By Emmanuel Ebimoh
The lights in Wembley were red at the end of 90 minutes as the team from North London took the victory in the 2020 FA Cup final. Arsenal FC made it 14th FA Cup wins when they eased past Chelsea to give Mikel Arteta his first trophy as Manager of the club. The odds were not in favour of Arsenal at the beginning of the match, but two sublime goals from Gabonese International, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang put the final beyond Chelsea.
The journey to the final for these two teams wasn’t all rosy as they had to face oppositions from the two Manchester clubs in the semi finals – Arsenal dumped Manchester City 2-0 while Chelsea were 3-1 better than United to book their place in the final. For the Managers of both clubs, Frank Lampard and Mikel Arteta, who have lifted the trophy as players for the same club they are presenting coaching, it was their first taste of a final in their Managerial careers. The stake was high for who will laugh last in a final match played in an empty Wembley stadium.
Chelsea started the brightest in the game as, just after 5 minutes, Christian Pulisic put them ahead with a cool finish inside the box. Arsenal surely weren’t used to going behind, although the last time they went behind in an FA Cup final against Hull City in 2015, they came back stronger to win the match 3-2. However, it was a different opponent in Chelsea and the North London team had to find a way back into the game. After probing from the left wing of the Chelsea defense through long balls, the breakthrough for the equaliser came in the 28th when Arsenal’s captain, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was rough-handled in the box by Caeser Azpilicueta to give Arsenal a penalty. The team’s captain stepped up to coolly convert the spot-kick with a fierce shot into the right corner of the net, sending goalkeeper, Caballero the wrong way.
The Arsenal skipper was on hand again with a breath-taking finish to put his team ahead in the 67th minute after a dazzling run by Hector Bellerin seconds earlier. It was indeed an Aubameyang show. With Arsenal leading by 2-1, Chelsea needed something more of an inspiration from somewhere after their goal-scorer in the game, Christian Pulisic and Captain, Caesar Azpilicueta went off with hamstring injuries.
The game would then turn take a devastating turn for Chelsea when Mateo Kovacic was shown his second yellow card and sent off for a foul on Granit Xhaka. It was the break that Arsenal needed to finally sense the sweet smell of a 14th FA Cup victory.
In the end, coach Mikel Arteta would have been very proud of his players as they showed class and determination to win the game despite going a goal down early in the match. This FA Cup victory means Arsenal are undoubtedly the most successful club in the English FA Cup and they would be able to compete in next season’s Europa Cup competition in spite of their EPL table position.