MX23RW : Friday, August 14 22:47:08| >> :600:1076945:1076945:
Aug 1, 2020 at 5.30pm UK at Wembley Stadium
ArsenalArsenal
2-1
ChelseaChelsea
Aubameyang (28' pen., 67')
Ceballos (73')
FT(HT: 1-1)
Pulisic (5')
Kovacic (14'), Azpilicueta (26'), Mount (45+4'), Rudiger (75'), Barkley (89')
Kovacic (73')

Cesar Azpilicueta: 'We must blame ourselves for FA Cup loss'

Cesar Azpilicueta: 'We must blame ourselves for FA Cup loss'
© Reuters
The Blues squandered an early lead to lose 2-1 to Arsenal at Wembley with Cesar Azpilicueta and Christian Pulisic suffering injuries.

Cesar Azpilicueta insists Chelsea have to look beyond any refereeing decisions they felt went against them in Saturday's FA Cup final defeat to Arsenal.

The Blues squandered an early lead given to them by Christian Pulisic as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang struck twice to seal a 2-1 win for the Gunners.

Azpilicueta hauled down Aubameyang in the box giving the Arsenal skipper the chance to equalise from the penalty spot.

The Chelsea captain then limped off with a hamstring injury soon after and was followed into the Wembley treatment room by Pulisic soon after the interval.

Aubameyang conjured up a world class finish to fire Arsenal ahead before Mateo Kovacic was sent off following two debatable yellow card offences.

There was more controversy when referee Anthony Taylor and his assistants deemed that Arsenal goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez had not handled the ball outside of his area – with replays proving inconclusive.

But Azpilicueta says Chelsea's loss does not lay at the feet of Taylor, who was also in charge when the same two sides met in the final in 2017 – a game which Arsenal also won 2-1 and where Chelsea were reduced to 10 men following Victor Moses' dismissal.

"A lot of times there were 50-50's (that went Arsenal's way) and we had the same in 2017 – but we have to look further than this," Azpilicueta told chelseafc.com.

"We have to look at ourselves. We know two weeks ago when we played against Man United (in the semi-final), we really controlled it.

Arsenal v Chelsea – Heads Up FA Cup Final – Wembley Stadium
Chelsea's Christian Pulisic is helped off the pitch after suffering a hamstring injury in the FA Cup final.

"It's painful and a tough one to take. Obviously when you lose a final, it's always painful.

"We started the game well and scored an early goal which normally gives a confidence to build on but we didn't capitalise on it.

"We dropped our level a little bit and we were punished."

For Arsenal, this was an unmatched 14th FA Cup success and gave head coach Mikel Arteta his first piece of silverware in a managerial career that only began in December.

It also means he will lead his side into the Europa League next season, with defender Ainsley Maitland-Niles praising the improved attitude of the Arsenal squad as they did not let their heads drop following Pulisic's early goal.

Arsenal v Chelsea – Heads Up FA Cup Final – Wembley Stadium
Arsenal's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang celebrates with the FA Cup after his double strike secured a 2-1 win over Chelsea at Wembley.

"That's what we've been working on since lockdown, having a positive attitude," he said.

"Always wanting to win games even when we do go down, and playing our football no matter what happens.

"It prevailed and it was fantastic to see the boys turn that around and really go all out attack to win the game for us.

"It is a fantastic feeling, it is indescribable really. I'm proud of every one of my team-mates and staff members for putting the plan into motion and we executed it perfectly."

ID:408835:

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Arsenal's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scores against Chelsea in the FA Cup final on August 1, 2020
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TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
CLiverpool38323385335299
2Manchester CityMan City392739106357184
3Manchester UnitedMan Utd381812866363066
4Chelsea392061369571266
5Leicester CityLeicester381881267412662
6Tottenham HotspurSpurs3816111161471459
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves381514951401159
8Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd391512124239357
9Arsenal381414105648856
10Burnley38159144350-754
11Southampton38157165160-952
12Everton381310154456-1249
13Newcastle UnitedNewcastle381111163858-2044
14Crystal Palace381110173150-1943
15Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton38914153954-1541
16West Ham UnitedWest Ham38109194962-1339
17Aston Villa3898214167-2635
RBournemouth3897224065-2534
RWatford39810213668-3234
RNorwich CityNorwich3856272675-4921

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