Chelsea were heavy favourites entering Saturday’s FA Cup final against Arsenal and it’s not hard to see why.
The Blues were far and away the best team in the Premier League this season and finished 18 points ahead of yesterday’s opponents.
And then there was Arsenal’s makeshift starting line-up. Owing to Laurent Koscielny’s suspension and a slew of injuries, Arsene Wenger was forced to start David Ospina in goal, Nacho Monreal at centre-back, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain at left wing and hand Per Mertesacker his first start of the season.
Article continues below
But the Blues succumbed to a 2-1 defeat at Wembley Stadium that few Chelsea supporters can claim they didn’t deserve. There was controversy surrounding Alexis Sanchez’s goal, and it perhaps should have been disallowed for handball, but Arsenal were the better team across the 90 minutes.
Chelsea’s woes were compounded when Victor Moses received a second yellow card for a shocking dive with 20 minutes remaining. Diego Costa equalised but Antonio Conte’s side were level for just three minutes before Aaron Ramsey headed home the winner.
Article continues below
Conte lamented his side’s slow start after the defeat.
"Our start wasn't good enough," the Chelsea boss said, via ESPN FC. "They started the game better than us. Honestly, the goal after three minutes in this way, I think this goal [should have been] disallowed because there was a clear handball.
"But our start wasn't good for the first 20 or 25 minutes, then we started to play in the second half, we created chances to equalise.”
It's still been a great season for the Blues
Still, what a season it has been for Chelsea. Champions of England and back in the Champions League, the groundwork has been laid for the west London outfit to make an impact in Europe next season.
Chelsea’s official Twitter account summed up the general feeling among the club’s supporters. “Not our day, but what a season we have had…” they wrote, adding a picture of the players and staff celebrating their Premier League triumph.
Chelsea’s media team wasn’t as gracious during the match, though.
Chelsea's tweet after Sanchez's goal
Arsenal fans have accused them of being bitter after their reaction on Twitter to Sanchez’s goal.
“Ramsey was clearly offside as Sanchez burst through but was deemed not to be interfering with play,” they wrote.
There would have been uproar had Sanchez’s goal been disallowed due to Ramsey’s involvement. The midfielder stepped away from the ball when he realised that the Chilean was about to hit it.
Video: Sanchez's goal
Arsenal fans react
Check out the reaction from Arsenal fans to Chelsea’s tweet.
Should Sanchez's goal have been disallowed? Let us your thoughts know in the comments section below!
Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE: http://gms.to/writeforgms