Aubameyang at the double as Arsenal turn tables on Chelsea to win FA Cup

Arsenal's Gabonese striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (C) holds the winner's trophy as the team celebrates victory after the English FA Cup final football match between Arsenal and Chelsea at Wembley Stadium in London, on August 1, 2020.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was Arsenal’s two-goal hero as his club claimed a record 14th FA Cup by beating Chelsea 2-1 at Wembley.

The Gabonese forward, who scored a penalty in the first half and the 67th-minute winner capped a win for the Gunners as their manager, Mikel Arteta, became the second man to win the Cup with Arsenal as player and manager, repeating George Graham’s feat. 

Frank Lampard, his team wracked by injuries and a second-half red card for Matteo Kovacic, failed to achieve a similar double with Chelsea.

Christian Pulisic had put Chelsea ahead in the sixth minute after linking with Mason Mount and Olivier Giroud before a neat finish past Gunners goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez.

But Arsenal recovered themselves after the first-half drinks break. Nicolas Pepe had the ball in the net in the 25th minute only for a goal to be ruled out for offside. 

Barely a minute later, Cesar Azpilicueta brought down Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in the penalty box, and escaped a red card as referee Anthony Taylor ruled that Antonio Rudiger was close enough to block a shot from the Gabonese striker. 

A lengthy delay for VAR did not stop Aubameyang sending Willy Caballero the wrong way from the penalty spot and Azpilicueta’s day got yet worse a few minutes later when the Chelsea captain had to leave the field with what looked a painful hamstring injury. 

Pulisic suffered a similar hamstring injury at the start of the second half, pulling up in the process of taking a shot on the Arsenal goal, with Pedro coming on to replace the American in what is likely to be the Spaniard’s last game for Chelsea. 

Pedro ended up adding to the Chelsea injury list by leaving the field with a shoulder injury when he is set to sign for Serie A club Roma.

Just as Chelsea had begun to pile on the pressure, Arsenal broke away in the 67th minute to score their excellent winner. 

Hector Bellerin charged through the middle and the ball came via Pepe to Aubameyang, who sold Kurt Zouma a dummy before an exquisite chip over Caballero.

Chelsea’s task became yet harder in the 73rd minute when Kovacic was dismissed for a second yellow card when he tangled with Granit Xhaka. 

It had been one of the running battles of the day and the tackle did not look too excessive but Taylor nevertheless wielded a red card.

Lampard made a triple substitution in the late stages but his team could not find an equaliser. 

Chelsea will have to console themselves with qualifying for the Champions League. Arteta, who only became Arsenal manager in December, could celebrate silverware and a passage into the Europa League.
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