Arsenal retain FA Cup with Wembley rout over Aston Villa
Arsenal were, quite simply, sensational as they swept aside Aston Villa in the FA Cup final with a 4-0 victory, the early favourites became the record holders in the competition winning 12 times.
Following a dominant first 20 minutes which saw Aaron Ramsey come close on a couple of occasions, the Gunners broke the deadlock when Theo Walcott drilled a half-volley past Shay Given from just inside the area after a cutback from Alexis Sanchez.
In the second half, Arsenal picked up where they left off and came out firing. It took just five minutes to double their lead, with what was arguably the best ever goal in an FA Cup final, courtesy of Sanchez even eclipsing Steven Gerrard’s last-gasp strike in 2006.
Cutting in from the left, the Chilean composed himself and struck a rocket into the roof of the net prompting half of Wembley to erupt.
The Gunners were cruising and Villa couldn’t generate clear-cut chances. With Santi Cazorla pulling the strings in midfield, there was plenty of neat interplay incorporating Mesut Ozil and Aaron Ramsey. On the hour, Per Mertesacker nodded in a corner, after marker Christian Benteke went walkabout.
Villa attempted to craft openings with the clock running down and had a penalty appeal dismissed with; a decision which riled Gabriel Agbonlahor. Substitute Olivier Giroud tapped in for a fourth on the last minute to round off proceedings which sent the fans into raptures as Arsenal retained the FA Cup.
Goalscorer Mertesacker expressed his joy afterwards: “We deserved this today. We played on the front foot from the start and that makes a massive difference.
“Last year we suffered in the first-half but today we scored regularly and gave we what we needed.
“It is a good way to finish off the season and I can look forward to my first holiday since retiring from international football. Hopefully we will start next season on the front foot but first we celebrate this victory.”