One of London’s fiercest rivalries will be reborn when Chelsea face Arsenal in the FA Cup final at the Wembley stadium on August 1. Two sides triumphed both the Manchester giants in the semi final with Chelsea defeating Manchester United 3-1 and Arsenal defeating Manchester City 2-0.
Chelsea completely dominated United throughout the game with Olivier Giroud, Mason Mount goals getting some help from a Harry Maguire own goal to see them through. For Arsenal, Gabon international and 31 year old striker Pierre Emerick Aubameyang was the star.
Arsenal will now look to avenge last year’s 4-1 Europa league final decimation at Wembley stadium when they face Chelsea. The clubs have already faced each other twice this season, with Chelsea winning one and Arsenal managing a commendable 2-2 draw in January despite having their defender David Luiz sent off.
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Although the tournament doesn’t enjoy much prestige in today’s world, it will be the sole chance for both these clubs to win any silverware this season. Arsenal have been knocked out of the Europa League and Chelsea face a mammoth task of turning around a 3-0 defeat against Bayern Munich in the round of 16.
So what should we expect from the final? It will be a battle of brains with two ex players and young managers, Frank Lampard and Mikel Arteta working out their strategies. Lampard has bagged a lot of praise for the way he has handled Chelsea who are now in the FA Cup final and could very much be finishing in the top 4 despite their transfer ban. For Arsenal, Arteta has been able to pick the team up from a dismal season. Their semi final win against Manchester City was probably their best one this season.
Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud who netted the first goal against Manchester United will return to his old club and lead the frontline against a sloppy Arsenal defence while Arsenal too will look up to their in form strikers Aubameyang and Lacazette to turn up and finish the job.
Arsenal and Chelsea have had a huge history when it comes to the FA Cup. The sides have faced each other 20 times, with Arsenal winning 9 games as compared to Chelsea’s 5 wins.
The last time they squared off in a FA Cup final was in 2017. Arsenal won the game 2-1 to secure a record 13th title, which led to the then Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger to take his FA Cup tally to 13 wins, hence becoming the most successful manager in the tournament’s history.
The two sides have had their fair share of drama in the FA Cup. Be it the 2009 final, when it was Chelsea legend Didier Drogba, who scored in the 84th minute to win the cup for the blues or the 2003, 8-goal tie where Arsenal secured a win in the replay.
Whatever may be at stake, the FA Cup final will definitely be a roller coaster for both Arsenal and Chelsea. The FA cup final is all set to add another page to the intense and historic london rivalry maintained between these two clubs.