02.08.2020, 03:06

Arsenal came from behind to beat Chelsea and win FA Cup

It was a snapshot of the finishing ability that makes Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang a world-class performer and, for Arsenal and Mikel Arteta, the upshot was glorious.

Héctor Bellerín had driven the move and, when Nicolas Pépé worked a pass left to Aubameyang, the Arsenal captain knew in a heartbeat what he had to do. Using his right foot, he took the ball around Kurt Zouma as though the Chelsea defender was not there and then, with his left, almost in the same fluid movement, he produced a trademark dinked shot over the advancing Willy Caballero.

Arsenal’s-two-goal-hero-Pierre-Emerick-Aubameyang-lifts-the-FA-Cup-at-Wembley.-Photograph:-Adam-Davy/AFP/Getty-Images

It was Aubameyang whose penalty had canceled out Christian Pulisic’s early opener and, after his two goals in the 2-0 FA Cup semi-final win over Manchester City, this was another rich return.

It had felt as though the stakes were higher for Arsenal. Chelsea had secured Champions League qualification via Premier League position while Arsenal, who finished eighth – their worst top-flight placing in 25 years – would have no European football at all if they lost here, not to mention a significant dent to their revenues. Thanks to Aubameyang’s 28th and 29th goals of the season, they could cherish silverware and an invitation into the Europa League next time out.

According to BBC Sport, Chelsea took the lead in the Heads Up FA Cup final inside five minutes through Christian Pulisic's smart finish but then fell victim to the brilliance of Aubameyang, who was also Arsenal's hero when he scored twice in the semi-final win over Manchester City.

The Gabon forward drew Arsenal level from the penalty spot before the break after he was fouled by Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta, then produced a moment of world-class finishing to make the defining contribution to the first behind-closed-doors FA Cup final.

Aubameyang-scores-his-side's-second-goal-of-the-game-during-the-Heads-Up-FA-Cup-final

Chelsea was hampered by a first-half injury to Azpilicueta and was struggling even further when they lost the outstanding Pulisic to a hamstring problem after the break. As the Blues battled to overcome those setbacks, the brilliant Aubameyang was able to give Mikel Arteta silverware in his first season as the Gunners' manager.

Aubameyang, who Arsenal are understandably desperate to secure on a new long-term contract, turned Chelsea defender Kurt Zouma inside out in the 67th minute before delivering the most audacious finish, chipping over keeper Willy Caballero from an angle.

Chelsea's agony increased further when Mateo Kovacic was very harshly sent off for a second yellow card, awarded by referee Anthony Taylor for the most innocuous of challenges on Granit Xhaka.

Arsenal closed out the win to secure a place in the Europa League next season but it was bitter disappointment for Chelsea manager Frank Lampard at the conclusion of his first campaign in charge.