Arsenal-FA Cup champions again

Arsenal won FA Cup after beating Chelsea 2-1 in the final at Wembley on Saturday.It was 14th FA Cup success for the Gunners who already hold the record for most title wins in English football’s most prestigious tournament.However this was the first final in the history of FA Cup played without fans inside the stadium due to Covid-19 protocols.

Match Review

Arsenal were slight favourites going into the final against Chesea on Saturday.Early on Chelsea kept more possession than their London rivals resulting in Christian Pullisic scoring with a brilliant strike from the edge of the area after just five minutes for Blues.However it proved a wake up call for Mikel Arteta’s men as Arsenal tried to press up.Pepe netted into the net only to see judged offside.Pierre Emerick Aubameyang raced into the box but fouled by Chelsea defender Cesar Azpilicueta.Referee Anthony Taylor awarded spot kick for Gunners and Aubameyang calmly converted in 27th minute to draw level.Soon after Cesar injured and left the pitch giving Chelsea manager Frank Lampard more headache.After half time,Chelsea attacked more on both flanks thereby having good run in the first 15-20 minutes.However Hector Bellerin made a brilliant run down the right and passed on to Pepe who in turn gave the ball to Arsenal captain who ran into the box.Edging a couple of defenders,Aubameyang turned left and slotted home for a superb finish for a 2-1 lead.Chelsea’s hopes were further dashed when Kovacic was given second yellow and Blues had to play final 15 minutes with 10 men.Arsenal held on for third FA Cup final win over Chelsea after 2002 and 2017.

Star future

Pierre Emerick Aubameyang has been a star for Arsenal in the past 2-3 seasons.He won premier league Golden Boot last season and was close to winning this season also losing just by a goal to Jamie Vardy who scored 23 goals.Aubameyang has scored twice in both semis of FA Cup against Manchester City and in the final on Saturday.He has been a consistent scorer for the Gunners.Now after guiding his club to FA Cup success(also first trophy for him as Arsenal player),questions remain whether he stays at Arsenal or not.His contract expires next year.There are big offers from the likes of Juventus and Barcelona for him.Arsenal fans will be desperate for his contract extension.

Hope under Arteta

Mikel Artrea took charge of Arsenal in January this year after Unai Emery was sacked following poor results.Arteta gave hope for Arsenal fans despite finishing 8th in Premier League.Arsenal beat Liverpool and Manchester City inside four days.The squad has improved a lot under him.Players like Granit Xhaka,Bellerin and Lazazatte have gained more experience.With this win,Arsenal have kept their place in Europa league next season which will bring more revenue for the club.Arteta’s main task now is to take the club forward and enter top 4 in Premier League which the club was achieving regularly under Arsene Wenger.For a club known for not spending much in transfer market,Arteta must keep hold of his captain and talismanic striker if Arsenal are to revive their past glory.

 

 

By Shailesh Padhye