AFC v Chelsea FA Cup Final – I’ll settle for the result in 2017

Three years ago, we lifted the FA Cup. The goals were scored by Sanchez and Ramsey and Giroud provided an assist. Sanchez and Ramsey are now in Serie A and Giroud has swapped teams just like David Luiz.

AFC had conceded a goal to usual suspect Diego Costa despite being a man up………..and rolled out winners 2-1. This win made Arsene Wenger the most successful coach in the competition.

We had played this final in a 343 set up with Holding as part of a back 3 expertly marshalled by Per Mertesacker. Oxlade-Chamberlain and Bellerin played as wing backs with Xhaka and Ramsey in the middle of the park  while Ozil was playing behind Wellbeck and Sanchez.

Three years have gone by and both teams meet again. This year the games between Chelsea and Arsenal were electric and fun to watch and Arteta must still rue the loss to Chelsea at home………..

So the questions are many as we prepare for this confrontation with our other London enemy. Will we play with 4 at the back or will we continue with 3 at the back?

I think we will play with 3 at the back and here are my predicted line-ups:

Martinez – Holding, Luiz, Tierney – Bellerin, Ceba, Xhaka, Saka – Pepe, Nketiah, Auba

Caballero – Rudiger, Chrisenten, Azpi – James, Jorginho, Kovacic, Alonso – Willian, Pulisic – Giroud

I think Lampard will play it safe and will keep a lot of attacking options up his sleeve on the bench.

As for Arteta, should he continue with the 343 set-up, he does not have many options to choose from and I suppose there could be a case for Laca, AMN or Kola in the line-up but I don’t think we will see them from the on-set.

I am expecting a tough and engaged match, full of physical engagement and provocation. The type of match that may not be so pretty to watch but very stressful.

I have to say I am not too optimistic about the outcome and I think we will most likely be outgunned because they have more options from the bench to come and make difference.

That said, we love a challenge and I think that Arteta and some players like Luiz, Xhaka, Laca and Auba will want to show the fans and pundits that they are able to lift trophies at AFC and I think our young guns like Saka and Nketiah will play their heart out too so let us see…

Most likely outcome: Chelsea to win probably 2-1 but heart outcome: Arsenal to beat the odds and win 3-2




57 Responses to AFC v Chelsea FA Cup Final – I’ll settle for the result in 2017

  1. Morning all

    Thank you RC78 for the post. It’s gonna be a weird day. Feel bad for both teams playing at an empty Wembley.

    Love love love the FA Cup ………….

  2. fatgingergooner says:

    If I remember correctly we played really well against Chelsea at home but Arteta wasn’t long in the job and our fitness levels at the time were still reeling from the failed management teams that had come before. I’d like to think that we are a far better side now in terms of fitness levels and of the understanding of what the manager wants from the players. If we can repeat that first half performance that we had at the Emirates then I firmly believe we would have the stamina and know how to see the game out.

    Having said that, Chelsea are much improved aswell and on a decent run of form. They look dangerous in attack with Pulisic, and Kovacic is a very under rated player in the middle. I just hope that we have too much energy for them and the luck you need in big games goes our way.

    Looking forward to watching it though.

  3. Sue says:

    Nice one, RC 👍
    It’s here, at last… and I’m pumped! The shirt is on, the drinks are chilling….now just need to pull the sofa out 😉
    Only one thing left to say:
    We love you Arsenal, we do, ooooh Arsenal we love you!!! COYG 🏆🤩🙏

  4. RockyLives says:

    Well done RC – a very measured pre-match for a very big (if strange) occasion.

    I woke up with the excitement that always comes on Cup Final day when we’re in it, but tempered by the fact that normally I’d be getting ready to head to a pub a mile or so from Wembley to meet up with my big gang of mates (some of whom will have flown in from parts foreign) before heading to the stadium for the game.

    That’s how it was in 2017 and that turned out to be a fantastic day.

    We were massive underdogs in 2017 (and most of us fans feared a proper spanking) but we prevailed. Today we are slight underdogs and who knows what will happen.

    It will probably be a close game. Chelsea have greater depth in their squad. I feel we have the better manager.

    If our defence plays like they did in the Semi, we’ll probably win, but that’s a big if given the personnel. I hope Luiz is not over-eager to impress against his old club – he needs to be steady and disciplined all game long.

    It will all come down to fine margins on the day, but I am choosing to remain optimistic.

    COME ON YOU REDS!!!!!!!!!

  5. Rasp says:

    Thanks RC …. but hush you … of course we’re going to win! As many have said this will be a surreal experience …. one of so many during these times … so much so that the surreal is the new real.

    I also hope he continues with the 3 at the back and that Luiz can do a Mertesacker and stick one in his old employers.

    I don’t even know where I will be watching the game, but I do know that if in the unlikely event we don’t win, I am 100% behind Mikel and his vision for the club.


  6. RockyLives says:

    Your last line – Amen to that.

  7. JM says:

    I believe both teams could line up pragmatically and I feel the winner would come from a set piece situation, i.e. from a corner kick, from a throw in (e.g. Aubameyang’s bicycle kick goal from a Tierney throw-in vs Watford etc.), from either a direct or indirect free kick, from a penalty.

  8. RockyLives says:

    You’ve made me nervous now!

    We’ve not been great at defending set pieces lately.

    And Chelsea have that big French bloke up front…

  9. JM says:


    We have good attacking set piece specialists too: Pepe delivers good corners and free kicks; Luiz, Pepe, Aubameyang, Lacazette, Xhaka are all capable of scoring goals from direct free kicks.

    Arteta and his coaches should have been aware of Chelsea’s threats from set pieces and drilled our players in training. Emiliano would have to organise our defending in the box from their attacking set pieces. (aerials threats from Giroud, Abraham, Rudiger etc. and free kicks/corners from Willian, Alonso, Pulisic, Jorginho, Mount etc.)

    Key player for me is Saka. We are likely to attack more from our left flank and he must be our vital link-up player between defence and attack (because he will be playing/positioning mostly between Tierney and Aubameyang). I would also like him to occasionally move into the CAM role to help out and provide a passing outlet in our attacking third for Xhaka and Ceballos in the midfield battle. Saka has the skills and mentality to play defensively and offensively.

  10. Las says:

    Thanks RC, well phrased.
    Oh mate… I want us badly to win this.
    And if we do I think it would be for Yogi, “aclf”. It would be a fitting farewell.
    Giroud will play well so we have to play better. I hope for another Saka-Laca bumm-bumm performance. And of course an Auba dropshot 🙂

  11. RockyLives says:

    Bloody hell, the clock is ticking slowly today.

    I’m missing the traditional 3pm kick-off!

    Good points. If Mikel starts with Saka it will indicate he wants us to be a bit more assertive than we were against Man City.

    If he starts AMN instead (or even Kola) then we can expect an approach more akin to the City and Liverpool games.

    Like you, I hope he starts with Saka.

    Tierney > Saka > Aubameyang would be a nightmare for any defence.

  12. RC78 says:

    Let us get ready to rumble…unlike Ozil who was authorized to leave the UK for Turkey for the summer holidays…Ozil is also being approached by Italian outfits AC Milan and French giants PSG…

    Game starts in two hours…can’t wait! COYG

    Chelsea may play Mount ahead of Willian – let s see. In any case, they will be tough to beat but there is so much on the line for us:
    1. A trophy
    2. The possibility to play the Europa league, which in turn may help us keep Auba and attract good players to the club in the summer.

    I d love for our young guns Saka and Nketiah to score/assist today and to lead us to victory

  13. RC78 says:

    A French website has the following line ups but nothing confirmed:

    Arsenal (3-4-3) : Martinez; Holding, Luiz, Tierney; Bellerin, Ceballos, Xhaka, Saka; Pepe, Lacazette, Aubameyang.

    Chelsea (3-4-3) : Caballero; Azpilicueta, Zouma, Rudiger; James, Kante, Kovacic, Alonso; Mount, Giroud, Pulisic

  14. Aaron says:

    We will all settle for the result of 2017!

    I think we have an edge in Auba, clearly he is the best scorer in the EPL, do not care about the boot, and Holding can get the job done at the back with the others.

    I believe, if Kante starts, he will be rusty, as good communication only comes with playing many games with your surrounding team members.

    Score some goals and keep it tight at the back!

    Lets go Mikel, get the team ready for this moment.

    Grab that Silverware today!

  15. RC78 says:

    Official team news:

    Martinez – Holding, Luiz, Tierney – Bello, Ceba, Xhaka, AMN – Pepe, Laca, Auba

    Chelsea FC
    Cabellero – Rudiger, Zouma, Azpi – James, Jorginho, Kovacic, Alonso – Mount, Giroud, Pulisic

    -> Both teams set up in a 3-4-3
    -> AMN gets the nod ahead of Saka, pbbly Arteta wants more options on the bench

  16. RC78 says:

    I think Chelsea will play long balls towards Tierney with Giroud being the superior player in the air so we have to make sure Luiz covers behind Tierney and that Xhaka covers on the interior side of Tierney and that we fight for second balls…It s clear that we have to be wary of Pulisic and Giroud upfront. I think that Jorginho may not be too involved today except for long balls so I d rather press against their full backs, Kovacic and let us not give space to Pulisic or to Mount.

    This game is in the hands of Martinez, Luiz, Tierney, Xhaka for me. If they play well, we should be ok.

  17. RC78 says:

    I also think that Laca could cause trouble playing between Jorginho and Zouma. We can get them out of position and Zouma can be rash at times so the idea is to bring Zouma closer to Jorginho to open spaces for Auba and Pepe…

  18. Aaron says:

    Not a strong start, Xhaka gives away in the middle of the park, and then a very soft goal and an assist by you know who.

    Get this thing back on track!

  19. Aaron says:

    Back in this!

  20. RockyLives says:

    A half of two halves so far.

  21. Sue says:

    What a penalty 👌

  22. Aaron says:

    Feel we have been growing stronger and had the better of the chances around the box.

    Sense the boys have calmed a bit since that Auba goal.

    Laca is close to getting on one of his slick passes, and just needs a small chance to make it happen.

    Mikel give a inspiring halftime talk and get em’ fired up.

    All to play for. Thank goodness.

    Grab this game by the scruff!

  23. RockyLives says:

    Wobbly first 10 minutes but we grew into the game very nicely after that.

  24. RC78 says:

    – AMN, Auba, Pepe had a good first half
    – Xhaka and Ceba woke up after the first break
    – Holding has a mistake in him today and really not playing well:-(
    – Bellerin is neither here or there
    – Laca is having a good battle with Zouma and I think that Christensen also has a mistake in him so…

    Biggest threats are Pulisic, Kovacic (great game he is having) and Giroud

  25. RC78 says:

    Azpi out, Pulisic out…I hope Arsenal does not pull a France 2016 when France was playing a Ronaldo-less Portugal in the final of the Euro.

  26. Aaron says:

    What a run by Bel, Pepe with a slick and smooth pass and Auba with the finish!

    Auba Auba Auba!

  27. RC78 says:

    20 mins to hold…Let us not blow it…

  28. RockyLives says:

    I’m so nervous !!!!!!!!

  29. Aaron says:

    Positive thoughts here.
    Mikel manage this game out.
    Pass it around, keep going at them and play it wide.

  30. Rasp says:

    Why is everyone talking as if we’ve won already?

  31. Aaron says:

    Nobody is talking like that.
    Finish this off with a little possession!

  32. RockyLives says:

    Rasp – yes – I wish the commentators would STFU

  33. Aaron says:

    2020 FA Cup Winners!!!!

  34. LB says:

    Fuck, yessssssss

  35. ❤️❤️❤️⚽️⚽️⚽️🔴🔴🔴

  36. We’re by far the greatest team 🔴🔴🔴

  37. Rasp says:

    Bloody brilliant …. what a difference a good manager makes. That’s £40m more in our transfer kitty… looking forward to celebrating St totteringhams day next season.

  38. Rasp says:

    Errrr … excuse my ignorance … but who is the blond haired guy?

  39. Sue says:

    Matt Smith, Rasp…

    The smiles on all their faces…. I’m totally made up! Aww and Emi crying… bless him…

  40. RockyLives says:

    I am SO SO SO SO HAPPY!!!

  41. RockyLives says:

    Happy with our 14th FA Cup, happy that we have European footy and bags of extra cash next year, most of all happy that we have Mikel Arteta as El Patron.

  42. Sue says:

    Mikel Arteta has been in charge of Arsenal for eight months and has won the same amount of major trophies Spurs have in 21 years

  43. LB says:

    Hahahaha, that is so good Sue

  44. fatgingergooner says:


    Get in there!!! Just finished watching the game due to work and so so happy with that last 70 minute performance. I said we would have the legs to see it out and I think regardless of the sending off we looked so strong once we equalised. They looked shattered after an hour. If we can get a full pre season in I really feel that regardless of money spent, Arteta can create a team that has the energy to run over teams on a regular basis. Nothing beats a young, hungry team that knows how to control a match.

    Pepe absolutely ruined players today with his skill and that finish which was offside was unreal. He will be our best player next season.

    Love Tierney, Martinez, Lacazette, Caballos.

    What else can you say about Auba….I said before the game that a 31 year old striker used to have to earn a new contract…..well he did that today. I only see 3 or 4 players in the world scoring that second goal the way he did. He was sprinting past people at 90 minutes so if he’s going to continue that then give him the money. I can understand the club being cautious after the Özil situation but this is a different animal.

  45. RockyLives says:

    Match report will be drafts.

  46. RockyLives says:

    My son says that our win today means the Spuds now have to play three games in a pre-qualifying tournament for the Europa League, whereas we go straight in.

    I so hope that’s true.

  47. Sue says:

    LB.. 👍😄

  48. Gööner In Exile says:

    Well that was brilliant and weird in equal part.

    So impressed with Arteta, someone said earlier in the comments that we had the better manager, the proof of that was not necessarily in performance, formation of selection it’s when you watch them on the side, it seemed Lampard turned to his assistants when a decision was needed, Arteta doesn’t seem to need that he just looks so focussed and confident and seems to know what he wants.

    Then again we watched him play we know he understands football, reads it like a book and was able to do the right things at the right time on the pitch so we shouldn’t be surprised.

    Big praise today to Tierney, Martinez, Luiz and AMN. Thought they all had unsung great games.

  49. Thank you Rocky, looking forward to reading it 😁

  50. RockyLives says:

    So it looks like we have kiboshed the Spuds’ route straight into the group stages 😀

    They do indeed have to get through three games to get into the groups, whereas we go straight in.

    My heart bleeds for them.

    Arsenal winning the competition means Spurs will start their Europa League journey in the second qualifying round, with a behind closed doors one-legged tie on September 17, with the Gunners going into the group stage.

    The third qualifying round follows the following week on September 24 and then the play-offs come on another week later October 1. All the qualifying rounds contain one-legged matches.

  51. fred1266 says:

    Felt betrayed seeing giroud celebration against us really like that French guy one of the the few players who left and still wish him well

  52. LBG says:

    Wish him well, but dont feel betrayed! Giroud or AUBAMEYANG?

  53. Sue says:

    Transfer News

    Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is set to sign a 3-year contract extension with Arsenal in the coming weeks. #AFC

    Just do it now 😆

  54. Sue says:

    The spuds new kit –
    It was revealed that the kits which have been designed by Nike a part of long-term partnership between the US sportswear giant and the Champions League finalists have been made with 100 per cent recycled polyester fabric, which is made from recycled plastic bottles (Spurs official).

    Taking ‘bottling’ to a whole new level 🤣🤣🤣

  55. RockyLives says:

    Sue – great news if true about Auba.

    Spuds bottling kit – brilliant 😀
    I bet they fall apart in May as well.

  56. RockyLives says:

    New Post

    Oh what a happy day!

    So good to be a Gooner today.

  57. fred1266 says:

    LBG PEA of course

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