Double Aubameyang helps Arsenal beat Chelsea for the 14th FA Cup trophy | Football news
(Photo by Adam Davy / Pool via Getty Images)
LONDON: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang inspired Arsenal to a 14th FA Cup victory when the Gunners captain hit twice Chelsea 2-1 in the final in an empty Wembley on Saturday.
Christian Pulisic He had given Chelsea the dream start, but the Blues fell apart after César Azpilicueta brought Aubameyang down in the box and converted the resulting penalty.
A brilliant finish for Aubameyang 23 minutes from time earned Mikel Arteta the covered in his first season as Arsenal boss before Chelsea was controversially reduced to 10 men when Mateo Kovacic received an extremely soft second yellow card.
Arteta said ahead of the final that he hoped a test of success would encourage Aubameyang, who has one year left on his Emirates contract, to commit to a new long-term deal.
Double the Gabon international brought his tally for the season to 29 and ensured that the Gunners will not miss European football next season for the first time since 1995/96 as they qualify for the Europa League.
A FA Cup Final Unlike any other with nearly 90,000 empty seats, the traditional “Abide With Me” chant was seen on the Wembley roof.
Chelsea had already achieved their main goal of the first season in charge of Frank Lampard by securing a place in next season’s Champions League last weekend and at first they seemed ready to crown a top four result with the Lampard’s first trophy as manager.
Emiliano Martinez flew to his left to turn Mason Mount’s shot, but Arsenal ignored that warning as Chelsea’s three forwards combined perfectly for the first match in five minutes.
Mount’s forward bass was activated by former Arsenal forward Olivier Giroud and Pulisic continued his goal streak since returning from soccer in June showing off quick feet before pushing the ball home.
Arteta has won much applause for his tactical nous during his first eight months in a managerial position and the Spaniard managed to rearrange the Gunners during the first half drink break to change the momentum of the game.
One minute after the game resumed, Nicolas Pepe thought he had gotten a brilliant equalizer from the edge of the box, only to be denied by Ainsley Maitland-Niles for being offside in the build-up.
While Chelsea have already significantly strengthened their attack line for next season with the signings of Timo Werner and Hakim Ziyech, Arsenal are hoping to hold on to their key man in Aubameyang.
Just like in the semi-final victory over Manchester City, he proved himself the winner of the match when he ran over to Kieran Tierney’s hopeful ball overhead and outplayed Azpilicueta before being knocked down by the Chelsea captain just inside the area.
Azpilicueta escaped the double punishment of a red card, but VAR confirmed the kick and Aubameyang came home.
Chelsea was hit by two major injury punches on either side of halftime when Azpilicueta and Pulisic were stopped with hamstring injuries that will almost certainly exclude them from the Champions League last 16, return match against Bayern Munich next weekend. of week.
Despite Chelsea’s significant wave of spending to bolster their attack, it’s at the back where they’ve been found wanting all season and were too easily caught up for the winner.
Héctor Bellerin broke Jorginho’s weak challenge before the ball was played in the way of Aubameyang, who went ahead of Kurt Zouma and raised the end with indifference on Willy Caballero.
The worst was yet to come for Lampard’s men when Kovacic was inexplicably expelled for the slightest contact with Granit Xhaka, but Anthony Taylor’s decision could not be reviewed by VAR as it was a second bookable offense.