London (dpa) – English record cup winner FC Arsenal has won the English FA Cup for the 14th time thanks to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Without former German world champion Mesut Özil, the Gunners prevailed in the final against local London rivals FC Chelsea. After a disappointing Premier League season, Arsenal managed to find a conciliatory conclusion. With the cup win, the team of coach Mikel Arteta also qualified for the Europa League.
Two former Borussia Dortmund players dominated the action at Wembley Stadium in London. Christian Pulisic first met (5th minute) for the early lead for the blues. Then Aubameyang (28/67) turned the game around with his double pack. The Gabonese converted his penalty kick to his first goal after being breached by César Azpilicueta.
Chelsea was unlucky. Captain Azpilicueta had to be injured after 35 minutes, Pulisic goalscorer shortly after half-time. Mateo Kovacic also received the yellow-red card after a foul on former Gladbacher Granith Xhaka – a tough decision. Pedro got injured in the last minutes.
Arsenal coach Mikel Arteta, who had won the trophy twice as a player with the club, again missed Mesut Özil in the final. The 31-year-old was not in the team nor was he in the stadium. During the week, the club had given ex-international permission to travel to Turkey.
After the three-month hiatus from the coronavirus in football, Özil did not play any game for his club. British media have long speculated that Arsenal wants to get rid of its top earner. However, Özil’s advisor emphasized several times that Özil wants to stay in London until the contract expires in the summer of 2021.
Chelsea’s club icon Lampard failed to breed a successful first season blues coach with the trophy. In the league, Lampard, who had won the trophy four times with Chelsea as a player, had reached fourth place with his team, qualifying for the lucrative Champions League.
The blues has already become stronger next season with German international Timo Werner. The ex-Leipziger was a spectator in the stands at Wembley Stadium. With Leverkusen’s Kai Havertz, who is considered Londoners’ favorite candidate, another German international could move to London soon.
It was London’s third derby between Arsenal and Chelsea in an FA Cup final. In 2002 and 2017, Arsenal had left the competitor as the winner. Saturday’s game was the first spectatorless cup final in Wembley due to the ongoing Corona crisis in Britain.