Arteta hopeful of Aubameyang staying after FA Cup triumph

Mikel Arteta hopes Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will stay at Arsenal to lead the Gunners to more success after scoring twice to beat Chelsea 2-1 in the FA Cup final on Saturday.

Arsenal captain Aubameyang dropped the trophy before lifting
his first piece of silverware since moving to English football from Borussia
Dortmund two and a half years ago.

Victory secured Arsenal’s place in the Europa League next
season as they risked missing out on European football for the first time in 25
years after finishing eighth in the Premier League.

But with Aubameyang facing another season without Champions
League football and just one year left on his contract at the Emirates, the
Gabon international has been linked with a move away this summer.

“He needs more experience with trophies. We can get him
used to that,” joked Arteta at Aubameyang’s mishap with the trophy lift. “He
knows what I think about him, I want to build a squad around him. I think he
wants to stay, it is about getting the deal done. I think moments like that
will help to realise and give him belief that we are in the right path and he
is a big part of it.”

Arteta also played his part to win a trophy in his first
season in a senior managerial role after Chelsea made a blistering start in the
eerie surroundings of an empty Wembley.

The Blues had already achieved their primary goal from Frank
Lampard’s first season in charge by securing a place in next season’s Champions
League last weekend and started confidently as Christian Pulisic’s composed
finish opened the scoring just five minutes in.

“We started well for 10-15 minutes and we can only
blame ourselves form that point,” said Lampard. “We got complacent,
we took time on the ball like it was a stroll and we allowed them into the
game.”

Injuries hurt Chelsea

Arteta managed to reorganise the Gunners during the
first-half drinks break to change the momentum of the game.

A minute after play resumed, Nicolas Pepe thought he had
curled home a brilliant equaliser from the edge of the box, only to be denied
by Ainsley Maitland-Niles being flagged for offside in the build-up.

Just like in the semi-final win over Manchester City,
Aubameyang proved to be Arsenal’s match winner as he raced onto Kieran
Tierney’s hopeful ball over the top and outpaced Cesar Azpilicueta before being
brought down by the Chelsea captain just inside the area.

Azpilicueta escaped the double punishment of a red card, but
VAR confirmed the spot-kick and Aubameyang coolly slotted home.

Chelsea were further hit by two big injury blows either side
of half-time as Azpilicueta and Pulisic pulled up with hamstring injuries that
will almost certainly rule them out of the Champions League last 16, second leg
against Bayern Munich next weekend.

Despite Chelsea’s major spending spree on Timo Werner and
Hakim Ziyech to reinforce their attack for next season, it is at the back where
they have been found wanting all season and they were caught out too easily for
the winner.

Hector Bellerin burst through the weak challenge of Jorginho
before the ball was played into the path of Aubameyang, who skipped past Kurt
Zouma and nonchalantly lifted the finish over Willy Caballero for his 29th goal
of the season.

Worse was to come for Lampard’s men when Mateo Kovacic was
inexplicably sent off for the slightest touch on Granit Xhaka, but Anthony
Taylor’s decision could not be reviewed by VAR as it was a second bookable
offence.

And a miserable day was rounded off deep into stoppage time
when Pedro Rodriguez’s Chelsea career ended in the Spaniard also being carried
off with a dislocated shoulder ahead of his move to Roma.

“It all came together for us today, two hamstrings, a
dislocated shoulder,” added Lampard. “It’s the end of a long season
and it was the tipping point for us.”

Author: ApnayOnline

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