Arsenal will have seen this FA Cup final as a chance to end a difficult season on a high. It didn’t start how they would have liked though, as Christian Pulisic put Chelsea ahead just five minutes in.
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However, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang got the Gunners back on level terms, when he won and converted a penalty. The Gabonese talisman then added to that in the second half to put Mikel Arteta’s team in the lead with a delightful finish and secure the 2-1 win.
Both teams had chances following Arsenal’s second, but the Gunners put in a solid performance to ensure that Arteta finished his first season with a major trophy. Along with a record-extending 14th FA Cup lift, it also means there will be Europa League football at Emirates Stadium next term.
The Gunners posed a real threat when getting in behind the Chelsea defence, as was shown most obviously when Cesar Azpilicueta fouled Aubameyang to give away a penalty. They recovered well from their early setback and turned the game’s flow around in the first half after the drinks break. They put in a strong defensive performance in the second half, keeping the men in blue at bay and seeing the game out convincingly.
They had a poor start defensively, and it was far too easy for Pulisic to get time in the box to score the game’s opener. The midfield also struggled to get a foothold on the game in the early stages, though that is something that improved as time went on. However, these were both addressed as the game went on.
Manager rating out of 10
9 — Arteta’s biggest decision ahead of this final is arguably starting Ainsley Maitland-Niles, and the 22-year-old’s performance vindicated that. It can’t be doubted that he has brought organisation and a clear way of playing to this Arsenal team, both of which were on show in this game. He was given a yellow card after an incident with Antonio Rudiger.