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Arsenal win FA Cup as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang double downs Chelsea

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It won't matter to Mikel Arteta that his players didn't get to climb the 107 steps to Wembley's Royal Box to collect the Cup.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's two goals served notice that the Gunners are going places under their Spanish manager.

It has taken Arteta just 28 games to lift his first trophy for the club he served with such distinction as a player.

A two-time winner of the famous old trophy when he patrolled Arsene Wenger's midfield, the 38-year-old now has another medal to add to his collection.

Now the Emirates hierarchy have to back their young boss in the market.

And the first piece of business must be to persuade Aubameyang to sign a contract that will keep him in North London for the rest of his career.

Aersenal celebrate scoring the winner against Chelsea (Image: Getty Images) Read More Related Articles Read More Related Articles

It will cost them £20million to trigger an extension – but that's cheap at the price.

The Premier League's Golden Boot winner has scored 29 times this season for a team that was going nowhere until Arteta left Pep Guardiola's side at Manchester City to answer his old club's SOS.

Arsenal have now lifted the FA Cup a record 14 times.

The last time they were beaten in a final at Wembley was 40 years ago, when Frank Lampard senior was playing left-back for West Ham.

It seemed history might repeat itself when the Chelsea team managed by his son took a fifth-minute lead through Christian Pulisic.

But this was Aubameyang's evening, while Chelsea ran into a mountain of problems.

The Blues lost captain Cesar Azpilicueta, Pulisic and Pedro through injury.

They played the last 17 minutes with 10 men when Mateo Kovacic was shown a second yellow card for a foul on Granit Xhaka

And their number was reduced again in injury-time when substitute Pedro was carried off.

Early chances for both teams before Pulisic struck suggested this was going to be an old-fashioned London tear-up on the cobbles.

The American's goal was a beauty.

Pulisic collected Jorginho's pass and kept moving after immediately working the ball to Mason Mount on his left.

Mount's low cross into the box was flicked on by Olivier Giroud and there was Pulisic again to lift a glorious finish over Martinez.

On the touchline, Lampard somehow resisted the temptation to dash to the nearest corner flag to perform the traditional family celebration.

The Chelsea boss was right not to get carried away.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang slots the ball home at Wembley (Image: PA)

His team bossed the opening exchanges but the drink's break when the drink's break gave Arteta the chance to rally his players, the contest turned.

Pepe thought he had scored one of the great Cup final goals – only for the glorious 25 yarder he sent arcing over Willy Caballero to be ruled out because Maitland-Niles had strayed offside.

But moments later, in the 28th minute, they were level anyway.

Aubameyang got goal side of Cesar Azpilicueta in the and then felt an arm on his shoulder as the Blues' defender tried to recover.

That was all the excuse the Gunners striker needed to take a tumble and referee Anthony Taylor had no doubts – a penalty for Arsenal and a yellow card for the Chelsea skipper.

Both decisions were dubious. But both upheld by ZAR Stuart Atwell – and Aubamayang sent Caballero the wrong way from 12 yards.

Now it was Arsenal in the ascendancy, while Chelsea suffered another blow when Azpilicueta limped off with a knee injury.

Lampard was forced to reorganise again when Pulisic sent a shot wide in the early moments of the second half and suffered a hamstring strain that ended his evening in the process.

As the contest continued to drift from end to end, it seemed the next goal would win it. And so it proved.

Hector Bellerin's rampaging run was halted by Marcos Alonso's thumping tackle.

But Pepe worked the loose ball across to Aubameyang and he fooled Kurt Zouma with a dip of his shoulder before lifting a clipped shot past the ears of Caballero.

Kovacic was unlucky to be sent off for a second challenge on Xhaka, but it illustrated Chelsea's misfortune perfectly.




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