Arsenal held out to beat Chelsea 2-1 in the FA Cup final at Wembley with an Aaron Ramsey winner in the second half. The winner arrived seconds after Chelsea equalised through Diego Costa’s equaliser to cancel out Alexis Sanchez’s first half goal that was marred in controversy. With the win, Arsenal have won a record 13th FA Cup and seventh under Arsene Wenger. Wenger has now become the most successful manager in FA Cup history.
Chelsea were reduced to ten men when Arsenal led 1-0 in the second half after Victor Moses picked up a second booking for simulation in the penalty area.
Arsenal had taken the lead in controversial fashion after just minute when Alexis slotted the ball past Chelsea keeper Thibaut Courtois even as Ramsey stood in an offside position in the box. Ramsey however did not touch the ball and after discussions between referee the linesman, who had the flag up, the goal stood.
Arsenal could have added to their advantage in the first half with plenty of chances going their way. Best of the lot was when Danny Welbeck struck the post with a header.
Chelsea started the second half the better of the two teams with Moses testing David Ospina. But the Nigerian earned himself a second booking on the 68th minute for diving in the penalty area to make matters worse for a chasing Blues.
Costa got Chelsea back into the game with 14 minutes remaining. The Spaniard controlled a chipped cross into the area and found half a yard to beat the defenders and Ospina at the near post. However, Chelsea’s celebrations were shortlived when Ramsey headed in an Olivier Giroud ball into the area. The Welshman had also scored the winning goal in the 2014 Cup final against Hull.
Wenger opted to start with Per Mertesacker who made his first start of the season and his first appearance in 392 days. The Frenchman was hard placed with major selection issues as Laurent Koscielny was suspended and both Shkodran Mustafi and Gabriel were injured. And the German defender put in a solid shift to keep Costa quiet and Chelsea fighting for space.
In the process, Chelsea failed to gain revenge for the 2002 FA Cup final which Arsenal had won 2-0. It also denied Antonio Conte’s side a double and the result ends Chelsea’s run of four straight final victories.