fa cup final

5 stand out performers from the Arsenal vs. Chelsea FA Cup Final.

In perhaps the most exciting FA Cup final in recent memory, it was the Gunners who prevailed against the Premier League champions 2-1. In an enthralling encounter between two top sides, Arsenal and Chelsea showed us why the FA Cup is still one of the most prestigious cup competitions in world football.

The win officially makes Arsenal the most successful club in FA Cup history with 13 wins to their name. Funnily enough, their under siege manager has won 7 of those cups for them, making him the most successful manager in FA Cup history.

In an outstanding team performance, it was almost impossible to highlight five stand-out players, but in the end, these 5 Arsenal players were too good to deny.

#5 Per Mertesacker

Per vs Chelsea

Seven of the last 11 FA Cups have been won by Arsenal or Chelsea.

Captain, leader and legend, Per Mertesacker showed the world why Arsène Wenger gave him a 1-year extension in January. Despite only playing 39 minutes of football all season, Per Mertesacker was trusted to play in the FA Cup final. He responded to the call magnificently.

The 6-foot German man marked Diego Costa all game, ensuring the Spaniard wasn’t allowed an inch of space throughout. Costa was physically dominated by Per as the German won 5 aerial duels.

Per Mertesacker also won 100% of the tackles he went in for, making 7 clearances and intercepting 1 key pass. In attack, the 32-year old was instrumental to Arsenal’s build-up play as he maintained a 93% pass accuracy, making 43 forward passes.

#4 Hector Bellerín

Bellerin Vs chelsea

Arsenal have won 3 FA Cups in 4 years.

Hector Bellerín is not only one of Arsenal’s best players, he’s the most exciting full-back in world football. Down the right flank against Chelsea, the Spaniard truly showed the best of his abilities both attacking-wise and defensively.

In defence, Bellerín made 3 crucial clearances, 3 pass interceptions and 1 successful tackle. His defensive attributes have often been criticised, but Bellerín personified a rock on the right when Marcos Alonso and Eden Hazard tried to double up on him.

In attack, the Spaniard was better than those two combined. He had 1 shot on target, maintained 82% pass accuracy and had an astonishing 36 touches in Chelsea’s half. The Spaniard tirelessly ran up and down the right flank, helping Özil to sustain width against Marcos Alonso.

#3 Danny Welbeck

Welbeck vs Chelsea

Arsenal have now won their last 7 games at Wembley.

After an injury-plagued campaign, Danny Welbeck reminded his detractors why Arsène Wenger was so keen to bring him to North London. The 26-year old was a nuisance all game as he tormented each one of Chelsea’s back three.

The forward refused to stop moving, he also angled his runs in ways that created space for wide forwards Alexis Sánchez and Mesut Özil. Welbeck purposely ran down the wide channels in order to draw away the outer CBs of Cahill and Azpilicueta, thus creating pockets of space to exploit for others. His effort off the ball facilitated Arsenal’s fluid attacking play.

As the focal point of Arsenal’s strike force, Danny Welbeck touched the ball 20 times in Chelsea’s half, completed 1 successful take-on, created 2 chances and wasn’t dispossessed once. He acted as a pressure relief when he held the ball up in isolated situations.

#2 Mesut Özil

ozil vs chelsea

Özil created 98 chances in 33 league appearances.

As one of Arsenal’s only world class players, there is an increasing burden on the shoulders of the German to see his team through big games. In the FA Cup final, Mesut Özil showed what he can do with the highest quality of opposition. The 28-year old dominated the right side of the pitch as he drifted in centrally to also link up with the midfield.

Against Chelsea, Mesut Özil completed 67% of dribbling take-ons, he created 3 chances, maintained 85% pass accuracy and had 50 touches in Chelsea’s final third. The German was instrumental to Arsenal’s counter attacking play, as he drifted in spaces to draw out N’golo Kante, thus creating space for Aaron Ramsey to run into. His subtle movement and constant threaded passes kept Arsenal in the ascendancy throughout the 90 minutes. His new RAM/RW role allows him to cut inside and see passing options ahead of him more clearly.

#1 Aaron Ramsey

Ramsey vs Chelsea

Ramsey averaged a kilometer every 6 minutes.

What is it about Aaron Ramsey and FA Cup finals? The Welshman seems to come alive when the lights of Wembley are shining the brightest. In a pivot with Granit Xhaka, Ramsey showed us how to execute the perfect box-to-box performance. His performance was so exceptional that he even created a record. On Saturday, Aaron Ramsey covered the most ground ever in an FA Cup final: 14.4km. He literally helped his team in every single phase of play.

His 3rd man runs from deep were a destabiliser for Chelsea’s defensive organisation. He helped Welbeck, Sánchez & Özil overload Conte’s back 3 on several occasions. The Welshman also maintained 95% pass accuracy, won 3 tackles, made 40 touches in the attacking third and scored 1 goal. His influence was unmatched and his growing partnership with Granit Xhaka looks like one for the future.

About the Author Mathaeus Abuwa

Arsenal fan with a soft spot for Pascal Cygan.

Leave a Comment: