Arsenal have risen from grass to grace to win their 14th FA cup by beating London rivals Chelsea 2-1 at Wembley yesterday.
Arsenal’s captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang delivered the victory with his brace as Mikel Arteta’s side came from behind to win the trophy for a record 14th time.
The victory is not just a huge achievement for the players and manager Arteta in a tumultuous COVID year that threatened the league, it has turned around their European fortunes.
The FA victory means that they will go straight into the Europa league group stages.
Chelsea had taken the lead with just five minutes after kick-off with smart moves that cultiminated into their first goal by Christian Pulisic.
But after the first goal, Chelsea almost immediately slumped, which gave Arsenal a chance to raise their game.
Chelsea’s deflation helped skipper Aubameyang to shine once more as he scored his first goal through a penalty kick after he had been brought down by Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta in the 27th minute.
It was however his second goal halfway through the second half that defined the brilliance of Aubameyang. Once he had the ball, he calmly squared off Chelsea defender Chelsea defender Kurt Zouma and delicately flicked the ball up and over Chelsea keeper Willy Caballero.
One could rightly say that Aubameyang has won it for Arsenal after he again scored twice in the semi-final when they beat Manchester City again at Wembley.
It’s no wonder Arsenal are desperately trying to get him to commit to the club. Manager Arteta says he has told Aubameyang that he intends to build the team around him.
Chelsea were affected by a first-half injury to Azpilicueta and struggled even further when they lost their best forward and goal scorer Pulisic to a hamstring injury after the break.
As the Blues battled to overcome those setbacks, the Aubameyang was able to give Mikel Arteta silverware in his first season as the Gunners’ manager.
As Arsenal closed out the win to secure a place in the Europa League next season, it was bitter disappointment for Chelsea manager Frank Lampard who missed the opportunity to lift the title after what many consider to be a great start to any manager’s season.