Arsenal 2-1 Chelsea
Mikel Arteta insisted Arsenal’s Emirates FA Cup final success over Chelsea was the greatest moment of his career.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang bagged a Wembley double, helping the Gunners come from behind to see off favourites Chelsea and lift the Emirates FA Cup for a record fourteenth time and drawing a glowing reaction from teh Gunners chief.
“I think so. I’m really proud of what we have achieved because I know the difficulties and everything that we have been through,” the Spaniard explained.
“For me personally, it’s been so tough the last six months because of a lot of things that have happened in our lives. But I had only one mission when I came here and it was to make the players and the staff believe that we could do it.
“We had to change that energy and that mentality. Just by seeing them in the dressing room altogether, the way they enjoy the professionalism and their time together… it makes me more proud and it’s a consequence of that, that afterwards we can achieve things and win titles together.”
The unusual showpiece final at an empty Wembley Stadium appeared to be abiding by the script when Christian Pulisic neatly found room before beating Martinez with only five minutes on the clock to hand Chelsea the lead.
However, Aubamayang was to turn the contest on its head – firstly, netting from the spot after he’d been felled by Cesar Azpilicueta. Then, midway through the second period, the Gabon frontman exquisitely clipped over the advancing Willy Caballero after outfoxing Blues defender, Kurt Zouma.
Chelsea’s misery was compounded when Mateo Kovacic received a harsh second yellow card following a coming together with Granit Xhaka, The result saw Mikel Arteta become the first Gunners man to win the cup as a captain and a manager.
Speaking about Aubameyang’s match-winning display, Arteta said: “Well, you asked me my opinion and that’s the feeling I get with conversations with him and his people, but obviously nothing is done yet and I want to enjoy the victory. Thanks to Auba again for the performance that he had and how much he helped the team.
Arsenal: Martinez, Holding David Luiz (Sokratis 88’), Tierney (Kolasinac 90+3’), Bellerin, Xhaka, Ceballos, Maitland-Niles, Pepe, Lacazette (Nketiah 82’), Aubameyang Subs not used: Macey, Torreira, Smith, Willock, Nelson, Saka
Chelsea: Caballero, James, Azpilicueta (Christensen 35’), Zouma, Rudiger (Hudson-Odoi 78’), Alonso, Jorginho, Kovacic, Mount (Barkley 78’), Giroud (Abraham 78’), Pulisic (Pedro 49’) Chelsea substitutes: Kepa, Tomori, Emerson, Kante, Hudson-Odoi
Referee: Anthony Taylor
Assistants: Gary Beswick and Adam Nunn
Fourth Official: Chris Kavanagh
(Quotes courtesy of Arsenal Football Club – www.arsenal.com)