Arsenal came from behind to beat Chelsea, 2-1, on Saturday in the FA Cup final. As a result, they have qualified for the Europa League.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored both goals for the team, one on either side of halftime. Christian Pulisic scored for Chelsea in just five minutes into the game to give them the lead, but Aubameyang scored a penalty in the first half and scored another brilliant goal in the 67th minute.
Pulisic left the game due to an injury, and Chelsea had to finish the game with only ten men following Mateo Kovacic’s red card in the second half, after earning two yellow cards. The outcome is massive for the Gunners as they finish the season with a trophy and got revenge on their fellow London club, who beat them in the Europa League final last season.
After the win, Arsenal team members changed into “Always Forward” shirts adorned with the number 14. It was engraved on the back to mark the extension of their proud record in this competition, and, coincidentally, it is the same as Aubameyang’s kit number.
Man of the Match: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
If it were not for Aubameyang’s 28th and 29th goals of the season, the Gunners wouldn’t have made it to the Europa League next year as they finished 8th in Premier League, the worst place for Arsenal in 25 years. The youngster has shown great leadership and skills this season, scoring both goals for Arsenal in the FA Cup semifinals against Manchester City.
It was revealed last month that Aubameyang requested a three-year deal worth £250,000 a week, but Arsenal was uncertain about the agreement as their European qualification was indeterminable. Nevertheless, Aubameyang’s outstanding performance and FA Cup trophy might just have secured his contract with the team and a well-deserved increase in salary.
When asked about his future, Aubameyang answered that he wanted to savor the moment with his teammates and not think about days ahead. Aubameyang’s influence on the team is noteworthy as Arsenal has struggled with retaining high priced players. The ones they did keep (and pay) have failed to produce.
Mesut Ozil is currently the highest earner for Arsenal but was granted leave earlier in the week after not making the bench or the ten non-playing member reserve. Despite having the same importance as Ozil, Aubameyang has proven his ability to influence big games.
Head coach Mikel Arteta on Aubameyang
Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta has always been positive about Aubameyang’s contract situation. When he was asked if Arsenal would sign a new deal with Aubameyang, he said that he believes their victory will strongly impact the footballer.
“I hope so. Everything is based on my conversations with him, how he sees the future, what I expect from him, the team that I want to build around him and the conversations I have with the people who are very influential around him,” said Arteta. “The club, we all respect and admire him, the players are all behind him. We know the players that we have, and we have to value him. I think if we reach all of those points, we’ll make progress.”