FA Cup Final Preview: Arsenal v Chelsea

Arsenal and Chelsea on Saturday August 1 will contest the Emirates FA Cup final at Wembley stadium in London in what could be a first ever silverware for either Mikel Arteta or Frank Lampard.

They go into this on the back of brilliant results in this season of football’s oldest knockout competition, both kicking out the two Manchester clubs in sensational fashion.

As Chelsea go into this in the aim of securing silverware to cap off a fine first season for Frank Lampard, Arsenal need it the most as winning it guarantees them Europa League football for another season…after finishing 8th that is…

File image of the FA Cup final trophy. Source: File

Arsenal are the record winners of the FA Cup with 13 titles, but Chelsea have been known to step up in the biggest of stages when the odds are stacked against them.

254News.co.ke previews the London derby clash for the FA Cup and how both clubs got to the final in the first place:

Arsenal

Arsenal’s Pierre Emerick Aubameyang celebrates scoring against Manchester City in the FA Cup semi final. Source: File

They started this season’s FA Cup by just getting over the line against newly promoted Leeds and ousting since relegated Bournemouth.

Their fine performance at Portsmouth was a sign of things to come…until they met Sheffield United.

They huffed…and puffed…and blew the Blades away after going 1-0 down.

They capped off a fine week that saw them dispose of Premier League champions Liverpool by dropping a masterclass against holders Manchester City.

When it comes to the FA Cup, Arsenal turn into a Champions League side. Maybe that’s a good omen for the fans going up against a team that has taken 4 points off them this season.

Chelsea

Olivier Giroud celebrates with his teammates after putting Chelsea infront against Manchester United in the FA Cup semi final. Source: File

Routine wins against Nottingham Forest and Hull City set the Blues rolling…until they met Premier League champions Liverpool…and spanked them against all odds.

They took advantage of a Leicester City side that was dipping in form since English football restarted following its suspension due to the coronavirus pandemic. Setting them up with Manchester United, the team that became their Achilles heel this season (3 defeats against them in all competitions)

With thanks to David De Gea errors and a Harry Maguire own goal, it was a smooth sail for the Blues, who go into Saturday’s final on the relentless hunt for silverware that will cap off an unexpected fine season for Frank Lampard.

Having signed Hakim Ziyech and Timo Werner for next season, the Blues’ forward line will be a terror for opposition defenders. Where they will lose the final is the defence that has leaked a league high 54 goals and Kepa Arrizabalaga’s erratic form this season.

Last Time they Met In All Competitions…

Chelsea’s Marcos Alonso scores the winner in the Blues’ 3-2 win over Arsenal in the Premier League in August 2018. Source: File

Arsenal beat then Premier League champions Chelsea in the 2017 FA Cup final thanks to goals from Aaron Ramsey and Alexis Sanchez (both no longer at the club). Diego Costa equalised for Chelsea, who were victims of a capitulation at the back seconds later for Arsenal’s winner.

Fast forward to 2019, in the Europa League final. The tables were turned.

The Blues shot down the Gunners 4-1 in second half sensational fashion, Eden Hazard netting twice in his final game as a Chelsea player and lo and behold! Olivier Giroud scoring against his former club.

In the league this season, Chelsea came from behind in double quick time to win 2-1 at the Emirates and were left kicking and screaming after the Gunners snatched a 2-2 draw with 10 men. The game had a surprising twist, David Luiz was sent off in his return to Stamford Bridge.

So what does this mean essentially? These are two clubs wanting revenge on each other for two finals.

Expect fireworks!

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