Chelsea had a better start to the match and the change in score did not take long. Mason Mount’s technical shot has not yet hit the Martinez goalkeeper, but in the fifth minute the quick combination of Pulisice, Mount and Giroud brought the players in blue leading goals when the first named prevailed. The 21-year-old winger, after encircling Tierney and piercing the helpless Martinez, became the first American to enter the shooting list in the FA Cup final.
The summer reinforcement of the Blues from Dortmund continued in excellent form from recent months and the defense of Arsenal could not cope with Pulisicos straightforward play and masterful ball control. Even with the help of the attentive Martinez, however, the “Gunners” withstood the opponent’s initial pressure, and especially after the drinking break, the game turned to the other side. Nicolas Pepe’s joy from the delicatessen goal to the top corner was immediately extinguished by a correctly raised flag of the line judge due to the previous offense of Maitland-Niles, but just a minute later it was really busy again in front of Willy Caballer’s goal.
Tierney’s apparent kick-off sent a penalty for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who was stopped by Cesar Azpilicueta for a foul and was sent off with a penalty kick next to the referee. The fouled himself safely turned him into a hard blow with Caballer’s counter-movement and it was leveled. For the rest of the half, Arsenal players were on top, but even so, Chelsea could go to the cabins under the leadership of Chelsea, as Jorginho found himself in a promising shooting position after another good work by Mount. However, the Italian national team interfered a bit with his teammate Alons and sent his shot grossly inaccurately. Then, when Alexandre Lacazette failed to score in the 45th minute from a direct kick at the very border of the penalty area, the exciting first half ended in a draw 1: 1.
Immediately after the change of sides, the elusive Pulisic caught his attention again, fleeing to Holding halfway and sprinting towards Martinez, but at that moment he injured his hind thigh muscle, could no longer finish in pain, and had to relinquish his place to Pedro. In addition, for Frank Lampard, this was the second forced substitution after another muscle injury to Azpilicueta from the end of the first half.
Despite these two losses, however, the Blues had the upper hand and the game took place almost exclusively on the defensive half of Arsenal. An even bigger surprise was that in the 67th minute the players in red jerseys took the lead. Christensen managed to stop the sprinting Bellerin, but the ball bounced off to Pepe, who moved the ball to Aubameyang and the Gabonese forward played exemplary with both the defending Zouma and the run-off Caballer, whom he tossed gracefully.
A few minutes later, it was even worse for Chelsea, as Mateo Kovačić saw the second yellow card behind Xhak’s intervention and sent his team to ten. Although repeated shots showed that the Croatian representative had barely committed a foul, the video referee could not review the whole incident and correct Taylor according to the current rules, as it was not a direct exclusion.
Even in numerical superiority, Arsenal left the game initiative to its opponent and focused mainly on defending a thin lead. The long thirteen-minute setup caused further injuries to David Luis and Pedro, who probably suffered an unpleasant shoulder injury in a duel with Socrates and needed an oxygen mask in addition to the stretcher.
The very end of the set-up had to be completed by Frank Lampard’s charges at nine and they could no longer endanger Emilian Martinez’s goal. The victory in the FA Cup therefore belongs to Arsenal, as well as participation in the next year’s European League at the expense of Wolverhampton and the removal of rival Tottenham to the role of pre-round qualifier.