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FA Cup final 2017: Chelsea 1-2 Arsenal

Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal defeat Chelsea in thrilling FA Cup Final

England Premier League fifth place Arsenal earned a well-deserved trophy after the defeated first place Chelsea 2-1 in a thrilling FA Cup played on Saturday at Wembley Stadium in London before a sold crowd of fans that surely got their money’s worth for the price of their coveted match tickets. Chelsea finish the EPL 2016-17 season as champions with 93 points, Tottenham Hotspur were runners up with 86 points. Manchester City came in third with 78 points and Liverpool was fourth with 76 points. Arsenal with one point less came in fifth with 75 points, meaning the Gunners barely missed out on a spot in the prestigious UEFA Champions League tournament next season. After being criticized for his performance as Arsenal manager this season, Arsene Wenger became the most successful FA Cup boss in history.

To celebrate his well-deserved victory, Arsene Wenger lifted the coveted FA Cup trophy for the seventh time, beating the record he currently holds jointly with Aston Villa legend George Ramsay. Before the match Wenger talked to the press. “The lack of respect has been for me a disgrace, and I will never accept that. There is a difference between being criticized and being treated in a way in which human beings don’t deserve to be treated. Whatever the outcome today, the post-match press conferences will be worth a listen, I’ll be bound. We have worked hard to get here, and we want to win the competition. Last night we lost Kieran Gibbs who went home sick, so the decision to name the team was not so difficult as we do not have too many defenders left,” said Wenger. “I believe that 99 percent of the Arsenal fans are fantastic people who stand behind the team, and you want to play for them.”

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte, who won the Premier League in his debut season with the Blues commented on the FA Cup clash before the match. “I think in this type of game it is very difficult to tell if there is a favorite. For the motivation, Arsenal could have something more than us. But we have been working very hard on our mentality. I am sure my players want to do this. It is very important to keep our concentration because when you win the league in this way, the possibility to be a bit relaxed is there,” said Conte. “This week we have worked on this aspect. This is my first final in England and I am enjoying it. There is a lot of excitement, but also concentration because we are here to win.”

Arsenal captain Laurent Koscielny held up the FA Cup with Per Mertesacker in celebration after the win. The ticker tape came down, as Wenger’s side took their turn in lifting the trophy. Antonio Conte still hasn’t won a final as manager and his side did not exactly show up looking outplayed by the determined and focused Gunners. “It’s been an up-and-down season, but to finish it with an FA Cup has to make it a successful one. I just love this competition. The boys deserve it, and I’m happy for the manager, I’m delighted. He’s been fantastic for me, fantastic for these players. Fair play to him, he’s changed the system and it’s paid off. So hopefully he’ll be here next season because we owe him a lot.”

Match Report

FA Cup Final 2017 - Chelsea 1-2 Arsenal

Arsenal goals: Alexis Sanchez (4’min); Aaron Ramsey (79’min)

Chelsea goals: Moses (Disqualified 68’min); Diego Costa (76’min)

In a magnificent performance by Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal side, Alexis Sanchez opened the scoring for Arsenal giving the Gunners the lead against Chelsea, and Aaron Ramsey sealed the victory after Diego Costa's equalizer in the thrilling FA Cup clash on Saturday at Wembley. Diego Costa netted his 22nd goal of the season for Chelsea in all competitions in his best-ever return in a single campaign for the Blues. At three minutes 49 seconds, Chilean Alexis Sanchez's opening goal was Arsenal's fastest ever in an FA Cup Final. Sanchez has scored in 5 games in a row for the Gunners in all competitions for the first time. Sanchez has been directly involved in 45 goals in 51 appearances for Arsenal this season (30 goals, 15 assists).

Gunners manager Arsene Wenger began his celebration at the final whistle, after a hard-fought season that brought so much criticism for the 67-year-old ended at Wembley with historic silverware and FA Cup glory with a record 13th FA Cup win for Arsenal - and a record 7th FA Cup victory for Wenger. "We had an outstanding performance from the first minute onwards. This team has suffered. They've united and responded. They showed strength and unity and played spectacular football today,” said Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger. "I'm proud to have won seven of these cups. I'm proud having done this - winning the championship without losing and winning seven FA Cups." Chelsea manager Antionio Conte had some blunt comments after his side’s loss to Arsenal. "I think the first goal was very strange. The first half we didn't start well, we didn't have the right approach and we suffered in first 25 minutes. We started to play better in the second half and the red card was decisive,” said Chelsea manager Antonio Conte. "There is a disappointment for the final result but it can happen, and there was a lot of pressure. Victor Moses has been good and played an important season. Our season was incredible to win the league in this way, it was great but now it's important to look forward and to restart"

John Terry who has won five Premier League titles, five FA Cups, three League Cups, one Champions League and one Europa League with Chelsea was on the bench as an unplayed substitute in Saturday's 2-1 FA Cup final defeat to Arsenal at Wembley. Defender Terry says he has not made up his mind whether to retire completely from playing and "needs a good week away to reflect" before making a decision.” Thirty-six-year-old Terry is leaving the Blues this summer after more than twenty years at Stamford Bridge. Swansea, West Bromwich, and Bournemouth have been linked with interest in the former England captain, in addition to the option to move to China or the United States. "I've got options but nothing sorted or in stone," said Terry. "Everyone keeps asking me and no-one believes me when I say that I've not got anything sorted."

Terry who has made 717 appearances for Chelsea and is a five-time Premier League title winner with the London club and has won the Champions League and Europa League, as well as five FA Cups and three League Cups is keen to become a manager once he stops playing. "I think I've got too much to give and I've learned too much not to pass that on," he added. "I do want to be a manager, said Terry". Veteran Gunners boss Arsene Wenger secured his record seventh FA Cup final win as Arsenal impressed with a magnificent display to win an FA Cup thriller against 10-man Chelsea. Arsenal superstar striker Alexis Sanchez gave Arsenal the lead in after only four minutes when referee Anthony Taylor overruled his assistant who had flagged for handball against Sanchez and/or offside against Aaron Ramsey. Premier League champions Chelsea also claimed Sanchez handled the ball in his approach. Victor Moses was correctly sent off by Taylor in the second half after receiving a red card for diving. Diego Costa gave Chelsea renewed hope of a repeat of their Premier League and FA Cup double in 2010 when he scored past Arsenal keeper David Ospina with 14 minutes left.

A focused and determined Arsenal were back in front in three minutes when Aaron Ramsey, who scored the FA Cup final winner against Hull City in 2014, scored the 2017 winner, a header from sub Olivier Giroud's cross. Arsene Wenger led his men through a tough season for the players and fans, but they ended with their best display of their 2016-17 campaign. Arsenal defender Rob Holding, Danny Welbeck, Gary Cahill, and Per Mertesacker were key to Arsenal’s win along with Mesut Ozil. Wenger described the treatment he received this season as "a disgrace" he will "never forget." A decision is still pending on Wenger's future after the Gunners failed to qualify for the Champions League for the first time in 20 years.

Arsenal appeared more aggressive and more creative than Chelsea as they responded by when Chelsea, reduced to 10 men after Moses' sending off, were gifted an equalizer from Diego Costa in the 76th minute. Wenger clearly showed that he can still win the big trophies and still get his Arsenal side to produce the big performance. Man of the match Per Mertesacker made his first start of the season. Wenger called veteran German defender Mertesacker into action and the 32-year-old responded with a masterclass performance. The Gunners were without suspended Laurent Koscielny, injured Gabriel, and Shkodran Mustafi, out from concussion.Mertesacker was able to subdue Costa. Chelsea went into the FA Cup as favorites to win the league and cup double, however, key footballers including Eden Hazard and N'Golo Kante were unable to exert their usual influence.

Anthony Taylor was refereeing in his first FA Cup final, In his FA Cup debut, he overruled his linesman for Sanchez's opening goal after the offside flag had been raised, although Chelsea were left nursing a serious sense of injustice as they believed Chilean Sanchez had handled. And Taylor got his second decision right, giving a second yellow card to Moses as he clearly dived. Arsenal have beaten Chelsea twice in a season in all competitions for the first time since 2003-04.

FA Cup 2017 Squads

Arsenal

Ospina, Holding, Mertesacker, Monreal, Bellerin, Ramsey, Xhaka, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Sanchez, Ozil, Welbeck. Subs: Lucas Perez, Giroud, Walcott, Iwobi, Cech, Coquelin, Elneny.

Chelsea

Courtois, Azpilicueta, Luiz, Cahill, Moses, Kante, Matic, Alonso, Pedro, Costa, Hazard. Subs: Begovic, Fabregas, Zouma, Ake, Willian, Batshuayi, Terry.

Referee: Anthony Taylor (Cheshire).

Chelsea and Arsenal meet again in the exciting Community Shield on Sunday, 6 August, before the start of the 2017-18 season. Buy legal, authentic, guaranteed Community Shield tickets, Chelsea tickets, and Arsenal tickets from 1st4FootballTickets.com!

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