LONDON, Aug 2: The only time Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang looked uncertain was when it came to collecting the FA Cup.
Two goals from the forward had turned around the final for Arsenal, sealing a 2-1 victory over Chelsea on Saturday in the first cup final to be staged without fans.
The coronavirus restrictions also meant there was no Prince William at Wembley Stadium to hand over the silverware in the royal box.
So Aubameyang had to pick up the cup himself on the field as captain. Taking the base as well, no wonder Aubameyang dropped it.
�I saw him walking with the bottom bit attached,� Arsenal defender Rob Holding said, �and I was like, �You need to take that off!��
The cup was soon raised aloft, with gold streamer showering the Arsenal squad in a mostly-empty 90,000-capacity stadium after the 139th final of the world�s oldest football competition.
�He needs more experience with trophies, we can get him more used to that,� Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta said.
�He knows what I think about him. I want to build the squad around him. I think he wants to stay and it is just about getting the deal done.�
That is no certainty, with Aubameyang yet to commit to staying beyond the end of his contract next year.
�I am really not thinking about this,� he said.
Winning the record-extending 14th FA Cup does at least give Arsenal a spot in the Europa League, after missing out on qualifying through the Premier League after an eighth-place finish.
�The journey has been long,� Aubameyang said. �But today we enjoy it.�
A much longer journey than expected.
A competition that began on August 9, 2019, featuring teams from ninth and 10th tiers, ended later than it had ever done before two months after the final was scheduled.
Never before had the FA Cup final been staged in August. And never before without fans. When the team buses arrived, just one man in an Arsenal supporter was singing by the entrance. � AP