Christian Pulisic was the only positive for Chelsea as they were handed a 2-1 defeat by Arsenal in the final of the 2020 FA Cup at the Wembley Stadium.
The match was off to an engrossing start as both teams had chances in the early exchanges. However, it was Chelsea who broke the deadlock just five minutes in, with Christian Pulisic putting the finishing touches on a fine move.
Arsenal, though, grew into the game steadily and soon had a goal chalked off for offside, before Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang leveled things up at the half-hour mark from the penalty spot, after he was fouled in the box by his Chelsea counterpart Cesar Azpilicueta.
The Gabonese international then made it 2-1 in favour of the Gunners in the 67th minute, with a peach of a goal. Chelsea were soon reduced to ten men as Mateo Kovacic was shown his second yellow card of the game, which pretty much ended the contest as Arsenal held on to record a 14th FA Cup triumph.
The Blues fall to defeat in the final. 😔
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) August 1, 2020
Here’s how we rated the performances of the Chelsea stars on a disappointing evening at the Wembley Stadium.
Willy Caballero: 5/10
Once again preferred over Kepa Arrizabalaga, the veteran Argentine didn’t have a whole lot to do in terms of saves. Flapped at a couple of crosses when he could have done better. Went the wrong way for penalty and perhaps, went to ground a touch too early for Aubameyang’s second.
Cesar Azpilicueta: 3/10
The Chelsea skipper had it tough from the kick off as Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Aubameyang caused him problems. Gave away the penalty with a cheap foul on the latter. Subbed off soon after due to a hamstring injury.
Kurt Zouma: 4/10
Starting at the centre of the three-man backline, the Frenchman didn’t inspire a lot of confidence early on. Shifted to the right side after Azpilicueta’s injury, Zouma looked slightly more comfortable. However, he was beaten way too easily by Aubameyang for the winning goal.
Antonio Rudiger: 3/10
The German international looked at bay going up against the dangerous Nicolas Pepe, who constantly got the better of him with his pace and skills. Gifted Aubameyang a chance early in the game, which the Arsenal skipper failed to make the most of. Was breezed past by Hector Bellerin in the lead-up to the winning goal in the second half. Poor.
Reece James: 5/10
Often played a touch way too high, which left the right side of the Chelsea defence exposed. Showed confidence when on the ball, but couldn’t produce anything meaningful in the final third of the pitch. Had a couple of wayward shots at goal from distance.
Retained in the starting XI despite N’Golo Kante’s return to full fitness, the Chelsea vice-captain struggled to get a foothold for a majority of the game. There were a few moments here and there when he helped his team show some semblance of control, but a lack of proper movement in front of him meant he couldn’t make much of an impact.
Mateo Kovacic: 4/10
This is the challenge that brought Mateo Kovacic a second yellow card 🔴
— Goal (@goal) August 1, 2020
Good energy as always from the Croat, as he looked to drive his team forward when on the ball and worked hard off the ball. However, he was nowhere to be seen when Bellerin ran at Chelsea leading to the second goal. Booked in the first period for a tackle on Granit Xhaka and was harshly shown a second yellow card in the second period in what was a moment of ridiculous refereeing.
Marcos Alonso: 4/10
An ineffective performance from the Spaniard, who hardly offered any sense of solidity in defence going up against the likes of Pepe and Bellerin, while producing little of note going forward. Highlighted Chelsea’s need of a new left-back heading into the next season.
Mason Mount: 6/10
The Chelsea academy graduate made a bright start to the game, forcing Emiliano Martinez into a save early on. He was then involved in the build-up for Pulisic’s opening goal. Worked hard off the ball, pressing the Arsenal players with intensity. But his influence waned with time.
Olivier Giroud: 6/10
Brilliant assist for Pulisic’s goal with a deft flick and had a few other positive moments when he brought his teammates into play. Had an interesting battle against former teammate David Luiz, but the Brazilian seemed to get the better of him for large parts of the game.
Christian Pulisic: 7/10
Christian Pulisic's #FACupFinal game by numbers:
85% passing accuracy
4 take-ons completed
3 shots attempted
2 shots on target
The most take-ons and shots among all players on the pitch prior to his substitution. pic.twitter.com/0PT7mMhsbT
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) August 1, 2020
Easily the best player on the field for Chelsea, the USMNT international opened the scoring with a fine finish. Looked menacing each time he got on the ball and ran at the Arsenal defence, with Rob Holding struggling to deal with his pace and dribbling. However, an unfortunate hamstring injury early in the second period spelled an early end to his night.
Andreas Christensen: 4/10
Having come on for the injured Azpilicueta in the first half, the Dane struggled to impose himself on the proceedings. Was beaten by Hector Bellerin in the lead-up to Arsenal’s winner in the second half.
"It looks like Pedro has suffered a serious injury in his last game as a Chelsea player" https://t.co/EEgdU3jlLZ
— Claud (@Claud_Tweets) August 1, 2020
Replaced the injured Pulisic early in the second period. Looked lively after coming on, but faded with time. Had to be stretchered off late on after he dislocated his shoulder, in what was his final game for Chelsea.
Ross Barkley: N/A
Thrown on in place of Mount in the 78th minute. Offered little going forward. Booked.
Tammy Abraham: N/A
Replaced Giroud in the 78th minute. Not enough time to make an impact.
Callum Hudson-Odoi: N/A
Came on for Rudiger with a little over ten minutes left. Hardly had a chance to run at the Arsenal defence.