FA Cup Final
Arsenal 4 Aston Villa 0
( Walcott 40, Sanchez 50, Mertersacker 62, Giroud 90 )

Arsenal produced one of the most memorable of displays ever seen in an FA Cup Final, thrashing Aston Villa 4-0 at Wembley stadium to win back to back FA Cups. Given the nod over Olivier Giroud, Theo Walcott justified his start when he gave Arsenal the lead shortly before the break. Alexis Sanchez thumped in an absolute stunner from 25 yards out to double the Gunners’ lead. It was as breathtaking as it was spectacular. Per Mertersacker headed in a third past the hour mark with Giroud coming off the bench to whip in a Gunners’ fourth in time added on to seal a stylish performance on an afternoon which will live long in the memory of Arsene Wenger’s side. The Gunners boss has now won a record 6th FA Cup, with Arsenal now leading the way with a record breaking 12 overall wins of the famous trophy.

Arsenal had been at this juncture before, and the big game experience and the big win on the big stage had been safely put away in the mental locker of this Gunners side who went at Villa from the off. No going behind due to nerves as had been the case last year against Hull, this was their fifth Wembley outing since last year’s semi final and Arsenal knew what they had to do.

Alexis loves the big stage and his double strike against Reading in the semi-final had the Chilean hungry for more and boy would he feast later on. After eight minutes, Alexis fed Cazorla and his shot panicked Villa as Ron Vlaar stuck out a leg to almost score an own goal. This time it was just a corner conceded.

Villa knew that they would cede possession to an Arsenal game full of neat intricate passes and off the ball runs which pulled the Midlanders all over the huge Wembley surface. Alexis sent over a cross which Laurent Koscielny got a head to despite the attentions of Christian Benteke, but the direction was just off target.

Hector Bellerin has been a right back revelation this season and his energy and strength to cross got the better of Kieran Richardson, Aaron Ramsey got his foot to the cross but guided it just past Shay Given’s upright after 16 minutes. Given’s reflex save from Koscielny’s header after more good work from Sanchez kept the Gunners at bay.

Now it was Mesut Özil who fed Ramsey. The Welshman was in on goal and had Walcott alongside him. Ramsey however hit the ball well, but guided it just off target with Given beaten. A let off for Villa, but their luck would not hold out.

Walcott was beginning to enjoy his central role and saw a shot which was destined for the back of the Vila net, that is until Kieran Richardson blocked the ball off the line.

Villa had no answer to wave after wave of yellow shirted Arsenal attacks. Given had denied Koscileny with an excellent reflex save and when Özil and Walcott set up Ramsey, Given held once again.

Cementing his defensive midfield role, Francis Coquelin ensured that any Villa break would be nullified. Five minutes before the break and Coqulein sprayed a pass to Nacho Monreal out on the left. Walcott had switched to leave Alexis centrally positioned.

The England striker took the pass from Monreal, returned it and ventured a more central path. Monreal’s cross was headed back across the Villa goal, which Walcott was alert to, meeting the ball with his left boot to beat Given at his near post. The Arsenal fans produced one of the most loudly celebrated goals at the home of English football.

Five minutes after the restart and it was a privilege to witness what was about to happen. Ozil fed Walcott. He ran with the ball but got caught in claret and blue traffic. Alexis was up with the action and took over. From a full 25 yards, the Arsenal striker glanced up before letting fly with a viciously dipping shot and with some venom. The only thing that Given could do was to admire the ball as it beat him to double the Arsenal advantage.

The Gunners went for the Villa jugular. Walcott was denied by an excellent reflex save from Given, but the flag had gone up for offside despite Alexis ‘ scoring ‘ the rebound.

Given and his defence were being overrun. Cazorla exchanged passes before being set up by Bellerin but saw his low shot saved. Ramsey had a shout for a penalty from a Alan Hutton hand ball. That and two later appeals from Villa when substitute Gabriel Agbonlahor and Jack Grealish had shouts were all turned down by referee Jon Moss.

Arsenal won a corner which Cazorla swung over. Mertersacker managed to lose Benteke and jump unchallenged to head beyond Given for. 3-0 scoreline after 62 minutes.

Villa were unable to cope with the level of the Arsenal game. Had this been a boxing match, it would have been long called off to save the side in claret and blue any further injury. But this was Arsenal at their rampant best.

Ozil fed Ramsey, and he put the ball over the the top to Walcott. This time however the England man placed his shot wide with only Given in his sights after 76 minutes.

That was his last taste of Wembley action as he savoured the deserved applause to make way for Giroud. Ozil also made way for Jack Wilshere. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain came on for Alexis in time added on as Arsenal prepared to receive their trophy. Still time however to get a fourth as two Gunners’ substitutes combined.

Oxlade-Chamberlain whipped over a ball which Giroud anticipated perfectly to clip in an instinctive shot to neat Given low at his near post for 4-0.

At the final whistle, it was pure delight from a sunbathed Arsenal end, the fans and their yellow shifted heroes. Not since the 1979 FA Cup Final win over Manchester United had an Arsenal side prevailed in the famous yellow strip, which they last wore in the 2006 Champions League Final in Paris. They lay that particular ghost to rest here and were all smiles in celebration and the lifting of the FA Cup for a record 12th time.