Arsenal Rip Villa To Shreds, Retain FA Cup


The sun was shining at Wembley on Saturday as Arsenal and Aston Villa looked to bring a bit more silverware to their respective clubs. Arsene Wenger made 2 big changes to his side as Theo Walcott and Wojciech Szczesny both got the nod for the final.  Szczesny regained his ‘cup keeper’ role as Walcott’s dominant display against West Brom last weekend saw him usurp a tired Olivier Giroud.

The match started a bit slow, but it only took about 10 minutes for Arsenal to start to find their groove.  The Gunners started to really stack up the corners and set pieces around the box and Laurent Koscielny almost got on the scoresheet on the end of a Cazorla ‘in-swinger’.

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It was Koscienly again in the 15th who would have opened the scoring if not for a bit of good goalkeeping from Shay Given. Sanchez from the left of the Villa penalty area chipped a cross into the middle of the box and Koscielny was able to send a powerful header towards goal.  Given though, with a fully extended dive and a strong right hand was able to push the shot out of danger.

Arsenal seemed to be making a rough go for themselves again in the 24th when another seemingly sure goal was blocked off the line.  Ozil, on the left of the villa box again, put in a low cross and Walcott was there to handle it.  Theo was able to get some power behind his first touch shot, but Kieran Richardson came darting in and was just able to get the block in to save a goal for Aston Villa.

Arsenal finally got their goal in the 40th minute.  Nacho Monreal was played in down the left flank and put in a floater across the penalty area.  It was too long in the end though and fell to the head of Alexis Sanchez who knocked the ball back across goal with his head.  The ball dropped in a bit of space in the box and a surging Walcott was the first one to it.  Theo then fired his shot near post and it was booted right past Given.  Quite a spectacular finish from Walcott who still had a lot to do with the shot considering the amount of time he had to do it and the number of bodies in front of him.

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The scoreline was 1-0 to Arsenal at halftime and certainly deservedly so.  Arsenal controlled the ball well all half, carving out chances and limiting Villa’s threats in number and quality as only once or twice did a long ball in show some bite (these were dealt with brilliantly by Szczesny as a sidenote).

Arsenal’s dominance continued in the 2nd half and the Gunners doubled their lead only 5 minutes from the break.  Alexis gathered a pass about 30 yards out from goal and was forced into one his energetic ‘dance’ routines on the ball by the Villa defense.  Eventually he was able to knock the ball past Tom Cleverley and fired at goal from at least 25 if not closer to 30 yards out.  The ball whizzed magically into the top corner in what has to be a contender for our goal of the season.  When it happened the commentators thought it was too sexy to not have taken a deflection, but that’s just Alexis, baby.  It was an absolutely pure strike and the Chilean continues to amaze on his first campaign in England.

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The despair for Aston Villa continued to be piled on in the 62nd when Arsenal got their 3rd goal for 2 consecutive years in the FA Cup final.  Arsenal’s corners finally took their toll as the height in Wenger’s men was too much for Villa.  The in- swinging corner fell right to the


head of Per Mertesacker and his shot floated right past Given and into the back of the net.  It has to be said that it was a pretty sloppy goal to concede.  The defending was atrocious and Given really should have done better.  All was well for Arsenal though as not even the frustrated grimaces of Tim Sherwood and the Villa fans could dissuade Mertesacker from being as jovial as ever.

Arsenal FC
Arsenal FC /

Arsenal FC

The icing on the cake came in the 92nd minute when the Arsenal substitutes got in on the fun. A recently healthy Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain came bursting down the right edge of the Villa box and sent in a screaming low cross just before he went out of play.  Who else but Giroud was there at the near post to flick in Arsenal’s 4th goal.  He’s done it time and time again as the Frenchman made it look easy to tap the ball past the keeper near post.

The match finished mercifully for Villa at 4-0 and the celebrations began.  Arsenal were incredibly dominant on the day and it was a brilliant way to end the season on a high note.  Every player in a yellow shirt outclassed their Claret counter part and there was just no stopping the Arsenal.

Our back line was phenomenal and well organized.  Szczesny commanded the area particularly well and looked impressive.  Santi Cazorla and Mesut Ozil were brilliant in Midfield pulling the strings and showing great vision, while our forwards were constantly making runs and testing the opposition keeper.  A performance that should make any fan proud and Arsenal now move into the top spot as the most successful team in FA Cup history with a record 12th victory. Campeones, Campeones!!  I hope the summer treats Arsenal and everyone well and until August then, friends.  When is the Community Shield??

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