FA Cup Breakers – Match Report

FA Cup Breakers - Match Report

Whoa! I’m still buzzing over the FA Cup victory this Sunday morning, what an exciting match it was at Wembley. From kick-off down to the final whistle, I was filled with excitement and that excitement grew larger watching my beloved Arsenal write their name in the FA Cup history, and Arsene Wenger making history as the most decorated manager in the competition.
I’d like to formally apologise to Arsene Wenger for all the slurs he’s received all season by fans of this great club during our horrid time. Knowing the cup final at Wembley could possibly be his last game as an Arsenal manager makes me teary writing this. Whichever way we decide to look at it, it’s quite unbearable to think of Arsenal and not think of Arsene Wenger. Thank you, Arsene for all the memories you’ve created at Arsenal, regardless of how the meeting with the board turns out on Wednesday.
The Gunners went into the final with 3 senior defenders out of the clash, leaving just Per Mertesacker as the only senior centre back who hasn’t played 90 minutes all season and promising defender Rob Holding who were both exceptional in this match. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain started at LWB position with Hector Bellerin starting at the opposite; while Nacho Monreal completed the back three.
Things got heated up as early as the 4th minute when Alexis Sanchez was controversially awarded a goal, with suspicion of handball and offside. It was perhaps a tough call for Anthony Taylor and his assistant to reward the goal to Sanchez but it would’ve been a hard one not to award the goal.
The Gunners were up for the match and didn’t look to get bullied by Chelsea; Rob Holding was involved in a tussle with Diego Costa, with the young fearless defender matching the standards of Diego Costa. Rob Holding has been a revelation in his first season and deserves all the praise he’s been getting. Such a wonderful player.
It could’ve been 2-0 in just 15 minutes when Mesut Ozil saw his effort cleared off the line by Gary Cahill, and 3-0 in the 19th minute of the match when Danny Welbeck’s header came off the bar from a Mesut Ozil corner kick but Aaron Ramsey reacted late to the rebound.
Arsenal were certainly no pushovers in this match as they dominated Chelsea in the first 45 minutes, putting the Champions under immense pressure and dealing with the attacks and threats of their opposition.
The second half would witness Chelsea gain some momentum in the match, engaging in some attacking moves. Earlier this season I criticised Ozil of not being able to slide tackle a player and the German proved me wrong with a perfectly timed tackle on Eden Hazard, which was a beauty to behold.
Anthony Taylor would have yet another big decision to make in the match in the 67th minute when Victor Moses was booked for simulation. Anthony Taylor showed the Nigerian his second yellow card of the game, resulting in a red card and so Chelsea had to finish the match with a man less.
No other but Diego Costa would eventually reward Chelsea with a goal in the 76th minute. I dislike Costa’s on-pitch antics but can’t help but admire his striking prowess. Willian looped a cross into the Arsenal box that was perfectly brought down by the chest of Diego Costa, who struck the ball into the net of David Ospina with a bit of deflection to it.
We would eventually increase our lead two minutes after the equaliser by none other than Aaron Ramsey. Substitute Oliver Giroud latched onto an Alexis Sanchez pass with only his first touch coming into the match. Oliver Giroud provided an assist for the Welshman, just like the two combined in the 2013/2014 Fa Cup final but this time heading the ball to the Chelsea goal.
David Ospina was influential for the Gunners in this match in what could possibly seem like his last match for Arsenal, with reports suggesting he could be heading to Fenerbahçe in the summer. With five minutes to go, he made a wonderful save to stop Diego Costa from getting yet another goal.
Mesut Ozil had the chance to kill off the game in the closing minutes of the match; the German would feel quite unfortunate not to get a goal in this match. He broke clear of the Chelsea defence on a counter attack and easily displaced Chelsea’s César Azpilicueta, only to watch his effort hit the post.
That didn’t matter much as Anthony Taylor brought the match to an end, with roars rolling out from the Arsenal players and supports as everyone connected to the club was delighted with the performance and winning the trophy.
What many would call a disappointing season for Arsenal finished with a piece of silverware for the Gunners. While there might still be growing concerns over the future of key players, it was great to see the players, backroom staff, fans and manager end this horrid season on a high note.

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