Arsenal beat Chelsea to lift the FA Cup trophy on Saturday, and the losing captain has revealed his disappointment at being ‘punished’ for lowering their level.
The Gunners came into the tie as underdogs, and with the added pressure of needing victory or suffer without any form of European football, and they came away with a deserved victory.
Question marks were raised over a couple of refereeing decisions, most notably Mateo Kovacic’s second yellow card which saw Chelsea finish the game with 10-men, but Azpilicueta believes that it wasn’t the officiating which cost them the result.
“A lot of times there were 50-50’s (that went Arsenal’s way) and we had the same in 2017 – but we have to look further than this,” Azpilicueta told chelseafc.com.
“We have to look at ourselves. We know two weeks ago when we played against Man United (in the semi-final), we really controlled it.
“It’s painful and a tough one to take. Obviously when you lose a final, it’s always painful.
“We started the game well and scored an early goal which normally gives a confidence to build on but we didn’t capitalise on it.
“We dropped our level a little bit and we were punished.”
Our side definitely looked like we had a grip on the game when it was 11v11 so I completely agree with the Spaniard.
Arsenal did take full advantage of the flow of the match, and were deserved winners, and there is so much to look forward to going into our first full season with Mikel Arteta in charge.
Do Chelsea have any real reason to have felt hard done-by?