ARSENAL 2 V 1 CHELSEA
My FA Cup Final prediction was not my best of the season ! Also Arsenal’s victory has made the Europa League even tougher for my team Spurs, we now have to play in three preliminary qualifying games to get into the competition 🙁
Arsenal’s talisman Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was outstanding and my Man of the Match as they came from behind to beat Chelsea and win the FA Cup for a record 14th time.
Chelsea took the lead inside five minutes through Christian Pulisic’s smart finish but then fell victim to the brilliance of Aubameyang, who was also Arsenal’s hero when he scored twice in the semi final win over Manchester City.
The Gabon forward drew Arsenal level from the penalty spot before the break after he was fouled by Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta, then produced a moment of world-class finishing to make the defining contribution to the first behind-closed doors FA Cup final.
Chelsea were hampered by a first-half injury to Azpilicueta and were struggling even further when they lost the outstanding Pulisic to a hamstring problem after the break.
As the Blues battled to overcome those setbacks, the brilliant Aubameyang was able to give Mikel Arteta silverware in his first season as the Gunners’ manager.
Aubameyang, who Arsenal are understandably desperate to secure on a new long-term contract, turned Chelsea defender Kurt Zouma inside out in the 67th minute before delivering the most audacious finish, chipping over keeper Willy Caballero from an angle.
Chelsea’s agony increased further when Mateo Kovacic was very harshly sent off for a second yellow card, awarded by referee Anthony Taylor for the most innocuous of challenges on Granit Xhaka.
Arsenal closed out the win to secure a place in the Europa League next season but it was bitter disappointment for Chelsea manager Frank Lampard at the conclusion of his first campaign in charge, However in reality, Arsenal finished eighth in the Premier League (failing to qualify for European competition through their league placing) and Chelsea finished fourth, qualifying for next seasons Champions League, so not a bad first season for Frank.
Click here for the highlights – https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/53546100
The Europa League Quarter Finals are this week, the competition has been changed completely given the Covid 19 issues, some first leg games were played and some were not, hence please see following the changes for this seasons competition.
From the quarter-finals, all matches take place at four stadiums in Germany:
Stadion Köln in Cologne
MSV Arena in Duisburg
Dusseldorf Arena in Düsseldorf
Arena AufSchalke in Gelsenkirchen
The round of 16 ties where the first legs were postponed (Inter vs Getafe and Sevilla vs Roma) will be played as single matches at German venues. Round of 16 second legs will be held at the club’s home grounds
The final will be staged at Cologne’s Stadion Köln.
Please see following my predictions :-
Shakhtar Donetsk 3 v 1 Wolfsburg
FC Copenhagen 4 v 1 Istanbul Basaksehir
Man Utd 7 v 0 LASK
Inter Milan 3 v 1 Getafe
Sevilla 2 v 1 Roma
Bayer Leverkusen 2 v 1 Rangers
FC Basel 3 v 1 Frankfurt
Wolves 2 v 1 Olympiakos
Have a good week
Dr Gary Mabbutt MBE, Hon Doctor Health, Hon Doctor Law, Hon MSc