Arsenal Football club created history here by winning the FA Cup for a record 12th time. Arsene Wenger also created his own history by becoming the only manager to win 6 FA Cups in the modern era.
Just like the London Buses, after nine barren years, Arsenal have now won back to back FA Cups as they trounced Aston Villa by four goals to nil. For Villa to stand a chance of winning here they needed to play better than they did when they beat Liverpool here in the semi final but Arsenal simply did not let them as they ripped them to shreds with their passing and movement.
With 8 minutes of the game gone Laurent Koscielny headed an Arsenal corner taken by Santi Carzola wide. Six minutes later Carzola put another cross into the box for Koscielny yet again. This time his header was on target but Shay Given saved it.
Arsenal piled pressure on Villa with wave after wave of attacks. Aaron Ramsey should have given the Gunners the lead but his shot was over the bar. Just after the midway point of the half Theo Walcott had a shot, which was goal bound but it was blocked by Kieran Richardson.
With five minutes of the half remaining the ball was played into the Villa half where Nacho Monreal controlled it and cross it into the box. As it was cleared it fell nicely to Theo Walcott who slammed his shot past Given to give Arsenal the lead. It had been coming for a long time. Walcott justified his starting place on the back of his performance against West Brom in their last league game. What better way to repay the faith shown in him by Arsene Wenger.
Just after the break Arsenal doubled their lead. The ball fell nicely to Sanchez who sent two Villa defenders on an “errand before hitting a belter of a shot, which dipped past Given and put Arsenal firmly in control of this cup final.
If anyone thought Arsenal would rest on that they were wrong as they went up another gear. They should have made it three. Carzola had a shot and Given had to get down low to his left to make a save. On the hour mark Walcott broke free but the alert Given rushed out to smother his shot.
Aston Villa had nothing on the slick Gunners who toyed with them. The third goal duly arrived from a corner, which was slung in and found Per Mertesacker at the back post, unmark, and he headed it past a helpless Given. The Arsenal fans sensed it and the Villa players also sensed it that the game was up. They could start to tie the yellow ribbons around the trophy.
In the 75th minute Theo Walcott was played through but he shot wide. A minute later he was substituted to warm applause from the Arsenal fans. For a long time he has been telling the manager to play him down the middle and did he deliver today!
In stoppage time Olivier Giroud put the icing on the cake as he tapped in a cross from Jack Wilshere. Aston Villa simply never got going here. Christian Benteke had no support upfront and most of the Villa side simply did or could not turn up.
The Villa Keeper was excellent today. But for him they could have ran up a cricket score. In the twilight of his distinguished career most would have hoped that Given would at last win a medal on the big stage before he departed the game. Sadly this is the third time Given has ended up with a runners up medal, having previously reached the final twice with Newcastle in the 90s. The manager Tim Sherwood said: “I felt sick. We were outplayed by a far better team today. We are sorry we could not give the fans anything to cheer about today.”
Back to Arsenal and once again Wenger has proved his critics and some of his disgruntled fans wrong by not only getting them into the Champions league for the 18th time in succession but he has now won back to back trophies for them when most thought he would never win another for them. All he needs now is a few more signings and they might even challenge for the title next season.
Wenger said: “It is a good platform to do better next season.”