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Arsenal fans ditch social distancing as they party into night after winning record 14th FA Cup against Chelsea

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arsenal fans ditch social distancing as they party into night after winning record 14th fa cup against chelsea scaled

SOCIAL distancing went totally out of the window as Arsenal fans partied long and hard into the night after their record-breaking 14th FA Cup win.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang struck twice and later dropped the trophy as the Gunners beat Chelsea 2-1.

Arsenal Fans celebrate outside Wembley after winning the FA Cup

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Arsenal Fans celebrate outside Wembley after winning the FA CupCredit: AFP or licensors
Supporters forget social distancing at Wembley

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Supporters forget social distancing at WembleyCredit: Reuters
Fans let off smoke bombs and party on the streets

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Fans let off smoke bombs and party on the streetsCredit: AFP or licensors
Fans gather outside Wembley after 90 minutes

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Fans gather outside Wembley after 90 minutesCredit: Reuters
Supporters near Wembley celebrate together despite fears over coronavirus

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Supporters near Wembley celebrate together despite fears over coronavirusCredit: PA:Press Association
Boozed-up supporters at Wembley sing and chant as Arsenal see off Chelsea

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Boozed-up supporters at Wembley sing and chant as Arsenal see off ChelseaCredit: PA:Press Association
Arsenal fans crowd together to celebrate the shock victory

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Arsenal fans crowd together to celebrate the shock victoryCredit: PA:Press Association
Arsenal fans gather together outside the Emirates to celebrate their victory

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Arsenal fans gather together outside the Emirates to celebrate their victoryCredit: AFP or licensors
Arsenal fans celebrate on the streets

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Arsenal fans celebrate on the streetsCredit: Getty Images – Getty

And fans celebrated the win in style but there were fears of superspreading the coronavirus as supporters got up close and personal.

But after winning the trophy against all the odds, who could blame them.

Many thought the Gods had conspired to hand Mikel Arteta’s side a victory and the Spaniard’s first trophy as boss only nine months after quitting as Manchester City No2.

The big stand-out was the shock sending off of Chelsea midfielder Mateo Kovacic, which gave the Blues a mountain to climb.

Arsenal fans finished the season with a trophy against all odds

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Arsenal fans finished the season with a trophy against all oddsCredit: Getty Images – Getty
Supporters at Wembley hail the win

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Supporters at Wembley hail the winCredit: Getty Images – Getty
Victorious supporters take their drinks on to the street to celebrate

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Victorious supporters take their drinks on to the street to celebrateCredit: Getty Images – Getty

This came when Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka went down as if shot by sniper and footage showed him diving – with SunSport ref Mark Halsey claiming he should have been shown a yellow card for simulation.

The Gunners also escaped with a handball outside the box from Emiliano Martinez which could have seen a red card produced.

Arsenal fans were given something to cheer thanks to Aubameyang's brilliant double

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Arsenal fans were given something to cheer thanks to Aubameyang’s brilliant doubleCredit: Getty Images – Getty

Frank Lampard’s men were also hit by an injury to key man Willian BEFORE the game, ruling him out.

Meanwhile, they lost scorer Christian Pulisic, defender Cesar Azpilicueta and sub Pedro all to injury.

It really wasn’t their day.

But that will not stop Arsenal – as Aubameyang and Co celebrated in the dressing room.

Supporters say 'Arsenal are back'

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Supporters say ‘Arsenal are back’Credit: Getty Images – Getty
Arsenal fans cheer for Arteta's men against Chelsea

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Arsenal fans cheer for Arteta’s men against ChelseaCredit: Getty Images – Getty
Fans celebrate amid smoke bombs

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Fans celebrate amid smoke bombsCredit: AFP or licensors
Arsenal players celebrate with the FA Cup

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Arsenal players celebrate with the FA CupCredit: Getty Images – Getty
Aubameyang drops the FA Cup

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Aubameyang drops the FA CupCredit: Getty Images – Getty
Aubameyang cannot believe it as the Cup is dropped

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Aubameyang cannot believe it as the Cup is droppedCredit: AP:Associated Press

The fans could not resist hugging and toasting a win after defeating both Chelsea – a team that thrashed them in the Europa League final last season – and Manchester City.

City are many fans’ and pundits’ tips to win the Champions League but they were no match in the semi-final against the Gunners.

Arteta has emerged from the shadows of behemoth Pep Guardiola and shown that he is a force to be reckoned with.

A tactical genius, he knew he could exploit the Blues down their flanks.

And so it proved, as the Gunners hit back from Pulisic’s early goal to win.

The key sending off of Mateo Kovacic, second left

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The key sending off of Mateo Kovacic, second leftCredit: AP:Associated Press
Footage shows Arsenal keeper Emiliano Martinez outside the box but he escaped without punishment

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Footage shows Arsenal keeper Emiliano Martinez outside the box but he escaped without punishmentCredit: BBC

With a world class striker in their ranks, they always had a chance.

And so it proved with Aubameyang‘s penalty, when it seemed he was all set up to strike it the other way, and then the Gabonese striker’s second, a piece of sublime magic.

But can they keep him now?

It is clear he wants to break Mesut Ozil’s £350,000-a-week pay packet – or he will be off.

Aubameyang refused to commit his future to Arsenal when asked after the match.

Watch Aubameyang drop FA Cup as two-goal Arsenal hero celebrates at Wembley

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Chelsea’s £90m target Kai Havertz was influential against Rangers… but his finishing let him down

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chelseas 90m target kai havertz was influential against rangers but his finishing let him down

For his first competitive appearance in four weeks, star attacker Kai Havertz certainly made an impression for Bayer Leverkusen against Rangers. Whether you take a positive or negative slant on his display though, probably depends on your allegiance. 

On an evening where the Germans strode comfortably into the Europa League quarter-finals, via Moussa Diaby’s solitary second-half strike, the Chelsea target was heavily involved in every notable opportunity in the first-half, operating in a broadly free role on the right.

All that was missing, significantly, was the finishing touch. An ambitious whistling volley caught the woodwork early on, yet two one-on-one situations either side of half-time failed to result in a goal: one skewed wide, one straight at Gers keeper Allan McGregor. Both on his favoured left-foot – and both should have been converted. 

Kai Havertz was influential for Bayer Leverkusen against Rangers in the Europa League last-16

Kai Havertz was influential for Bayer Leverkusen against Rangers in the Europa League last-16

Yet the £90m Chelsea target was unable to convert a couple of very presentable chances

Yet the £90m Chelsea target was unable to convert a couple of very presentable chances

Yet in fairness, that is not in keeping with Havertz’s form over the course of the 2019-20 season. He’s scored 17 goals operating in a attacking midfield role this season, including five goals in four matches post-lockdown. 

But tonight, in a match with a distinct pre-season feel to it – Leverkusen have just finished their season whilst Rangers have just started their new campaign – the 21-year-old picked his moments to come alive. 

Positioned wide-right in an attacking trio behind central striker Kevin Volland, his first-half consisted mostly of neat first-time lay-offs for his team-mates and naturally cutting in on his left-foot with his back to goal. 

The final third was where Havertz selectively expanded his energy, with a burst of acceleration often taking Rangers’ back-line by surprise. Nimble and agile, his close control of the ball in tight spaces meant he very rarely lost possession throughout the course of the evening. 

Yet after a largely anonymous opening 15 minutes, the playmaker come alive. With the ball perfectly set up for him just inside the box to the right, he struck a fizzing left-footed volley goal-bound. Yet with McGregor beaten, the ball grazed the crossbar. 

Havertz came alive midway through the first-half, but could not give his side the lead

Havertz came alive midway through the first-half, but could not give his side the lead

But a far easier chance presented itself six minutes later. After a perfectly timed run beat the offside trap, Havertz was one-on-one with McGregor. Bearing down on goal, a net ripple was imminent. But no? To the bemusement of everyone in the BayArena, not least himself, he pulled his shot wide of the far-post. 

A massive opportunity squandered – the sort of chance which doesn’t come around all too often in the high-stakes tension and drama of the Premier League.  

Not undeterred though, he almost made amends with an exquisite ball over the top to Diaby just before half-time, yet the midfielder couldn’t control his skywards volley.

Three big moments in the first-half – three instances of play heavily involving the 21-year-old star. 

After the break, with the game increasingly stretched as Rangers pushed gallantly for a goal to claw back the tie, space opened up. 

Havertz was heavily involved in the first-half but played no part in the only goal of the game

Havertz was heavily involved in the first-half but played no part in the only goal of the game

Diaby gave Leverkusen the lead and three minutes later, Havertz was played through on goal again. This time he hit the target, but struck straight at McGregor’s legs, who prodded the ball away rather comfortably. 

A pattern was emerging: an ability to find a chance but an inability to finish it. 

Then, as substitutions broke up the rhythm of the game and Rangers pressed intensely as they searched for three goals in half-an-hour, Havertz went missing somewhat – bar a late effort into the side-netting with no angle to play with.

To cut him some slack, perhaps understandably, fatigue caught up with a young talisman who has already played 43 matches this season.

The 21-year-old lacked influence as the second-half wore on, perhaps impacted by fatigue

The 21-year-old lacked influence as the second-half wore on, perhaps impacted by fatigue

But was does this mean for Chelsea fans? Perhaps the most noteworthy point is the result itself. With Bayer insistent that Havertz won’t be departing until their European journey is over this season, their victory in the tie means no potential deal will be completed over the next few days. 

Leverkusen move on to the last-eight, and a mouthwatering clash against Inter Milan on neutral territory in Dusseldorf on Monday night. That will tell us more about Havertz. Yet this did tell us something: for all the talk, whether it be rustiness or not, his first European game back was certainly a story of two steps forward, one step back. 

The talent is evidently there, but should a mega-money deal go through this summer, Frank Lampard will certainly have some work to do. 

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Wolves vs Olympiacos LIVE: Stream free, TV channel, score – Europa League latest as Raul Jimenez gives hosts lead

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wolves vs olympiacos live stream free tv channel score europa league latest as raul jimenez gives hosts lead
OFF PLATFORM WOLVES VS OLYMPIACOS

WOLVES have an early lead against Olympiacos after Raul Jimenez converted from the penalty spot.

That goal puts Nuno’s men 2-1 up on aggregate after the ten-man Greeks held them to a 1-1 draw in the first leg.

  • Wolves vs Olympiacos is live on BT Sport 1.
  • To stream live, head to the BT Sport website or app.
  • Sevilla will face the winners in the quarter-final in Germany
  • EE customers can get a FREE three-month BT Sport app trial by texting SPORT to 150. You can then cancel at any time.

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Andy Murray set for first Grand Slam appearance since January 2019 after US Open wildcard

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andy murray set for first grand slam appearance since january 2019 after us open wildcard

Former World No 1 Andy Murray has received a wildcard invitation for the US Open, which is due to start on August 31 amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Murray, 33, is ranked 129th in the world, one place too low for direct entry, and could be set for his first Grand Slam appearance since the Australian Open in January 2019, where he talked of retiring due to a long-term hip injury.

He then underwent a hip resurfacing operation and has returned to competitive action with encouraging success over the past year. 

Andy Murray is set to play his first Grand Slam since January 2019 at the US Open

Andy Murray is set to play his first Grand Slam since January 2019 at the US Open

 Murray won the first of his three Grand Slam titles at the 2012 U.S. Open but has not played in an official event since the Davis Cup last November.

Kim Clijsters has also been handed a wildcard spot into the women’s singles draw. 

Clijsters is a four-time major champion and former No. 1 who came out of retirement this year after already being elected to the International Tennis Hall of Fame. The U.S. Open – which she won in 2005, 2009 and 2010 – would mark the 37-year-old Belgian’s first Grand Slam appearance since a second-round loss at Flushing Meadows in 2012.

The U.S. Tennis Association gave all of its other wild cards for singles play to Americans. 

The former British No 1 won his first Grand Slam title at the 2012 US Open

The former British No 1 won his first Grand Slam title at the 2012 US Open

The WTA and ATP tours were suspended in March because of the coronavirus pandemic. The women’s tour resumed this week in Palermo, Italy; the first men’s tournament is later this month.

The U.S. Open is scheduled to start on August 31 without spectators.

Other women’s wild-card recipients: Usue Arconada, CiCi Bellis, Francesca Di Lorenzo, Caroline Dolehide, Ann Li, Robin Montgomery and Whitney Osuigwe.

The other men’s wild cards went to: Ulises Blanch, Maxime Cressy, Sebastian Korda, Thai-Son Kwiatkowski, Michael Mmoh, Brandon Nakashima and JJ Wolf.

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