Arsenal won the FA Cup for a record 13th time in a thrilling final by beating 10-man Chelsea, who were denied a league and cup double. The result means Arsene Wenger is the most successful manager in the competition’s history with seven victories.
The Gunners had controversially taken the lead in the fifth minute through Alexis Sanchez. The linesman had his flag up for Aaron Ramsey, who was stood in an offside position. Ramsey did not touch the ball, allowing Sanchez to run through and slot in.
Arsenal dominated the first half and could have doubled their advantage but Danny Welbeck struck the woodwork with a header and Ramsey chested the ball against the same post on the follow-up.
Victor Moses forced David Ospina into a fine save in the second periodhe Chelsea wing-back was given a second yellow card on 68 minutes for diving in the penalty area.
With 14 minutes remaining, the Blues got back into the game. Diego Costa’s shot squeaked past Ospina to tie the game, but Ramsey headed in the winner just two minutes later. The Welshman had also scored the winning goal in the 2014 cup final against Hull.
Arsenal could have had another late on, but Mesut Ozil struck the post from inside the area.
Wenger had major selection issues with his squad today. Laurent Koscielny was suspended and both Shkodran Mustafi and Gabriel injured. Centre-back Per Mertesacker was given his first start of the season, and did not disappoint. The German defender put in a dominant display to keep Costa quiet.
Chelsea failed to gain revenge for the 2002 final, which Arsenal won 2-0. The result ends their run of four consecutive final victories.
Arsene Wenger said the season has been a tough one for the players and fans. They all turned up today.
The Gunners had one mindset, to walk off as winners, and that was clear to see. They played the better football and wanted it more. The Chelsea players were hanging their heads but they had an unbelievable season. On the day, not enough players turned up, they did not deserve to win.
Arsenal defender Rob Holding had a fantastic semi-final too and he was under the spotlight, as was Per Mertesacker. Both players put on a huge display. What a performance Mesut Ozil put in too. All in all, they were much better than Chelsea.
I cannot believe how ordinary Arsenal made Chelsea look. The Premier League champions could not handle Arsenal’s footballing ability in the middle of the pitch. They could not get any rhythm or get on the ball. It was their best display of the season.