Arsenal got their hands on a record, 12th F.A. Cup title after sailing past Aston Villa in front of a sellout crowd at Wembley Stadium. Arsene Wenger’s boys were looking to lift the Cup for two seasons in a row, a feat that was last pulled off by Chelsea in 2009 and 2010. The Gunners headed into the game with their tails up after a 4-1 thrashing of West Brom on the last day of the Premier League season, and they maintained the fantastic form that they showed seven days ago. Goals from Theo Walcott, Alexis Sanchez, Per Mertesacker and Olivier Giroud ensured that the Londoners made it a day to remember.
The game was a fantastic one to watch for the neutrals right from the off thanks to a regular supply of goal mouth action and some fast paced interplay. Unfortunately for Aston Villa though, most of the good work was being done by their opponents. Arsenal could have made their mark on the score sheet long before Theo Walcott actually smashed the ball past Jores Okore, Alan Hutton and Shay Given after being set up by an Alexis Sanchez header in the 40th minute of the game. With the second half just under way, the Chilean turned to goal getter from goal provider as he smashed a 25 yard stunner that dipped and swerved past a hapless Given in the Villa goal.
His goal, combined with the fantastic performance that he put in proved once again exactly how good a deal Arsenal got when they swooped for him last summer. The result looked set in stone as the Gunners went two nil up, but the fireworks just kept on coming. Arsenal deserve a lot of credit for not taking their foot off the gas and protecting their lead.
Their attacking efforts paid off once again as Per Mertesacker headed in from a Santi Cazorla cross. Unlike the first two goals though, this one can be blamed on Villa’s poor defending rather than Arsenal’s attacking. Christian Benteke failed to pick up the towering German defender who was left almost unmarked just a few yards from goal.
Around this time, the Villa team looked like a spent force that had lost hope in battle, and that is never a good thing. Olivier Giroud who was introduced as a substitute in place of Theo Walcott, made the scoreline even more embarrassing for Tim Sherwood’s boys as he slotted past Given in the final moments of the game. Aston Villa owner Randy Lerner and their most well known fan, Prince William looked on in disbelief alongside the 35,000 or so other Villa fans who had to make do with their team finishing second best.
For Arsenal though, this was a day to cherish as they got their second trophy in two years after going a whopping nine years without one. Their F.A. Cup success surely proves that they are a club heading in the right direction and with a few more additions, I think that they can finally mount a sustained challenge for the title in the coming season.