FA Cup Final Review 2020: Arsenal 2, Chelsea 1
Aubameyang's double strike gives Arsenal a 14th FA Cup title
FA Cup Final review: Arsenal 2, Chelsea 1
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's brace helped Arsenal bagged a record 14th FA Cup title at the Wembley stadium when they beat North London rivals Chelsea 2-1 on Saturday.
But it was Frank Lampard's men who dominated the proceedings from the start and took the lead in as early as the 5th minute. Olivier Giroud flicked a Mason Mount delivery into the box right in the path of Christian Pulisic who turned around sharply and chipped the ball past goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez.
Arsenal were able to shift the gears of dominance quickly and thought they had found their equalizing goal 25 minutes into the game when Nicolas Pepe sent in a stunning curling shot from outside the box into the top left corner beating Willy Caballero all ends up.
However, the offside flag went up before Pepe's shot hit the back of the net and replays showed that Ainsley Maitland-Niles, who fed the pass to Pepe, had been seen stepping ahead of the Chelsea defence.
Mikel Arteta's men didn't have to wait long for the equalizer. Aubameyang was brought down in the box by Cesar Azpilicueta and referee Anthony Taylor quickly pointed to the spot and the Gabonese levelled for the Gunners in the 28th minute.
Chelsea received a setback when Azpilicueta had to leave the field with a hamstring injury and were handicapped further when they lost the outstanding Pulisic after the break.
Chelsea were without the experience Azpilicueta in the second-half and the talent of Pulisic, who actually injured his hamstring as he raced in on goal but crumbled to the ground as he was about to take a full-blooded shot.
Aubameyang then produced some magic when he waltzed past defender Kurt Zouma in the 67th minute and chipped the ball over Caballero from an angle to make it 2-1 for the Gunners.
Chelsea were further hard done by some callous refereeing by Anthony Taylor when Mateo Kovacic was hastily sent off for a second yellow card following the most innocuous of challenges on Granit Xhaka.
Chelsea's agony continued as they were reduced to nine men in the final seconds of the game after Pedro went down clutching his shoulder in the box and had to receive oxygen before being hauled off on a stretcher.
Arsenal closed out the win as the match went on nearly 12 minutes into extra time and secured a Europa League berth for the next season. It was bitter disappointment for Chelsea manager Frank Lampard as his team ended the season without a silverware.
The FA Cup final played in surreal surroundings of a virtually empty Wembley stadium and sans the traditional fanfare, nevertheless ended in joy for Arteta and his players who were undoubtedly the deserving winners.
Arteta's delight at the final whistle was very visible as he bagged his first major trophy as a manager, having only succeeded Unai Emery in December.
The Spaniard thus became the first man to win the trophy as a captain and manager with the north London club.
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