The Sunday Mail
It was a snapshot of the finishing ability that makes Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang a world-class performer and, for Arsenal and Mikel Arteta, the upshot was glorious.
Héctor Bellerín had driven the move and, when Nicolas Pépé worked a pass left to Aubameyang, the Arsenal captain knew in a heartbeat what he had to do.
Using his right foot, he took the ball around Kurt Zouma as though the Chelsea defender was not there and then, with his left, almost in the same fluid movement, he produced a trademark clipped shot over Willy Caballero, the Chelsea goalkeeper.
It was Aubameyang who had cancelled out Christian Pulisic’s early opener and, after his two goals in the 2-0 FA Cup semi-final win over Manchester City, this was another rich return.
It had felt as though the stakes in this final were higher for Arsenal.
Chelsea had already secured Champions League football via Premier League position while Arsenal would have no European football at all if they lost here — together with a significant dent to their revenues.
Thanks to Aubameyang’s 28th and 29th goals of the season, they have Europa League qualification and a silver-lined finish to a difficult campaign.
For Chelsea, there was only frustration.
They surrendered a position of authority and, after Aubameyang had equalised from the penalty spot, nothing went right for them.
They lost César Apilicueta, Pulisic and the substitute Pedro to injuries and, more damagingly, Mateo Kovacic to a second yellow card as their FA Cup challenge fizzled out.
The first half was topsy-turvy, with Chelsea on the front foot at the outset and much more cohesive.
Arteta had wanted focus and tightness from the start but he did not get it.
Chelsea went ahead with a lovely finish from Pulisic and, from an Arsenal point of view, the way that they got themselves into a dangerous position, with Jorginho finding Pulisic in between the lines and him moving it up to Mason Mount, was too easy.
Mount’s low cross deflected, Olivier Giroud backheeled for Pulisic and Arsenal’s defenders seemed to react in slow motion.
Kieran Tierney did not want to risk a challenge on Pulisic, who darted on to the ball with far greater purpose, and the dink over Emi Martínez bristled with composure.
Aubameyang had headed wide from an Ainsley Maitland-Niles cross in the third minute but it was otherwise all Chelsea up to the first-half drinks break.
Arsenal were guilty of errors, including one from Granit Xhaka when he was robbed by Mount at 0-0. Mount advanced and worked Martínez.
After the opening goal, Pulisic showed his quick feet and, with Tierney backing off, he shot at Martínez. — Guardian.