Friends, the FA Cup final is on Saturday. Arsenal have the opportunity to win their record 13th Cup, but standing in their way is a fearsome opponent: Premier League winners Chelsea and their icy, terrifying Bond Villain* manager Antonio Conte.
(* Antonio Conte is not a villain. He’s also not in James Bond films. We regret the error, and those responsible have been sacked).
In anticipation of Saturday’s match, and to get you hell of fired up, we here at The Short Fuse have brought together EVERY cup-winning goal by Arsenal over the years (well, just about, as you’ll see). We cannot think of a better way to get ready for Saturday, and hopefully Arsenal can pull off the upset and take home the trophy yet again.
So, without further ado, here are the goals:
1930, Alex James (sort of).
This one is a bit hard to make out, but Alex James poked home the winner against Huddersfield to inaugurate Arsenal’s first Golden Age:
1936, Ted Drake (really sort of!).
This one is even harder to make out, as the video explains: no cameras were allowed in the 1936 final. So Pathe relied on a bit of humor to try to get the point across:
1950, Reg Lewis.
With an effort not even Winston Churchill could stop:
And now onto the really iconic ones:
1971, Charlie George.
In 1971, Arsenal were in the doldrums. They hadn’t won a thing in two decades, Liverpool were in the ascendancy, but Bertie Mee’s side had shown fight to win the league, and were trying to win the double. Things were tight until Charlie George, who’s still a club ambassador today, scored quite possibly the most well-known goal in Arsenal’s history:
1979, Alan Sunderland.
Arsenal had eased to a 2-0 lead and seemed to be sailing home with the cup in 1979. But then things got a little out of pocket. Manchester United stormed back with two goals in 86’ and 88’, which was already breathtaking enough. Arsenal were reeling, but then, in a matter of seconds, Alan Sunderland popped up with a winner to cap off maybe the best three minutes in FA Cup history:
1993, Andy Linighan.
Back in the day, if you didn’t win the first match outright, there weren’t penalties. Everyone got back together again for a replay. Arsenal and Sheffield Wednesday couldn’t overcome each other in the first match, ending 1-1, so they got together again. Ian Wright, who’d scored Arsenal’s goal in the first match, scored again, but it would take a little more. Would it be Wright? Would it be Merson? Tony Adams? No? Up stepped little-known Andy Linighan to win 2-1 in the replay:
1998, Marc Overmars.
A classic speed rush and finish from Overmars, with help from Emmnanuel Petit:
2003, Robert Pires.
An otherwise slow-ish final, but Super Bob in the right place:
The 2005 final is considered an anti-classic of anti-football. Arsenal, injured and beaten up, had to switch to a little-used 4-5-1 to try to battle United. They gamely did so. It wasn’t pretty, and it took pennos. So, here is the entire shootout, won by Patrick Vieira:
2014, Aaron Ramsey.
The moment that ended the trophy drought would come courtesy of Olivier Giroud’s hilarious backheel, a goal that Arsenal needed to overcome a sprightly Hull City (who’d put the Fright into the Gunners by going up 2-0 early):
2015, everyone, because they’re all nice.
Especially Alexis Sanchez, my word:
2002, it’s only Ray Parlour (plus the second from Freddie Ljungberg).
Of course, there’s one last one, and it’s the most relevant. Chelsea fan and TV presenter Tim Lovejoy, doing fan commentary, shortly before the cup winner was scored, famously put down Romford’s Famous Son, saying “it’s only Ray Parlour,” before the man did a madness:
Let’s hope for more on Saturday.
What do you think? Which is your favorite?