Record FA Cup wins for Arsenal
Written By: Robert Halter
Arsenal were aiming for a record thirteenth FA Cup Final triumph against Chelsea at Wembley Stadium on Saturday, May 27 and the Gunners made the perfect start in the fourth minute, as a poor headed clearance by David Luiz, was brought down on the chest by Alexis Sanchez, who raced clear and drilled the ball into the bottom right corner, who despite handling the ball, coupled with Aaron Ramsey being in an offside position, but he was adjudged not to be interfering with play, after referee Anthony Taylor consulted the linesman. In the seventh minute, the Blues got a free kick after Rob Holding held Diego Costa, and as Eden Hazard drifted the ball into the box, a header by Costa was put over the bar. Following a pull back by Danny Welbeck in the fourteenth minute, Sanchez bent a soaring strike over the upright. But two minutes later, Chelsea captain, Gary Cahill cleared the ball off the line, as the ball was lofted over Thibaut Courtois by Mesut Ozil, who had latched onto a pass from Sanchez. Then in the nineteenth minute from an Ozil corner, a goal bound header from Welbeck, was denied by the foot of the left post, past a despairing dive by Courtois, before Aaron Ramsey turned the ball outside the post at an acute close range angle. There was concern for Arsenal keeper, David Ospina, who got caught in the head by Costa’s trailing boot, but Ospina was soon back on his feet. But in just under the half hour mark, after Welbeck collected a pass from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, another goal line clearance was made by Cahill, as Welbeck squeezed the ball past Courtois. In the thirty second minute, following a foul on Welbeck by Cesar Azpilicueta, a free kick by Sanchez on the left was put back out by Cahill, and a low first time shot by Granit Xhaka, was kept out by Courtois with a reaction save to claw the ball away. On thirty nine minutes through an incisive pass by Hazard, the ball was blasted over by Pedro. After Nacho Monreal pushed Pedro in the back, a free kick from Marcos Alonso, was bent over the top, before half time took place. Four minutes into the second half, as the ball was pulled back by Costa, a snap shot from N’Golo Kante was clutched upon by Ospina. In the fifty first minute, from an assist by Costa, a low strike by Victor Moses on the right produced a sprawling save by Ospina. On fifty nine minutes, after being set up by Moses, the ball was bent past the far post by Pedro. The Blues made the first change of Nemanja Matic with Cesc Fabregas. In the sixty fifth minute, from a low cross by Welbeck, a well timed strike by Hector Bellerin, was prevented from going in through the agility of Courtois. But Chelsea were dealt a body blow, as Moses was sent off for diving in the box, having already been booked earlier for a foul on Welbeck. Another Blues change saw Pedro removed for Willian. But the ten men of Chelsea got back on level terms, when from Willian’s over the top delivery, Costa brought the down the ball on his chest, and drilled a strike into the bottom left corner on seventy six minutes. The Gunners then switched Welbeck with Olivier Giroud. But Arsenal restored their lead as Sanchez found Giroud down the left, whose cross was headed into the bottom right corner by Ramsey, three minutes later. After Willian was fouled by Xhaka, he took the free kick but Luiz blazed a header wide on eighty one minutes. Oxlade-Chamberlain was then removed for Francis Coquelin. On eighty four minutes, from a through ball by Ozil, charging through like a march hare, Bellerin drove the ball wide of the far post. But in the next two minutes, from Kante’s delivery and knock on by Hazard, a close range strike Costa was stopped on the line by Ospina. But Arsenal were then denied by the right post, as from Coquelin’s threaded pass, Ozil struck a low shot against the woodwork before the ball bounced off Courtois. Near the end, Michy Batshuayi replaced Costa before man of the match Sanchez was removed for Mohamed Elneny as Arsenal achieved a seventh FA Cup win for manager, Arsene Wenger.