Arsene Wenger won his seventh FA Cup as Arsenal defeated Chelsea 2-1 at Wembley. The Gunners’ win comes after a tumultuous season at the Emirates that saw supporter unrest and chief executive Ivan Gazidis call for a structural shake-up.
Although Arsenal missed out on Champions League qualification, the FA Cup should be seen as another major coup for the club. The Gunners have now won three FA Cup Finals in the last four years. The club is still one of the powerhouses of English football, and compared to North London rivals Tottenham, Manchester City and Liverpool, the Gunners are the only top five team – other than Chelsea – to secure silverware this season.
While Alexis Sanchez’s opening goal was controversial, the Gunners were the dominant team in the first 45 minutes. Danny Welbeck and Aaron Ramsey both hit the woodwork in the 18th minute, and Chelsea’s rock solid defence, looked anything but steady during the first period.
Chelsea improved after the the break as Diego Costa levelled things on 76 minutes. But Ramsey popped up just after the restart, beating David Luiz to a deflected cross in the box to head home the winner. It was almost as if Chelsea’s defence took Arsenal too lightly, and didn’t give the likes of Welbeck or Olivier Giroud the respect they deserved.
Key match stats:
- Arsenal 52.3% possession, 47.7% possession Chelsea
- Arsenal 6 shots on target, Chelsea 5 shots on target
- Arsenal 3 times hit the woodwork
- Chelsea 13 key passes
Arsenal’s fans have been incredibly fickle over the last few years. While they have constantly criticised Wenger and what the team have done in both the Premier League and the Champions League, he has continued to mastermind domestic glory with the FA Cup. There is no guarantee Wenger’s replacement, if he does leave, would be able to get the club into the top four on the first time of asking. Yes, Arsenal is a much sought after position, but the team does need to spend to contend. Would the club’s owners open the purse, or has the criticism Wenger has received after more due for the board?
Key player stats: Aaron Ramsey
- 3 shots, 1 on target
- 95% pass success rate, 39 of 41 passes attempted
- 3 successful tackles of 6 attempted
- 1 time hit woodwork
Now that the FA Cup has been won, everyone will wait for Arsene Wenger to either confirm his place for next season with Arsenal or to leave. After winning his seventh FA Cup, is there any reason he would want to step down now?