Arsenal break the record for FA Cup victories as they trounce Aston Villa 4-0
Arsenal broke the record for FA Cup victories as they trounced Aston Villa 4-0 at Wembley Stadium yesterday to retain the trophy.
The Gunners have now won the trophy 12 times – more than any other club.
In a one-sided contest they swept Aston Villa away with a dominant display in Saturday’s final.
Theo Walcott, selected to start-up front ahead of Olivier Giroud, repaid Arsene Wenger’s faith by netting the opener just before half-time.
A spectacular strike from Alexis Sanchez making it 2-0 before Per Mertesacker headed a third and substitute Giroud rounded off the scoring in stoppage time.
Arsenal took the initiative from the outset and created a number of clear-cut scoring opportunities.
Laurent Koscielny got his head to an Alexis cross, but Villa goalkeeper Shay Given – who was selected ahead of Brad Guzan – made a point-blank save.
Then Hector Bellerin went past Kieran Richardson to deliver a low cross that Aaron Ramsey turned into the side netting.
Ramsey should have done better when the ball broke to him in the penalty area, but shot over the crossbar with just Given to beat.
Richardson threw himself in the way of Walcott’s close-range shot to keep the match goalless.
Just when it seemed Villa would make it through to half-time on level terms the Gunners made the crucial breakthrough five minutes before the interval.
It was Walcott who finally broke the deadlock , crashing a left-foot volley into the back of the net after Sanchez had nodded down Nacho Monreal’s cross.
Any thoughts that Villa would make a game of it in the second half were ended when the Gunners went two up on the 50th minute.
Alexis seizing a stray pass and turning inside before rifling a 30-yard thunderbolt past Given into the net off the crossbar.
It looked as if the Chilean had netted his second minutes later, turning in the rebound after Given had parried Walcott’s shot, but the linesman had flagged for offside
Given then saved Santi Cazorla’s low shot soon afterwards as Arsenal continued to dominate.
Per Mertesacker put the result beyond doubt on 62 minutes when rose above Christian Benteke and the ball came off his shoulder and past Given for Arsenal’s third goal.
Walcott might have made it 4-0 when Ramsey took the ball off Fabian Delph and found him with a through pass, but the England striker sliced wide with only Given to beat.
Villa offered little threat throughout the match, although they had two late penalty appeals turned down.
First Francis Coquelin appeared to trip Gabriel Agbonlahor 10 minutes from the end. It looked like a foul, but just on the edge of the penalty area.
Secondly Hector Bellerin appeared to pull back Jack Grealish in the penalty area. Grealish’s exaggerated fall probably persuading the referee to wave play on.
Giroud scored Arsenal’s fourth deep into added time, turning in fellow substitute Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s cross from close range.
It sealed a comprehensive win for he Gunners to mark a record-breaking 12th triumph in the competition.
Arsenal: Szczesny 6; Bellerin 7, Mertesacker 7, Koscielny 7, Monreal 7; Coquelin 8, Cazorla 9; Ramsey 7, Ozil 7 (Wilshere 77), Sanchez 8 (Oxlade-Chamberlain 90); Walcott 8 (Giroud 77).