FA Cup Final: Arsenal beat 10-man Chelsea to win record 13th FA Cup

A controversial goal from Alexis Sanchez helped Arsenal deny rivals Chelsea a Premier League and Cup double, as the Gunners secured a 2-1 win over the Blues to lift a record 13th FA Cup.

After missing out on Champions League football for the first time in 20 years, Arsene Wenger ended a disappointing season on a high as the Frenchman lifted the FA Cup for a seventh time, the most of any other manager.

Alexis Sanchez’s controversial opener helped Arsenal beat Chelsea
image: rte.ie

It took just four minutes for Arsenal to take the lead against their London rivals at Wembley Stadium, but it did not come without controversy as Alexis Sanchez poked the ball into the far corner despite the linesman flagging for offside.

However, the offside flag was up for Aaron Ramsey who was in an offside position but he did not play the ball, allowing the Chilean to put Arsenal 1-0 up with his handball in the build up going unnoticed.

Arsenal almost doubled their lead moments later when Ozil’s angled strike slipped through Thibaut Courtois’ hands, but Blues captain Gary Cahill was on hand to clear the ball off the line.

Danny Welbeck also came close as his header hit the post from an Ozil corner kick, before Diego Costa went closest for a Chelsea equaliser in the first half, but David Ospina made a good save from close range.

Blues defender Cahill once again had to make a desperate clearance off the line just before half-time, as Courtois could only get a hand to Danny Welbeck’s angled strike at the near post.

PFA Player of the season N’Golo Kante also went close for Chelsea early in the second half, with his effort deflecting off Granit Xhaka and into the goalkeeper’s hands, while Per Mertesacker also made a great challenge to deny Costa through on goal.

Victor Moses saw his low strike palmed away by Ospina in the Arsenal goal, while Hector Bellerin ran into the box to pick up Welbeck’s cross only yo see Courtois et down low to deny the Spaniard.

Chelsea were beginning to find their stride after a disappointing first half but the Blues were then reduced to ten men after 68 minutes, when Victor Moses received a second yellow card for diving in the box trying to win a Chelsea penalty.

Despite being down to ten men, Chelsea did find an equaliser on 76 minutes as Costa chested down from Willian’s ball into the box and fired a powerful strike into the back of the net.

However, Arsenal would retake the lead just three minutes later when Aaron Ramsey – who also scored the winner in the 2014 FA Cup final – headed in from substitute Olivier Giroud’s cross.

Bellerin almost added a third for Arsenal soon after but steered his shot wide just past the far post, before Costa had a chance to nab a late Chelsea equaliser but his mis-hit effort was easily saved by Ospina.

Ozil also hit the post in injury time but the German would not rue his missed chance, as Arsenal held on for the victory over their rivals Chelsea and clinch a record-breaking 13th FA Cup.

Wenger has now become the most successful ever manager in the FA Cup, but speculation about the Frenchman’s future is still very much up in the air.

An announcement on his future is expected mid next week and even if this turned out to be Wenger’s final game in charge after 21 years with the club, at least he can go out on a high.

Arsenal have won the FA Cup in three of the past four seasons
image: football365.com

Saturday 27 May

Arsenal 2-1 Chelsea (Sanchez 4, Ramsey 79 | Costa 76, Moses s/o 68)

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