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Opinion: FA Cup Final Defeat Shows Chelsea Need To Spend Despite Title Success

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 27: Gary Cahill of Chelsea looks dejected after The Emirates FA Cup Final between Arsenal and Chelsea at Wembley Stadium on May 27, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

Premier League champions Chelsea were the overwhelming favourites to beat London rivals Arsenal in the FA Cup final and complete a league and cup double success for Antonio Conte in his first season at the Bridge.

Arsenal were going into this game after a poor season where they failed to make the top four, question marks about the future of Arsene Wenger, uncertainty at board room level, rumours about Sanchez wanting to leave and a defensive crisis. Surely Chelsea would steamroll them as they have often done in recent seasons.

However, football is a funny old game and it can be unpredictable, particularly in a cup final. That is the beauty of it. Chelsea simply did not turn up and looked to be suffering a title hangover.

Arsenal looked as if they wanted it more as they were first to the ball, pressed their opponents high up the pitch, dominated in midfield and created plenty of chances. It was more like the Gunners 3-0 win over the Blues at the beginning of the season which prompted Conte to change his system to a 3-5-2 which saw them charge to the title.

Ironically, it was Arsenal who exposed the flaws in that system. Manchester United did it to Chelsea in their Premier League clash at Old Trafford in April and Arsenal got the better of them at Wembley on Cup final day.

Chelsea fans may argue that the Sanchez goal should not have stood but in truth Arsenal should have been three or four goals up at the interval. Two Gary Cahill clearances off the line kept Chelsea in the contest and despite going down to ten men, they found an equaliser.

However, Arsenal hit their opponents a blow straight away as Ramsey headed home what proved to be the winner and a deserved one at that.

during The Emirates FA Cup Final between Arsenal and Chelsea at Wembley Stadium on May 27, 2017 in London, England.

There is clear evidence that the Chelsea defence struggle with pace as both Marcus Rashford and Danny Welbeck have ran them ragged this season. In those two games against United and Arsenal, they were dominated in midfield. Meanwhile up front, Costa has been off form amid reports he wants to return to Atletico Madrid.

Manchester City have already gotten off the mark with the signing of Bernardo Silva from Monaco for £43m and are in talks with Benfica goalkeeper Ederson. More will follow while Manchester United are also expected to strengthen.

If Chelsea are to challenge domestically and in Europe next season, they must fix weaknesses that more teams will now know about for next season.

They need a pacey centre back such as Virgil van Djik or Marquinhos. Are Victor Moses and Marcos Alonso good enough as wing backs in Europe? Perhaps another option in central midfield could be crucial. They have been heavily linked with Monaco anchor Tiemoue Bakayoko while they may need to replace Diego Costa. Romelu Lukaku and Alvaro Morata are the strikers they have been linked with the most.

The Manchester clubs will most likely lead the Premier League spending but Chelsea should not be too far behind if they want to stay at the top.

Vincent O’Shea, Pundit Arena

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Author: The PA Team

This article was written by a member of The PA Team.