Arsenal were 2-1 winners against Chelsea as they won a record 13th FA Cup trophy to end their season on a high.
FA Cup Finals are all about drama and this one between London giants Arsenal and Chelsea was no different. Arsenal were ahead within five minutes, in controversial circumstances. Alexis Sanchez gave Arsenal the lead but there was an alleged handball in the build up. Aaron Ramsey was stood in a offside position when Sanchez was through on goal but he didn’t interfere with play. Therefore, the goal was allowed and for the first time this season Chelsea were behind in the FA Cup.
Gary Cahill has been a fantastic captain for Chelsea all season and he made crucial interceptions to keep the scoreline at 1-0. He cleared an effort from Mesut Ozil off the line, then he prevented Danny Welbeck from scoring and blocked Sanchez’s shot. Chelsea played poorly throughout the majority of the first half but it would have been much worse without Cahill.
Considering Arsenal’s problems in defence, they stuck with three at the back with Rob Holding, Per Mertesacker and Nacho Monreal. Mertesacker, Arsenal’s captain, who was making his first start of the season had not played in a back three before but he was not phased by the new formation.
The Blues grew into the game but were still unable to trouble Arsenal. They were just too lethargic which is unlike them. Arsenal went in 1-0 up at half-time. There should have been an even bigger goal margin but Arsenal couldn’t take their chances.
Chelsea started the second half with great intensity. Pedro’s shot was blocked by the long limbed Mertesacker before Victor Moses’ low drive was saved by Ospina. Eden Hazard went on a decent run and was looking for Diego Costa but, once again, Mertesacker was there to intervene.
Pedro attempted an effort from the edge of the box but it was just wide. Then it was Arsenal’s turn to push forward. Welbeck found Hector Bellerin but his shot was well saved by Thibaut Courtois.
In the 68th minute, Moses was shown a second yellow card for simulation leaving Chelsea with 10 men.
However, Chelsea were not down and out just yet. Costa received a brilliant ball from Willian which he chested down and squeezed past Ospina for the equaliser.
Unfortunately for Chelsea, their lead barely lasted two minutes. Olivier Giroud who had just come on for Welbeck crossed for Ramsey who headed home to put Arsenal back in front. Talk about an instant impact! Ramsey knows all about scoring the winner in the FA Cup Final, just ask Hull City.
Bellerin and Mesut Ozil both had chances to give Arsenal an even bigger advantage but the match ended 2-1. Arsene Wenger has now won the FA Cup a record seven times, making him the most successful manager in the competition. Arsenal are the first team to win the competition 13 times.
Arsenal were definitely underdogs in this match. The Gunners proved that they are full of surprises and when they give it their all, they can produce stunning performances. They have had a poor season and the FA Cup win just papers over the cracks but it’s still great to win a trophy!
Arsenal Starting XI: Ospina, Holding, Mertesacker, Monreal, Bellerin, Ramsey, Xhaka, Oxlade-Chamberlain (Coquelin 82), Alexis (Elneny 90+3), Ozil, Welbeck (Giroud 78)
Unused substitutes: Perez, Walcott, Iwobi, Cech
Chelsea Starting XI: Courtois; Azpilicueta, David Luiz, Cahill, Moses, Kante, Matic (Fabregas 61), Alonso; Pedro (Willian 72), Diego Costa (Batshuayi 88) , Hazard
Unused substitutes: Begovic, Zouma, Ake, Terry