1 - 0 Theo Walcott 40'
2 - 0 Alexis Sanchez 50'
3 - 0 Per Mertesacker 62'
4 - 0 Olivier Giroud 90+3'
Arsenal defeated Aston Villa today by a final score of 4-0 to retain the FA Cup at Wembley Stadium. Goals from Theo Walcott, Alexis Sanchez, and Per Mertesacker saw off the pressing, high-line Villans, and Arsenal now have won the FA Cup more times than any other club in history.
There was a certain school of thought that said that the game might be stretched, and that certainly was the case from kickoff, as Tim Sherwood elected to play a higher line, which in combination with Arsenal's quick counterattacking lead to a lot of chances, the vast majority for Arsenal. The Gunners produced a large number of chances early on, but some excellent goalkeeping from Shay Given denied Santi Cazorla, and Kieran Richardson cleared off the line from a Walcott sidefoot. For a while, the first half looked like the stereotypical Arsenal: lots of good chances, no end product, the last pass lacking.
But Walcott, whose possible selection was a big storyline pre-match, finally found a way through. Chosen to play up top, it was his rove out to the left that Francis Coquelin (!!) spotted, and as he combined with Santi and moved inside, Alexis Sanchez's header fell towards the 18, and Walcott popped up to smash it in at the near post with his left foot from 15 yards.
Going into the half up 1-0, Arsenal could be proud of how they'd played, but Villa came out for the 2nd half and put #TheFear into the Gunners for a moment. That moment came and went, though, in the 50th minute, when Alexis cut inside onto his right foot, and from
18 [sorry, more like 25] yards simply destroyed a shot past Given in off the crossbar. A terrific strike, and Villa's momentum was shattered. Arsenal came back into the ascendancy. Winning a corner twelve minutes later, Per Mertesacker lost Christian Benteke, finding two yards of space to head in past Given, and it was 3-0.
Villa made some substitutions, and should probably have had at least one penalty and a free kick in the closing stages, but referee Jonathan Moss was really not up to it (in any way). Arsenal were to retain their FA Cup in style.