defensive weaknesses became clear when aubameyang took advantage of them in deadly fashion.
As they swarmed out to collect their underdog medals, Chelsea and Lampard reflect on a day when little happened just after those first five minutes.
man of the match: pierre-emerick aubameyang (arsenal)
Arteta writes name into Gunners history books – the stats
- mikel arteta has become the first person to captain and manage arsenal to victory in an fa cup final.
- chelsea have lost three of their last 10 matches of the FA Cup Final, and all three defeats to Arsenal.
- The Gunners have won each of their last seven FA Cup Final appearances since 2002; no team has had a longer run of consecutive final wins in the competition.
- arteta is the first arsenal manager to win a major trophy in his first season in charge since george graham in 1986-87 .
- There was only one shot on target in the entire second half, which was pierre-emerick aubameyang’s winning goal.
- Since his Arsenal debut in February 2018 , pierre-emerick aubameyang has scored 70 goals in all competitions, more than any other player in the premier league in that time.
- christian pulisic’s first goal was the first goal of the cup final fa scored by an American player.
- mateo kovacic became the sixth player to be sent off in a fa cup final, being the last two chelsea players (victor moses was sent off, also against arsenal, in 2017).
- willy knight (38 years 308 days) became the oldest player to play for chelsea in an fa cup final, while substitute callum hudson-odoi (19 years 268 days) became the youngest to play on the blues masterpiece.