Chelsea are looking to win their first trophy under Frank Lampard in the FA Cup final against arch-rivals Arsenal. But they ended up falling to a 1-2 loss, continuing Lampard’s trophy curse as a manager. The Blues started the game in blistering fashion, exposing Arsenal’s defensive vulnerabilities and taking the lead in the 6th minute after a well-worked move was finished off in style by Christian Pulisic!
But that lead didn’t last long, with Arsenal getting the equalizer in the 28th minute after some poor defending from Cesar Azpilicueta handed Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang a penalty, which he duly converted. But after Pulisic limped off early in the second-half, Chelsea lost their drive and Arsenal took the lead 68th minute after Aubameyang expertly wiggled past a defender before chipping over Caballero.
Frank Lampard’s side had no answer to that, showing very little fightback and being unable to threaten Arsenal’s goal. A very disappointing cup final performance and a terrible way for Chelsea to go into their Champions League second-leg tie against Bayern Munich – which now seems like mission impossible.
Here are the Chelsea player ratings for the FA Cup final.
Chelsea Player Ratings
Frank Lampard (5.0) –
Lampard got his tactics wrong today by going with the defensive formation to counter Arsenal’s similar one. Should’ve played with a more positive, attacking mentality against a side whose defensive weakness is well known. Chelsea looked too one-dimensional in attack and too dependent on Pulisic. Lampard’s substitutions were too late and didn’t make any impact whatsoever. All the injuries don’t do him any good, but Lampard will need to set-up Chelsea better to avoid an onslaught against Bayern.
Willy Caballero (5.0) –
Gets the nod ahead of the error-prone Kepa. Couldn’t do anything to save either of Auba’s goals, even though he could’ve stood stronger to try saving his second.
Reece James (4.5) –
James is getting a bit isolated on the right and wasn’t able to create chances with his dangerous crosses in the first-half at all. Just couldn’t add that attacking spark he does today, getting closed down too easily. James was defensively fine but lost the battle on his side of the pitch.
Cesar Azpilicueta (3.0) –
Azpilicueta looked nervy defending against Arsenal’s pace through the left from the get-go and made a silly, silly challenge to bring down Aubameyang after being outpaced by him for Arsenal’s penalty in the 26th. To make things worse, he pulled a muscle and had to be subbed minutes later ending his day in dismal fashion.
Kurt Zouma (5.0)-
Zouma has a daunting challenge against the in-form Aubameyang ahead of him today. Ultimately lost the battle against him, as the Arsenal striker megged past him too easily to score his second. Didn’t look too comfortable with a slight positional change after Azplicueta’s departure and too shaky in grounded duels.
Antonio Rudiger (4.5)-
Bit of a sloppy start, allowing Aubameyang an open header on goal in the early minutes. Poor defending lunging into an unnecessary tackle being out of position to break Chelsea’s shape conceding the second. Just didn’t look reliable enough and struggled with Arsenal’s counter-attacks whole game long.
Marcos Alonso (4.5) –
Alonso loves playing at Wembley but will need to be at his best to keep the dangerous Pepe at bay. But he looks all over the place against the Arsenal defender, getting outmanoeuvred at regular intervals! Extremely ineffective going forward as well, adding little threat through the left-wing and being unable to create anything prominent.
Jorginho (6.0) –
Jorginho’s helping Chelsea control all the possession pretty well. Had a big chance to score in the 37th minute but Alonso’s presence made him scuff the ball into the stands. While he could’ve done better defending against counter-attacks, the Italian did his job pretty well from the heart of midfield. Not helped from those behind or ahead of him.
Mateo Kovacic (4.5) –
The silky Croatian is moving around the ball really well through the middle. He tried to drive Chelsea forward with his ability on the ball but was too rash defensively, making one too many bad challenges which earned him a red card in the 73rd minute – even though the one he was sent off didn’t look like a booking at all!
Mason Mount (5.5) –
The youngster is buzzing with positive energy today. Took a solid shot on target in the 3rd minute before finding Giroud well for Pulisic’s goal. He made a few nice runs down the lines to move Arsenal defenders out of position, but lacked that creativity or killer instinct to create something big. Lost all energy after the hour-mark before being subbed.
Christian Pulisic (7.5)–
The American boy-wonder is playing his first final with Chelsea. A brilliant start as he skips past a few Arsenal defenders cleverly before finishing well from close range to give his side the lead. Becomes the first American to ever score in an FA Cup final! Almost got his second in the 11th after dribbling past many before his surging attempt was saved.
Started the second-half in blistering fashion, nutmegging a defender and running through from the half-way line before shooting wide. But unfortunately, that amazing run had consequences, as he badly pulled his hamstring and ending his game prematurely. Definitely Chelsea’s biggest threat before his substitution.
Olivier Giroud (5.0) –
Giroud haunts his former side again, playing a clever flick to assist Pulisic’s opener. But beyond that Giroud couldn’t assert his authority at all. Lost the duel against David Luiz and couldn’t carve any goal-scoring opportunity for himself.
Andreas Christensen (6.0) –
Made a brilliant goal-saving block to deny Pepe in the 42nd minute. Pulls off another impressive last-man challenge to deny Pepe early in the second-half after backtracking his steps pretty well. Actually timed his clearance perfectly before the goal and was perhaps unluckily not have a foul given on his favour after Bellerin clattered into him. Despite not starting, Christensen was easily Chelsea’s best defender today.
Pedro (6.0) –
Added that extra attacking spice and determination Chelsea were lacking after coming on for Pulisic. Drove forward with intent but was not helped by those around him, as nobody supported him properly in attack. Made a few great forward runs but ended up huffing & puffing into losing the battle. Ends his Chelsea career in dismal fashion after dislocating his shoulder late on.
Ross Barkley (N/R) –
Barkley made very little impact in the last few minutes, not being able to get any shots on goal.
Callum Hudson Odoi (N/R) –
The youngster was brought onto add that extra power through the right but was barely able to get involved in the last few minutes.
Tammy Abraham (N/R) –
Brought on too late and got no service at all.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Pulisic was definitely the best player on the pitch until his substitution. Added so much drive and power in the attack, scoring a superb goal as well. He’s Chelsea’s MOTM, but Aubameyang is definitely the MVP for the game.