Arsenal retained their grip on the FA Cup trophy on Saturday, and in doing to became the most successful club in the competition’s history.
The Gunners ended a nine-year wait for silverware last May when they came from 2-0 down to defeat Hull City 3-2 at Wembley, and this year were paired with Aston Villa in the showpiece final. This time round it wasn’t nearly as close a call, as Arsene Wenger’s side dominated throughout proceedings and left the field having comfortably beaten their opponents 4-0.
Theo Walcott opened the scoring with a left-foot volley five minutes before break, and the lead was doubled after a similar length of time into the second-half when Alexis Sanchez scored one of the great cup final goals from 30 yards. Per Mertesacker added a third just past the hour mark, before substitute Olivier Giroud wrapped up the win in the final minute of the match.
This was Arsenal’s 12th success FA Cup success, putting them one ahead of Manchester United. They first got their hands on the trophy in 1930, and repeated this feat in 1936, 1950, 1971, 1979. 1993, 1998, 2002, 2003, 2005 and last year, before their latest victory. Arsene Wenger has been at the helm for six of these, making him the most successful coach in the competition.
But it is the Premier League trophy which interests the supporters of the capital club most of all, having not been crowned champions since their invincible season of 2003/04. Having finished third this season there are certainly signs that the Gunners are improving, and Wenger will look to add more quality to his squad in the summer ahead of a genuine title at Chelsea’s crown next term.
“We will see what’s going on in the transfer market,” he said. “We have some time now to prepare because we don’t play a qualifier in the [UEFA] Champions League. Let’s show we can be intelligent during the summer. Of course we can push on. Why not? We have won the league in the past when we had the potential to do it and that’s what we want to do again.”