Arsenal “Guns down” Aston Villa in 4-0 Victory at the FA Cup Finale!
by Shea Baldwin
Today at 11:30 a.m. Central American time, English football concluded the 2014-2015 season with the oldest cup competition in the world as Arsenal and Aston Villa faced off in the FA Cup final.
The Arsenal Gunners aimed to retain the famous trophy they won last season, while Villa looked to end their 19-year drought without winning any silverware. People poured into Wembley stadium before the match began, many were skeptical if the Arsenal fans could match the intensity of the Villa crowd. Villa, could be compared to the Cleveland Cavaliers of the NBA in some sense… it’s been a long time coming.
Aston Villa starting XI: Given, Hutton, Okore, Vlaar, Richardson, Cleverley, Westwood, Delph, N’Zogbia, Benteke, Grealish.
Arsenal starting XI: Szczesny, Bellerin, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal, Coquelin, Cazorla, Ramsey, Ozil, Sanchez, Walcott.
Early on it was a battle, Aston Villa having to do plenty of defending while trying to avoid any bookings. The first booking of the Cup final happened in the 15′ when Tom Cleverley is booked for a rather needless trip on Nacho Monreal. Arsenal could sense a goal coming soon with consistent chances and opportunities happening in their favor.
Finally at the 40′ mark, Arsenal scores a deserving goal. Theo Walcott moved out on the left, but it doesn’t stop him from scoring as he latched onto an Alexis Sanchez header across the goal, allowing the ball to bounce once before finding it’s home in the back of the net.
Arsenal just about had one hand on the trophy at the halftime mark. The Gunners should already be up about 4-0 with Villa having not even a shot on target. Villa’s midfield was getting swamped and Arsenal continued to put on the pressure, the only positive for Villa; is that they were only down 1-0.
Arsenal starts the half with same intensity showing no signs of letting up. At the 50′ mark, Alexis Sanchez cuts inside from the left before taking a couple of touches and fires an absolute missile down the center of Villa’s goal. The Irish keeper, Given, could of perhaps done a little better but he showed fatigue from all the stops in the first half. The score read 2-0 and it had looked like the goal had all but won Arsenal the FA Cup.
While Arsenal players continue to dominate the game, Villa’s manager, Tim Sherwood’s one change so far has done nothing to change the pattern of the game. Shot after shot against Villa gave announcers reason to say “Villa should forget the cup – they are playing for pride now.”
At the 62′ mark, the wind is taken out of the sail for Villa when the Gunners scored again. “It’s game over folks,” announcers said. Moments after Walcott is denied when racing in on goal, Per Mertesacker out-jumps Benteke and the Villa defense to head home from a corner.
Villa reacts in frustration receiving a yellow card for arguing with officials at the 82′ mark. It just wasn’t Villa’s day. The score read 3-0 but the Gunners still weren’t done, scoring in extra time at the 93′ mark. Olivier Giroud tucks home at the near post from Oxlade-Chamberlain cross.
A one-sided match to say the least, some could compare to Super Bowl XLVIII, when the Seattle Seahawks dominated the Broncos 43-8 in a highly anticipated match-up. The Aston Villa players and staff now have to perform one of the worst walks in football as they made their way up the Wembley steps to collect their runners-up medals from Prince William, Duke of Cambridge. Arsenal proudly holds the FA Cup trophy above their heads after winning a record 12th time at Wembley.
Photo: reuters, getty images, Andy Hooper.