Arsenal 2-1 Chelsea
He began the season as a number two guiding a side to silverware and he has finished the season as a number one guiding a side to silverware.
After three years largely in the doldrums, Mikel Arteta appears to have Arsenal smiling again!
With the prolific Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang his lieutenant on the pitch– perhaps he was Arsene Wenger’s great last signing – Arsenal clinched the 2020 FA Cup Final and the trophy for a record 14th time.
Highlights of the game
First, the Gabon international drew the Gunners level from the penalty spot after drawing a foul from Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta; then he bamboozled Kurt Zouma before elegantly dinking the ball over Willy Caballero.
They were two FA Cup Final highlights for both Arsenal, Aubameyang and proved the decisive moments in the 139th FA Cup Final.
Never mind the at times odd, eerie spectator-free atmosphere inside the national stadium.
Never mind that Arsenal had finished outside the Premier League’s top six this season for the first time in 25 years.
For that was quickly forgotten as Arsenal celebrated their fourth FA Cup triumph in seven seasons.
They will be playing again in Europe next term after this triumph.
As Arteta followed George Graham in playing for and managing a Gunners cup-winning side, you had to cast your mind back to little over an hour earlier.
Then, if you had assessed the SBOBET FA Cup Final betting odds, few would have seen this coming.
It was only a short time after the rousing pre-match rendition of Abide With Me (pre-recorded by Emeli Sande from the stadium roof) that Chelsea took firm control.
Indeed, it only took five minutes for the west Londoners to take the lead as the exciting Christian Pulisic latched onto a backheel by Olivier Giroud, showed neat footwork in the box and lifted the ball over goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez.
The shot-stopper, who has impressed since the restart and seized his chance following an injury to the unfortunate Bernd Leno, had already been tested by young Mason Mount by then and then denied Pulisic again.
But it was to prove a false dawn as Chelsea – already without influential duo N’Golo Kante (deemed fit enough for the bench) and Willian – then lost both Azpilicueta and Pulisic (hamstring) before the 50 minutes mark.
It was a cruel blow and, if Aubameyang’s sumptuous second didn’t end Frank Lampard’s bid to become the third ever Chelsea boss (after Gianluca Vialli and Roberto Di Matteo) to win the cup as player and manager, referee Anthony Taylor’s decision to reduce them to 10 men shortly afterwards certainly did.
Mateo Kovacic had already been booked when he appeared to catch Granit Xhaka and received a second booking.
With that the game was all but done and Arsenal had won the FA Cup, lifted joyously (and later partly dropped!) by Aubameyang.
Now they need to make sure Aubameyang signs a new contract and leads Arteta and Arsenal onwards and upwards.
Arsenal have won all of their previous FA Cup finals against Chelsea: 2-0 in 2002, 2-1 in 2017 and today.
Aubameyang is only the fifth player to score two or more goals in a match at Wembley in club football more than once, joining FA Cup royalty in Bryan Robson, Ian Rush, Ian Wright and Eric Cantona.
Since his debut for Arsenal in February 2018, Aubameyang has scored 70 goals in all competitions, more than any other Premier League player in that time.
Arteta is the first Arsenal manager to win a major trophy in their first season in charge of the club since Graham in 1986-87.
Pulisic’s opener was the first FA Cup Final goal scored by an American player.
Chelsea’s only win in their past 10 FA Cup clashes with the Gunners came in the 2009 semi-final.
Arsenal have reached the FA Cup Final a record 21 times and featured in 15% of all FA Cup finals.
The Gunners have not lost an FA Cup final at Wembley since a 1-0 defeat by West Ham in 1980.
Caballero (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 in the showpiece for the Blues.
And so the longest ever English domestic season draws to a close at the top level.
Chelsea do have one match remaining but it’s a lost cause as they travel to Germany next week to take on Bayern Munich in the second leg of their last-16 Champions League tie.
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