Saturday 1st of August saw Arsenal triumph a 2-1 win over London rivals Chelsea FC in the FA cup final. This is Arsenal’s 14th FA cup trophy, a record for English football. The win also secured Arsenal in a Europa League spot for the 2020/2021 season.
Arsenal proved dominant over a lacklustre Chelsea. The match saw Chelsea take the lead in the 5th minute from 21-year-old Pulisic. Arsenal responded in the 28th minute from an Aubameyang penalty, conceded from lazy defending from Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta. Arsenal sealed the win with Aubameyang scoring again after chipping keeper Willy Caballero in the 67th minute.
Chelsea struggled once Pulisic came off injured in the 49th minute as he posed the only threat to Arsenal’s defence with his speed and direct dribbling towards the Arsenal goal. Chelsea’s central midfielder Mateo Kovacic, arguably their best player this season, received a harsh second yellow card in the 73rd minute for an innocuous challenge on Granit Xhaka, making a comeback for the blues escaping their grasp.
Mikel Arteta’s joy of winning his first trophy in his managerial career means Arsenal can enjoy European football next season and help attract top talents to strengthen their side for the next campaign. The win may also prove helpful for offering 31-year-old Aubameyang a new contract, amidst rumours that he wants to depart in order to win trophies elsewhere. Losing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang would be a huge loss for the side as they would struggle to sign another striker of the same calibre in world football.
Not all hope is lost for Chelsea, despite the embarrassing defeat, as new signings of Timo Werner, Hakim Ziyech and other potential signings of German wonderkid Kai Havertz and new centre-backs, left-backs and a goalkeeper could mean next season could end up being fruitful and challenging for top 3 in the Premier League. The match highlighted Chelsea’s defensive weaknesses so searching for new defenders is a top priority for Frank Lampard’s side.
The Premier League returns on the 12th September and questions of how the running will be carried out are constantly asked. There are rumours of fans returning to stadiums under revised distancing regulations, although there has been no confirmation from the government. It is also confirmed that English teams still competing in European competitions this season (Chelsea, Manchester City, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Manchester United) will be given a 30-day break before resuming top-flight football.
Chelsea play Bayern Munich in the rescheduled 2nd leg of Champions League on Saturday 8th August and look to overturn a 3-0 aggregate deficit over the German champions. Manchester City also seek to maintain their 2-1 lead over Real Madrid on Friday 7th August and advance in the competition. Manchester United and Wolves both play Europa League this coming week as well.
Fans eagerly wait for the new season and what regulations will be confirmed for returning to stadiums and seeing their teams perform. But for now they can enjoy Champions League football and the end of the transfer window.
Written and edited by Hugo Galea