The Wembley Stadium was eerily empty in the hours leading up to the Heads Up FA Cup final. As the match drew nearer on Saturday afternoon, small groups of supporters started to turn up to wish the teams good luck. It was not the ideal scene for such a majestic stadium, but there are titles at stake and football to be played despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. In the end, Arsenal defeated Chelsea to lift their 14th FA Cup trophy.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored a brace for the Gunners, effectively sealing the victory 2-1. It was a come from behind win, after Chelsea's Christian Pulisic scored in the opening five minutes. Frank Lampard's boys had the early advantage but they were not able to capitalise on having the momentum.
Aubameyang scored the equaliser in the 28th minute through a spot-kick. He won the penalty thanks to a foul by Chelsea Captain Cesar Azpilicueta. At the restart, Arsenal had taken the momentum and the Gabon man made a brilliant strike in the 67th minute to take the lead.
To be fair, Chelsea had some injury trouble early in the match. After scoring the opening goal, Pulisic wasn't able to add to his tally as he suffered a hamstring injury and had to come off at the half. Azpilicueta also suffered an injury and was replaced in the 35th minute.
Lampard's woes continued after Mateo Kovacic was sent off in the 73rd minute. With only 10 men, the Blues didn't stand a chance to fight back. The Chelsea player turned head coach admitted that the team became complacent after taking the early lead.
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta will be pleased to win his first major trophy as a head coach. According to the BBC, he is also the first Arsenal manager to achieve the feat in his first season in charge since George Graham way back in 1986-87.
Arsenal's victory gives them a ticket to the Europa League next season. They would not have qualified otherwise, after finishing only in 8th place in the Premier League. Chelsea meanwhile, have qualified for the UEFA Champions League via a 4th place finish.