Arsenal vs Chelsea in the FA Cup final was never going to be dull, was it?
Nobody really knew what to expect from the two sides who had shown an enormous amount of inconsistency in the Premier League this season.
The Gunners drew 14 and lost 10 of their 38 matches as they finished eighth, while the Blues lost 12 and conceded 54 goals on their way to fourth.
And they both had fairly inexperienced – but talented – managers at the helm in Mikel Arteta and Frank Lampard.
And it didn’t take long for the final to come alive.
Former Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud teed up the in-form Christian Pulisic, who finished neatly past Emi Martinez.
For the next 10 minutes, Lampard’s side bossed the match and could have gone further ahead with Pulisic causing all sorts of problems.
But the pace of Pierre-Emerick Aubamayng was always threatening Chelsea’s defence and, just before the half hour mark, he got the better of Cesar Azpiliceuta.
The Spaniard simply couldn’t keep up with the Gabon International and hauled him down in the penalty area.
Referee Anthony Taylor had two decisions to make.
Was it a penalty? If so, what card would he show Azpilicueta?
Of course, the ‘double jeopardy’ rule prevents a defender from being sent off and conceding a penalty if they make a genuine attempt for the ball.
But like we saw with David Luz against Manchester City after the Premier League’s restart, a defender can be sent off for a shirt pull. Taylor was the ref that night too.
But Azpilicueta got away with a yellow card with Taylor clearly thinking Antonio Rudiger was in a covering position.
It was a decision that split opinion on social media.
Aubmayang picked himself up and equalised for Arsenal by sending Willy Caballero the wrong way.
But things got even worse for Chelsea captain Azpilicueta, who appeared to pull his hamstring just seven minutes after Arsenal’s leveller and had to be replaced by Andreas Christensen.
Being substituted off through injury is better than being sent-off, though…
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