The FA Cup - Final
ArsenalArsenal4Aston VillaAston Villa0

Arsenal 4-0 Aston Villa

By Phil McNultyChief football writer
Watch Highlights of Arsenal victory in FA Cup final
  • Arsenal win a record 12th FA Cup
  • Gunners retain trophy for second time
  • Sanchez second Chilean to score in final
  • First team to win by more than one since 2004

Arsenal became the most successful club in FA Cup history as they outclassed Aston Villa at Wembley to earn Arsene Wenger a record-equalling sixth triumph.

The Gunners retained the trophy they won against Hull City a year ago to put Wenger's total of wins alongside George Ramsay - who previously stood alone with the record for his victories with Villa between 1887 and 1920.

Arsenal's 12th final victory was never in doubt as they dominated with a magnificent display, the only surprise being that it took until five minutes before half-time for their control to be rewarded with Theo Walcott's goal.

Alexis Sanchez confirmed that superiority with one of the great FA Cup final goals shortly after the restart - a swerving, dipping 25-yard thunderbolt that flew high past startled Villa keeper Shay Given.

FA Cup final: Arsenal players target league title next

Villa were a shadow of the side that performed so impressively to beat Liverpool at Wembley in the semi-final, their flaws exposed ruthlessly as Per Mertesacker took advantage of an embarrassing lack of marking to head the third.

Substitute Olivier Giroud's fourth in the final moments only completed what was a harrowing day for Tim Sherwood's side, who had travelled to Wembley high on optimism and expectation after an impressive run to the final.

It was a day of triumph for Wenger, as he added another FA Cup to his three Premier League titles in a game that was a sharp contrast to the tension of last year's final, when the Gunners had to recover from two goals down.

And Wenger recorded a tactical victory over Villa counterpart Sherwood, with his decision to use the pace of Walcott to take on Villa's defence rather than the power of Giroud reaping rich rewards.

Sanchez's FA Cup final screamer

Sherwood's big selection call - to play Charles N'zogbia ahead of Gabriel Agbonlahor - never looked like working. By the time the latter was introduced, just after Arsenal had gone two up, the horse had bolted for a Villa team that simply never performed.

Arsenal's season can now be judged as a success, with the trophy adding to a third-placed finish in the Premier League that assured Champions League football again.

This was a day of unrelenting misery for Sherwood and his players - watched at Wembley by owner Randy Lerner, who was sitting next to Villa fan Prince William.

They will have to regard Premier League survival as their success this term, which was the main priority when the manager replaced Paul Lambert in February.

Villa ended the league season by being thrashed 6-1 at Southampton and losing at home to relegated Burnley and the ominous signs of those performances were flagged up once more as Arsenal's pace and mobility ran them ragged.

Goalkeeper Given showed great athleticism to save from Laurent Koscielny, and Kieran Richardson blocked crucially from Walcott as he looked certain to score.

Sherwood's thoughts on 4-0 loss to Arsenal in FA Cup final

Just as it looked as if Villa would somehow survive until half-time, Arsenal got the breakthrough they deserved, Walcott thumping a finish past Given at his near post after Sanchez headed down Nacho Monreal's cross.

Before Villa could regroup after half-time, Sanchez effectively settled the contest with a magical FA Cup final moment, sending a bullet finish high past Given with the keeper barely having time to react.

Villa, pretty much as they had looked from the first whistle, were shell-shocked and Mertesacker was allowed by Christian Benteke to rise unmarked and head in the third.

The formalities were completed with virtually the last kick of the game when Giroud turned in Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain's cross in front of a rapidly-emptying Villa end, with their supporters having had little more than a couple of half-hearted penalty appeals to sustain them.

Wenger took the applause of Arsenal's fans before the trophy was presented - the manager who has had so many doubters delivering his answer with another piece of silverware.

Theo Walcott
Theo Walcott has scored seven goals in seven starts for Arsenal this season
Aston Villa fans
The previous eight FA Cup finals at the new Wembley had been won by a one-goal margin
Alexis Sanchez
Alexis Sanchez became the second Chilean to score in an FA Cup final, after Newcastle's George Robledo in 1952
Per Mertesacker
Arsenal have scored 11 times against Villa this season and are yet to concede
Aston Villa have not won the FA Cup since 1957

Line-ups

Arsenal

  • 1Szczesny
  • 39Bellerin
  • 4Mertesacker
  • 6Koscielny
  • 18Monreal
  • 34Coquelin
  • 19Cazorla
  • 16Ramsey
  • 11ÖzilSubstituted forWilshereat 77'minutes
  • 17SánchezSubstituted forOxlade-Chamberlainat 90'minutes
  • 14WalcottSubstituted forGiroudat 77'minutes

Substitutes

  • 3Gibbs
  • 5Gabriel
  • 10Wilshere
  • 12Giroud
  • 13Ospina
  • 15Oxlade-Chamberlain
  • 20Flamini

Aston Villa

  • 31Given
  • 21HuttonBooked at 33mins
  • 5Okore
  • 4Vlaar
  • 18RichardsonSubstituted forBacunaat 68'minutes
  • 8CleverleyBooked at 14mins
  • 15WestwoodBooked at 52minsSubstituted forC Sánchezat 71'minutes
  • 16DelphBooked at 37mins
  • 28N'ZogbiaSubstituted forAgbonlahorat 53'minutesBooked at 83mins
  • 20Benteke
  • 40Grealish

Substitutes

  • 1Guzan
  • 2Baker
  • 7Bacuna
  • 9Sinclair
  • 11Agbonlahor
  • 12Cole
  • 24C Sánchez
Referee:
Jonathan Moss
Attendance:
89,283

Match Stats

Home TeamArsenalAway TeamAston Villa
Possession
Home57%
Away43%
Shots
Home16
Away2
Shots on Target
Home9
Away0
Corners
Home8
Away0
Fouls
Home9
Away15

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Arsenal 4, Aston Villa 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Arsenal 4, Aston Villa 0.

  3. Goal!

    Goal! Arsenal 4, Aston Villa 0. Olivier Giroud (Arsenal) left footed shot from the right side of the six yard box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain with a cross.

  4. Substitution

    Substitution, Arsenal. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain replaces Alexis Sánchez.

  5. Post update

    Francis Coquelin (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  6. Post update

    Foul by Gabriel Agbonlahor (Aston Villa).

  7. Post update

    Foul by Olivier Giroud (Arsenal).

  8. Post update

    Jores Okore (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  9. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Jack Grealish (Aston Villa) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Leandro Bacuna.

  10. Post update

    Foul by Alexis Sánchez (Arsenal).

  11. Post update

    Jores Okore (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  12. Post update

    Olivier Giroud (Arsenal) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  13. Post update

    Foul by Ron Vlaar (Aston Villa).

  14. Booking

    Gabriel Agbonlahor (Aston Villa) is shown the yellow card.

  15. Post update

    Alexis Sánchez (Arsenal) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  16. Post update

    Foul by Leandro Bacuna (Aston Villa).

  17. Substitution

    Substitution, Arsenal. Jack Wilshere replaces Mesut Özil.

  18. Substitution

    Substitution, Arsenal. Olivier Giroud replaces Theo Walcott.

  19. Post update

    Attempt missed. Theo Walcott (Arsenal) right footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Aaron Ramsey with a through ball following a fast break.

  20. Post update

    Foul by Mesut Özil (Arsenal).

Scores, Results & Fixtures

Saturday 30th May 2015

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