The double has proven one step too far for Chelsea. Diego Costa’s late equaliser gave the Premier League champions <! – – more–>momentary hope in the season’s finale at Wembley but it was not enough to mask a bad day at the office. You would expect to see Chelsea wrest a contest like this from the grip of a team they were fancied to beat but they couldn’t do it here. That spoke volumes.
Wenger savages Arsenal fans before final
Their hopes were extinguished when Alexis Sanchez initially found Olivier Giroud with a quick through ball. Aaron Ramsey slipped the wrong side of Ngolo Kante and from there Arsenal’s record 13th FA Cup title was secure.
At times like this it is not difficult to see the issues Chelsea are going to have next season – both as title holders with other top class sides chasing them down –and fighting on an added front in the Champions League.
No one would accuse an Antonio Conte team of complacency but this was a game in which they were so unlike their usual selves. They should have been three down by half time. They were caught only seconds after levelling.
Arsenal sprung no surprise in matching up to Chelsea’s system. What was unexpected though is that Arsene Wenger’s side outfought and outthought Chelsea pretty much from the first whistle to last. And this was with depleted numbers. Kieran Gibbs was ruled out late yesterday while the rest of the backline was patched up due to the absences of Shkodran Mustafi and Laurent Koscielny.
Chelsea don’t have many days like this – if they did then they wouldn’t have won so many games in the league this season – but their uncharacteristic sloppiness cost them a second trophy in Conte’s debut campaign.