FULL TIME: Disgrace of a game.
90+13min: The game’s still going, apparently.
90+9min: Still time for Pedro to dislocate a shoulder in a collision with the goalkeeper. More pain for Chelsea.
90+6min: A foul on Pedro just outside the area is ignored, and that’s just about that.
90+1min: 7 minutes added on as Alonso wins a corner. CHO takes, Martinez catches, then pretends to be injured.
88min: Barkley into the book, another harsh yellow.
85min: David Luiz, who’s of course been good because it’s a final, now down with an injury. Sokratis come on to replace him after some delay.
82min: Zouma hacks clear a Tierney cross, almost into his own goal. Arsenal take the corner short, then play it in. Jorginho heads clear.
80min: A long ball towards Abraham sees Martinez come way out and grab the ball just inside the area still. Abraham tries to claim that the goalkeeper was out of the area, but neither referee’s moved to action and we don’t even get a replay.
Really, why even bother with VAR? What really is the point when Martinez can do this and get away with it? pic.twitter.com/o9PPcN8tqp— Darren Lewis (@MirrorDarren) August 1, 2020
78min: James with a big cross towards Alonso. The clearance goes high in the air and Giroud boxes out the goalkeeper, but he still gets a hand to it and Arsenal can clear. Chelsea make the triple change, Abraham, Hudson-Odoi, Barkley on, Giroud, Rüdiger, Mount off. Chelsea switch to a back four.
75min: Christensen and Lacazette have a coming together. Emotions rising. Rüdiger into the book. As is Arteta on the Arsenal touchline.
73min: Kovacic called for a foul on Xhaka, which really wasn’t much. Taylor has a think about it for a minute, then shows the second yellow to Kovacic. LOL. Also cards an Arsenal player for waving an imaginary yellow card.
67min: Goal. Aubameyang again. After all of Chelsea’s control, Arsenal counter with Bellerin. Rüdiger dives in, misses the ball. Kovacic doesn’t want to take the secodn yellow. Christensen’s there to clear, but Bellerin runs him over and no foul’s called. The eventually finds Aubameyang, and his first-touch this time is good. And so is his second and his third, as he finishes with ease over Caballero. 2-1, Arsenal.
66min: Mount wins a corner, which he himself takes. Zouma’s called for a push, or some other random nonsense.
64min: Chelsea set up shop in the final third, but cannot quite create a chance to shoot. Arsenal staying well organized.
62min: Kovacic finds Pedro, who turns and takes the space but cannot create the space for a shot. Plays square to James, who does have space to shoot, but hammers it well over.
60min: A James blast is charged down and Arsenal can actually counter. Rüdiger and Alonso combine to stop Pépé, illegally.
59min: Jorginho plays wide to Mount, who drops the ball to James. He swings in a first-time cross from deep that just eludes both Giroud and Alonso. Unlucky.
57min: It’s turned into a slightly cagey match from both sides. Jorginho tries one of his classic first-time balls over the top. Just out of the reach of Mason Mount! Meantime, a massive breakdown in the Chelsea backline goes unpunished as Aubameyang’s first-touch lets him down and Christensen can recover just in time.
56min: Arsenal finally called for a foul, their first in the game. Well, “first”.
51min: A foul on Giroud not called as Arsenal work the ball left. Caballero catches Pépé’s cross.
50min: Pedro’s immediately into the action and wins a corner. Mount swings it in; Martinez catches ahead of Zouma arriving at the far post.
49min: Pedro’s on for Pulisic.
46min: Giroud nods on for Pulisic, who’s in behind and bearing down on goal ... but there goes HIS hamstring. He still takes a shot (wide, weak) while already screaming in pain, then falls down. His day is over, and that’s really a shame.
SECOND-HALF: No changes for either side as Arsenal restart proceedings.
HALF-TIME: Chelsea started brightly, but it’s been Arsenal in the ascendancy for most of the half. Chelsea have yet to figure out how to deal with the simple tactics of hitting a long ball towards a fast guy. Auba’s dive for a penalty equaled out Pulisic’s opener. Improvement needed and maybe a tactical switch as well.
45+5min: The whistle goes. 1-1 at the break.
45+4min: Mount into the book after Ceballos falls over his leg. More refereeing nonsense. Arsenal swing in the free kick from the left; Chelsea half-clear, then Giroud blocks a long shot.
45+2min: Chelsea looking to play behind Arsenal, but finding no joy in trying to find any of the front three with long balls.
45min: Christensen fouls Pépé just outside the area, just inside the corner of the D. David Luiz looks to be the one taking it, but it’s Lacazette who puts his foot behind it. Wide of the far post.
43min: It’s all Arsenal at the moment as Caballero flaps at a cross, but a corner is given. Alonso makes a mess of the clearance, Jorginho blocks a cross with his face for another corner. Arsenal go short, then aim for the far post, where Jorginho heads clear again. This time Chelsea manage to clear, with Kovacic strong on the ball to retain possession.
36min: Chelsea push on the left this time, Alonso finding Mount. He’s into the area and pulls it back towards the top of the area, where Jorginho’s arriving. But his effort is terrible and well over.
35min: Christensen replaces the Chelsea captain. Vice-captain Jorginho takes the armband. Zouma slides to right-center back with Christensen slotting into the middle.
32min: And now it’s Azpilicueta who’s down, holding the back of his leg after pulling up on a run. His day looks to be over; and it is. Out comes the stretcher.
31min: Pulisic goes on a nice run, but Alonso pulls back a would-be defender and the referee spots the infringement.
30min: Giroud gets a forearm shiver into the small of his back from David Luiz and stays down for a spot of treatment. He’s fine to carry on of course, though does have to step off for a second.
28min: Goal. Aubameyang no problem from the spot. Unsaveable, even if Caballero goes the correct way. 1-1.
26min: Arsenal go the same route once again, and Auba’s behind Azpi. The Chelsea defender puts a hand on Auba’s shoulder, and he takes the invitation to fall down. Taylor gives the penalty; at least Azpi escapes with just a yellow.
25min: Arsenal play around Chelsea’s defense quite well and Pépé scores with a great shot from the top of the box, but fortunately Aubameyang had strayed offside in the build-up. More warning signs for Chelsea, especially down our right flank.
21min: Arsenal look to the left again; Aubameyang makes a great run, but the pass for him is poor and James can shepherd it out of play. Danger zone. Drink break!
19min: Arsenal play out from the back, through the Chelsea press and look to be in behind on the left flank. But Azpi recovers well and wins a goal kick with his 1-v-1 defending.
17min: Long ball down the flank to Pépé, covered well by Rüdiger, who wins a throw for Chelsea.
16min: Jorginho fouls Ceballos, 25+ yards out, central. Arsenal line up the direct free kick, David Luiz ceding it to Ceballos, who puts his effort over the bar.
14min: Kovacic and Xhaka collide, with the former getting carded for the slide tackle. Xhaka came over the ball that Kovacic had overrun, but the referee judged Kova to be more in the wrong.
12min: Arsenal push on the left, hammering a cross into Jorginho, who gets the air knocked out of him. Arsenal play on and switch to the right, where Pepe takes a shot. Caballero saves for a corner, which is wasted by Arsenal.
10min: Pulisic, this time in the right channel, drives the box and hammers one at goal. Martinez makes the save and Arsenal clear the rebound.
9min: James wins the ball in midfield and Kovacic picks up the loose ball. Alonso makes a great run on the left, but Kova’s ball is a bit behind him, and he has to check back.
5min: GOALLLLLL!!!! PULISICCCCCCCC!! Jorginho finds Pulisic, who has space to turn in midfield. He turns and takes the space, then plays through to Mount. He puts it across to Giroud, who has no space to shoot, but knocks it to Pulisic, who takes a touch and finishes with aplomb. 1-0, CHELSEA!!!
4min: Chelsea push the other way with Mount, who goes for goal from the same place he scored against De Gea, ignoring Giroud in a good position. The shot is at a saveable height for Martinez, and he duly does so. Chelsea go short from the corner, then James crosses to the far post, where Alonso’s weak volley is blocked.
3min: A slightly tentative start, but then Maitland-Niles breaks the offside line on the left flank and has the beating of Azpilicueta for pace. He puts in a cross, which finds Aubameyang at the near post, but his header is fortunately well wide.
KICK-OFF: A socially distanced choir serenades the players with the national anthem. No handshakes of course. The teams ring the center circle in tribute to Heads Up, calling attention to the importance of mental health. The players take the knee in support of Black Lives Matter, and then we’re off! Chelsea get us underway.
It’s trophy time!
Who wants it more?
Both teams opt for the 3-4-3.
Willian is with the squad, but appears to have not recovered in time to be in the squad. Kanté makes the bench.
Here we go.
Good Luck Chelsea— Michael Caine (@themichaelcaine) August 1, 2020
UPDATE: Willian confirms injury. Same situation as last weekend.
We've been working all season to enjoy a moment like this, playing a great final match at Wembley. I did treatment for the whole week, but unfortunately the pain persists. I won't be on the field this time, but I am with my teammates until the end! Come on Blues!!! #cfc #FACup pic.twitter.com/PYScUNBovi— Willian (@willianborges88) August 1, 2020
Arsenal starting lineup (3-4-3):
Martinez | Tierney, David Luiz, Holding | Maitland-Niles, Ceballos, Xhaka, Bellerín | Aubameyang (c), Lacazette, Pépé
Substitutes from: Macey, Sokratis, Kolasinac, Torreira, Smith, Willock, Nelson, Saka, Nketiah
Chelsea starting lineup (3-4-3):
Caballero | Rüdiger, Zouma, Azpilicueta (c) | Alonso, Jorginho, Kovačić, James | Pulisic, Giroud, Mount
Substitutes from: Arrizabalaga, Christensen, Tomori, Emerson, Kanté, Barkley, Hudson-Odoi, Pedro, Abraham
Date / Time: Saturday, August 1, 2020, 17.30 BST; 12:30pm EDT; 10pm IST
Venue: Wembley, London, England
Referee: Anthony Taylor (on pitch); Stuart Attwell (VAR) — Taylor is the first referee in 119 years to referee the FA Cup final for a second time! Taylor’s first FA Cup final? The 2017 edition between Chelsea and Arsenal! (Wherein he sent off Victor Moses with a second yellow for diving.)
On TV: BBC One (UK); none (USA); Sony TEN 2, TEN 3 (India); SuperSport 3, SuperSport 8 (NGA); elsewhere
Streaming: BBC iPlayer (UK); ESPN+ (USA); Sony LIV (India); DStv Now (NGA) — We (WAGNH) have an affiliate link for ESPN+ if you’re in the US and would like to sign up for the best value in sports streaming (or, if you’re like me, sign up for the Disney-Hulu-ESPN+ bundle).
Be excellent to each other, and party on, dudes.