BBC Sport pundit Chris Sutton hit out at Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang for ‘diving’ to win Arsenal a penalty in the first half of Saturday’s FA Cup final against Chelsea.
After Christian Pulisic had opened the scoring for the Blues after just five minutes, Aubameyang was brought down by Chelsea defender Cesar Azpilicueta later on in the first half.
The Gabonese forward scored from the spot himself to level matters, making the 31-year-old the oldest player to score for Arsenal in an FA Cup final for 88 years, since Bob John scored for the Gunners against Newcastle in 1932.
But former Chelsea forward Sutton wasn’t impressed with Aubameyang’s actions in ‘buying’ the penalty.
“There is a little pull,” Sutton said in commentary on BBC Radio Five Live.
“Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang knows what he is doing. There is the slightest contact. He has bought that penalty!”
He later added: “I have to say Arsenal are very, very fortunate about the penalty award.
“I thought Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang dived. Did Aubameyang have to go down? There was not enough contact for him to fall like that.”
Before the match, Sutton’s fellow BBC Sport pundit and former Gunners forward Ian Wright outlined Aubameyang’s importance to the club amid suggestions that the FA Cup final could he his final Arsenal appearance.
“When you look at [Aubameyang’s] goals to game ratio for Arsenal… When you look at Arsenal without him, they would be in a poor position,” said Wright when speaking on BBC One.
“He is the focal point. He’s the kind of player that when he gets that half chance, he is fantastic.
“He will be the most important signing that Arsenal make [if he signs a new contract].”