Arsene Wenger secured his record seventh English FA Cup final victory as Arsenal produced a magnificent display to win a Wembley thriller against 10-man Chelsea as Victor Moses was given a matching order because of a suspected dive which earned him a second yellow card.
Alexis Sanchez gave Arsenal the lead in contentious fashion after only four minutes, when referee Anthony Taylor overruled his assistant after he had flagged for offside against Aaron Ramsey.
The Premier League champions also claimed Sanchez handled in the build-up. And their task became even harder when Victor Moses was correctly sent off by Taylor in the second half after receiving a second yellow card for diving.
Diego Costa revived Chelsea’s hopes of a repeat of their league and FA Cup double in 2010 when Arsenal keeper David Ospina failed to keep out his deflected shot with 14 minutes left.
Arsenal, outstanding throughout, refused to be denied and were back in front inside three minutes when Ramsey, who scored the FA Cup final winner against Hull City in 2014, did it again with a header from substitute Olivier Giroud’s cross.
Wenger pumped his fists in delight at the final whistle, as a season that has brought so much criticism for the 67-year-old ended in Wembley glory with a record 13th FA Cup win for the Gunners – and a record seventh for the Frenchman.
Super Sanchez – the stats
- Arsenal have beaten Chelsea twice in a season [in all competitions] for the first time since 2003-04.
- Per Mertesacker started his first game for Arsenal since 30 April 2016 [against Norwich], 392 days ago.
- At three minutes 49 seconds, Alexis Sanchez’s opening goal was Arsenal’s fastest ever in an FA Cup final.
- Sanchez has scored in five successive games for Arsenal in all competitions for the first time.
- The Chilean has been directly involved in 45 goals in 51 appearances for Arsenal this season [30 goals, 15 assists].
- Victor Moses is the fifth player to be sent off in an FA Cup final after Chris Smalling [Manchester United in 2016], Pablo Zabaleta [Manchester City in 2013], Jose Antonio Reyes [Arsenal in 2005], Kevin Moran [Manchester United in 1985].
- Diego Costa netted his 22nd goal of the season for Chelsea in all competitions – his best-ever return in a single campaign for the Blues.
- Olivier Giroud has had a hand in four goals in his past four games for Arsenal in all competitions [three goals, one assist].
- Possession Home52% Away48%
- Shots Home 16 Away18
- Shots on Target Home 6 Away 5
- Corners Home 7 Away5
- Fouls Home15 Away11