KIGALI. — Rwanda President Paul Kagame has challenged Arsenal to aim for “bigger things” after beating Chelsea 2-1 to lift the FA Cup at Wembley Stadium on Saturday.
Arsenal’s Gabonese talisman Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was the star as he worked his Wembley magic once again to produce the two goals and earn Gunners the trophy for a record 14th time.
Chelsea had taken the lead inside five minutes through Christian Pulisic’s smart finish but then fell victim to the brilliance of Aubameyang, who was also Arsenal’s hero when he scored twice in the semi-final win over Manchester City.
The Gabon forward drew Arsenal level from the penalty spot before the break after he was fouled by Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta, then produced a moment of world-class finishing midway through the second half to make the defining contribution to the first behind-closed-doors FA Cup final.
Chelsea were hampered by a first-half injury to Azpilicueta and were struggling even further when they lost the outstanding Pulisic to a hamstring problem after the break. To make matters worse, Mateo Kovacic was sent off for a second bookable offence shortly after Auba’s second goal.
Kagame, who is an ardent Arsenal fan, has congratulated the team for the latest achievement but was quick to point out the club should now focus on winning “bigger things” in the future.
“Bravo, congrats Arsenal for a well-deserved and needed FA Cup win,” the President of the East African nation wrote on his Twitter handle. “We, fans, and supporters kept faith in you . . . going forward let’s aim at much bigger things and yes we can.”
Malawi’s new President, Lazarus Chakwera, also took to his Twitter handle to send a message to his beloved Arsenal after winning the trophy.
“It feels great to see the Arsenal winning, a sweet victory snatched from the jaws of defeat, my favourite kind,” Chakwera wrote.
Rwanda and Arsenal have a good relationship since the country moved to sponsor the Premier League giants, whose players display a “Visit Rwanda” logo on their sleeves.
The three-year deal which became Arsenal’s first-ever sleeve sponsorship was signed on May 23, 2018, with the Rwanda Development Board, through their subsidiary, the Rwandan Convention Bureau, aiming for the country to become a leading global tourist destination.
The “Visit Rwanda” logo features on the left sleeve for all first team, Under-23, and women’s matches. — Goal.com