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Lampard admits Chelsea were ‘complacent’ after FA Cup final defeat to Arsenal

Chelsea boss Frank Lampard had few complaints after seeing his side lose 2-1 to a Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang inspired Arsenal in the FA Cup final at Wembley today.

So often these showpiece events start as tentative affairs, but this one certainly didn’t. Within the first few minutes, Aubameyang headed wide from an Ainsley Maitland-Niles cross and Mason Mount forced Gunners keeper Emi Martinez into a decent stop with a curling effort from the edge of the area.

In just the fifth minute, Chelsea would take the lead – a fine team move ending with a tidy flick from Olivier Giroud into the path of Christian Pulisic, the in-form American duly applying the finishing touch from close range.

Arsenal gradually began to gain a foothold in the game and they looked to have drawn level in the 26th minute when Nicolas Pepe whipped a curling effort into the top corner from the edge of the area, but the goal was rightly ruled out for an offside earlier in the move.

Just moments later, the Gunners would equalise for real, Aubameyang firing home from the penalty spot after the Gabonese striker was dragged down in the area by Chelsea skipper Cesar Azpilicueta.

Arsenal began to dominate after the leveller and Mikel Arteta would have been disappointed that his side were unable to convert their superiority into a lead before the half-time break.

20 minutes into the second period and Aubameyang would once again show why he is the Gunners man main, the 31-year-old beating Kurt Zouma all ends up before dinking the ball past Willy Cabellero and into the Blues net.

Chelsea’s hopes of getting back in the game were reduced in the 73rd minute when midfielder Mateo Kovacic was giving his marching orders for a second bookable offence – the Croatian international harshly adjudged to have fouled Gunners counterpart Granit Xhaka.

While Lampard’s side could not be faulted for effort, they lacked the quality needed to create the type of chance that would have seen them force the game into extra-time and Arsenal rather comfortably saw the game out to claim a record-breaking 14th FA Cup.

Speaking afterwards, Chelsea boss Lampard offered little in the way of excuses – despite losing three players to injury during the game – admitting his side paid the price becoming complacent after they took an early lead.

“We started well for 10-15 minutes and we can only blame ourselves form that point,” he told the BBC. “We got complacent, we took time on the ball like it was a stroll and we allowed them into the game. It’s hard to get back into the game then. A lot of today is on us.

“All I can do form the sidelines is shout! There are elements in our game that we have worked hard on all year but that is in you as a group. Today we were slow, we played back on ourselves, invited pressure. We didn’t play well enough to win a final.

“I’m not even thinking about next week, it all came together for us today, two hamstrings, a dislocated shoulder. It’s the end of a long long season and it was the tipping point for us.”

Read – Five of the best FA Cup finals ever: Comebacks, shocks and the Five Minute Final

Read Also – Our Premier League end of season awards for 2019/20: Who wins what?

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