A double from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang gave Arsenal the 14th FA Cup in its history against Chelsea (2-1) and especially a place in the Europa League next season. It is also the first trophy won by Mikel Arteta as a coach for his first half-season at the head of a pro team. A great feat for the former midfielder, notably through PSG, who learned his skills alongside Pep Guardiola at Manchester City before taking over a drifting club in December, to whom he was able to give back a soul and a game identity.
In that final he won the tactical battle against Frank Lampard, who dreamed of ending his first season leading a Premier League team with a trophy. Even if he was helped by game facts - the injury exits of Cesar Azpilicueta (34th) and especially Christian Pulisic at the very start of the second half (48th), or the severe expulsion of Matteo Kovacic in the 72nd - Arteta also won the war of nerves.
We would have, indeed, badly imagined the Arsenal of Unai Emery recovering from this difficult start to the match which saw Chelsea open the scoring in the 5th minute. On an action while verticality and in two passes, Mason Mount was found on the left of the penalty area and his low cross was cleverly deflected by Olivier Giroud in the race of Christian Pulisic, who deceived Emiliano Martinez up close (0-1, 5th). Chelsea then seemed to have got their hands on this final with perfect pressing and efficient forward play. But the refreshment break in the heart of the first act totally took the Blues out of their game as Arsenal suddenly found consistency in their game.
And 60 seconds after a magnificent equalizer, with a shot wound from 18 meters into the skylight, was denied to Nicolas Pépé, Aubameyang managed to take the best with a mixture of speed and body play on Azpilicueta who did not 'had other solutions than to make a mistake in its surface. The Gabonese, who on Saturday became the first African captain of a Cup finalist team, himself converted the penalty (1-1, 27th).
During the second period, Arsenal played more against and on one of them, initiated by a furious rush from side Hector Bellerin, Nicolas Pépé shifted Aubameyang to the left of the area. The center forward easily eliminated Kurt Zouma and stung the ball over Willy Caballero, once again preferred to Kepa (2-1, 66th). This double represents Aubameyang's 28th and 29th goals in all competitions and especially his 69th and 70th goals since his arrival in London in February 2018. No English player has scored more than him over this period, not even Mohamed Salah (68 ).
Undoubtedly under the influence of emotion, the Gabonese international even dropped the trophy to the ground during the post-match celebration! But anyway, Aubameyang, who had already been the executioner of Manchester City with a brace in the semi-finals (2-0), once again demonstrated Arsenal's incredible dependence on him, while its future remains uncertain. For the Blues, who had already lost twice against Arsenal in the final of the FA Cup (2002, 2017), it will be necessary to "console themselves" with a place in the Champions League acquired through the championship (4th).
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