Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta reveals he always had faith in his players lifting the Emirates FA Cup, as the Gunners added a 14th title to their collection.
After falling behind to an early goal against Chelsea in the first half, a brace from captain and talisman Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang turned the game around in Arsenal’s favour.
And Arteta, who only took over at the Emirates Stadium in January, felt his players were deserving of their victory.
- The Heads Up FA Cup Final
- Saturday 1 August 2020
- Wembley Stadium connected by EE
“It was a difficult start after we conceded a goal so early, but if I know something about this group of players, I know they weren’t going to give up,” he said.
“They reacted straightaway and played probably the best 30 minutes since I arrived and we equalised.
“And then in the second half, as we were close to winning the trophy, everyone worked extremely hard and I’m so proud to represent these players and this club.
“It’s a double reward for us because it’s very important for this club to be in Europe and we’ve done it through winning this competition again, it’s 14 now and we all contributed and I’m so happy.”
And while Aubameyang let his feet do the talking with a clinically despatched penalty and then a fine finish to win the game, he did reserve a few words at full time before becoming the first club captain to lift the Cup in front of an empty Wembley.
“We enjoyed today and we are happy as you can see,” he said.
“I think we deserved this win, he [Arteta] did a great job and we are happy to have him.”
For Gunners defender Rob Holding, this was a second FA Cup winners’ medal having also played in the 2017 win, ironically also against Chelsea.
And the former Bolton Wanderers and England under-21 also felt they were well worth their win.
“There was no panic [at 0-1] as there was still plenty of time left in the game, but it wasn’t the way we planned on starting it,” he revealed.
“It took us a bit to get playing, but once we got settled we grew into the first half and got better.
“And then Auba on the break, he seems to do it every game, and he’s our talisman who’s led us through the season really.
“14 is crazy and it’s my second in four years so when I joined I would’ve taken that straight away.
“We hope the fans enjoy it and we’ve given them three weeks of happiness before we get back for pre-season.”
However, for Chelsea boss Frank Lampard is was an obvious contrast of emotions and he spoke of his disappointment at the way the Blues failed to build on their early advantage.
“We did well for 15 minutes, scored the goal and created chances, but we can only blame ourselves from that point as we got complacent, by taking our time on the ball, playing short passes like it was a bit of a stroll,” he said.
“A Cup Final is never a stroll and we allowed them back in the game and when you do that it’s hard to get yourself back in the game.
“We did it for periods in the second half but a lot of that is on us.
“We just didn’t perform well enough to win a Final.”