No Champions League next season for Arsenal, but they do end the 2016-2017 with the FA Cup thanks to a late goal by Aaron Ramsey, securing a 2-1 win over Chelsea, denying them the double.
Arsene Wenger, who most Arsenal fans probably want to see ousted as the manager of the club, claimed a record 7th FA Cup since joining Arsenal in 1996, and his third in four years. In a season that was all about his right to continue managing the club while leading them to fifth place (Despite winning more points than last season when they finished second), he managed to do something even Alex Ferguson couldn’t in all his years at Manchester United.
Alexis Sanchez opened the scoring with a controversial goal in the 4th minute, and from there it was actually a surprising clinic from Wenger and his players when it came to playing disciplined defense, while trying to catch Chelsea on the counter attack. For a team that has become infamous for losing every important match over the years, beating both Chelsea and Manchester City en route to the title was a little bit of redemption, although they will forget it once they play in the Europa League against clubs they’re not used to meet during the midweek.
Diego Costa, pesky as ever, managed to equalize in the 77th minute against David Ospina, who was a surprise start and looked shaky at goal all match long. However, rather quickly, Arsenal responded with Ramsey scoring in the 80th minute off an Olivier Giroud assist, shortly after the Frenchman came off the bench. Both players resemble something of a disappointment for Arsenal. Only two years ago the two had a terrific midfielder-striker relationship, but it never turned into league success, and both of them have somewhat fallen out of favor this year.
Despite the loss, this takes nothing away from the magnificent season Antonio Conte and Chelsea had; it only shows it wasn’t as perfect as some seem to believe. For Wenger, who remains on the hot seat as far as the media and fans are concerned, this was a way of showing the naysayers that he still has a significance in the Arsenal approaching the end of the Millennium’s second decade, and that this year’s 5th place finish is only a short dip in consistency.