Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was Arsenal’s hero yet again as his double fired the Gunners to victory in the FA Cup Final.
The forward has been linked with a move away this summer but manager Mikel Arteta had hoped victory this afterrnoon – and the Europa League spot that comes with it – would convince the Gabon international to stay.
And Aubameyang proved again why he is so vital to the Gunners’ future with a well-taken penalty and a cool finish after Christian Pulisic had given Chelsea an early lead.
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Nicolas Pepe thought he had curled in a marvellous equaliser for the Gunners but his celebrations were cut short as Aubameyang had strayed offside in the build-up.
Just seconds later and Aubameyang was played in over the top, racing clear of Cesar Azpilicueta before being hauled back by the Chelsea skipper.
Referee Anthony Taylor opted to only caution Azpilicueta but the penalty stood following a short VAR check and Aubameyang made no mistake from the spot to draw Arsenal level. After getting themselves back into the tie, it was Arsenal who dominated possession for the the remainder of the first half.
While they could not test goalkeeper Willy Caballero, a succession of corners and balls into the box saw the Chelsea defence, without Azpilicueta who had limped off injured, come under pressure.
Pulisic was the next Chelsea player who limped off, seemingly pulling his hamstring just moments after the second half got under way. His withdrawal did not prevent the Blues becoming increasingly dominant – only to fall behind after 67 minutes as Aubameyang brilliantly lifted in his second of the afternoon.
Hector Bellerin broke forward down the right and Christensen’s heavy challenge saw the ball break to Pepe, his pass picked up by Aubameyang who turned onto his preferred left foot to lift the ball over Caballero. Chelsea’s task was made all the more difficult as Mateo Kovacic was sent off shown his second yellow card for a foul on Granit Xhaka.
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