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Arsenal win record 12th F.A Cup

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Arsenal have won a record 12th F.A Cup after a comprehensive 4-0 victory over Aston Villa at Wembley Stadium.

In winning the cup, the Gunners have retained the trophy for the second time in their history. It was a day of records not only for the club, but also the manager. Arsene Wenger has now won six F.A Cups, a modern day record.


Both managers made big changes for the game. Number one goalkeeper David Ospina was replaced in the Gunners goal by Wojciech Sczesny, and following Theo Walcott’s hattrick last weekend, he replaced Olivier Giroud up front. Tim Sherwood dropped Gabby Agbonlahor to the bench, bringing Charles N’zogbia in his place.

Aston Villa were the underdogs prior to the game kicking off, but Sherwood insisted that his side could cause an upset, as they had done in the previous round when beating Liverpool.

But the Villains began the game on the back foot. Arsenal were dominating possession in the early stages, pressing Villa back and forcing them to defend. With Villa having conceded seven goals from their final two league games, you could see why Arsenal began brightly and attacked from the off.

Despite having the upper hand for the entire first half, it wasn’t until the 40th minute that the Gunners found the breakthrough.

Walcott made it four goals from two games as the forward thumped past Shay Given following Alexis Sanchez’s knock down from Nacho Monreal’s cross.

The Gunners went into half-time fully on top, and had given Villa very little to be proud of.

Five minutes into the second half, Alexis Sanchez put the contest beyond the opposition. The Chilean picked the ball up 30 yards out, took one touch to set his shot and smashed the ball past the helpless Given.

A deflated Villa side then began to crumble and make errors, as they found out when the Gunners scored their third. Captain Per Mertesacker headed home unmarked to send the Arsenal fans into raptures.

To add insult to injury, substitute Giroud tucked home from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s cross in front of the remaining Villa fans.

Even with owner Randy Lerner and fan Prince William in the crowd, Villa simply didn’t perform. But given the achievement that Sherwood had not only avoided relegation, which was his main objective, and had led his side to a major cup final.

As for Arsenal, their performance was much more relaxed than the previous campaign when they were on a ten year wait for a trophy.

But Arsenal have certainly put the negativity from the past couple of years behind them. Two successive F.A Cup wins and a third place finish in the Premier League, qualifying for next season’s Champions League.

FA Cup Mertesacker Wembley

About Dale Ventham

Dale Ventham is an editor at The Sports Lowdown. He writes on the lower leagues of English football and Speedway in particular.

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