Arsenal won its 12th FA Cup Final on Saturday at Wembley Stadium after a one-sided affair against Aston Villa. The Gunners easily took care of business with a 4-0 win, and manager Arsene Wenger has now led Arsenal to six FA Cup Final victories.
It was all Arsenal from start to finish, as they dominated all areas of the pitch. They had a vast majority of the ball possession and created several good chances early on. Aston Villa were able to keep the Gunners at bay until the 40th minute, when Theo Walcott scored the opening goal. Walcott was alert inside the penalty area after Alexis Sanchez headed down a cross and Walcott blasted it into the net behind Shay Given with a great left-footed strike.
They way Arsenal dominated possession, there was a feeling the game was over at that point. Villa had difficulties getting their passing game going as the Gunners pressed them high up the pitch. When it came to one-on-one situations, Arsenal players came out victorious pretty much every single time.
Early in the second half, Sanchez made it 2-0 with a marvelous shot after breaking in from the left side. He then teed the ball up and hit it perfectly with his right foot and the ball went off the underside of the crossbar and in. If the game felt like it was over at halftime, Sanchez’s goal was the nail in the coffin.
Sanchez has been spectacular throughout the 2014-15 campaign and is easily the buy of the year for Arsenal after his arrival from Barcelona in the summer. He ended up with 25 goals in all competitions and lead Arsenal in scoring. His performances earned him a spot on my Premier League Team of the Year.
The Gunners kept pressing and anytime they reach the final third of the field it felt like they could score.
A rare goal by Per Mertesacker made it 3-0 in the 62nd minute. The giant German center-back had only scored once this season and looked delighted as his header went in. His other goal of the season came back in early January against Hull City.
Mertesacker shook of the attention of Christian Benteke on a Santi Cazorla corner and went up unchallenged to head the ball behind Given who was frozen on the line and didn’t even make an attempt to save the ball.
After that goal, Villa threw caution to the wind and tried desperately to get back into the game, but to no avail. They were unable to create pressure against the Arsenal defense and Wojciech Szcesny had a rather quiet game in the Arsenal net.
Deep into stoppage time, Olivier Giroud scored a the final goal of the game after making a nice run inside the penalty area as he came flying toward the near post as Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain squared the ball from the right side inside the area. The Villa defense tried to put Giroud offside, but instead he ended up being all alone and guided the ball behind Given.
Arsenal is now the most successful club in FA Cup history with 12 wins, followed by Manchester United with 11 and Tottenham Hotspur with 8. Wenger has guided the Gunners to six out of the 12 FA Cup titles, along with three Premier League titles.
The Arsenal players can now savor the win and relax for about a month before they head out to Asia for a preseason tour.