FA Cup final: what we learned
Pointers to take from Wembley showpiece
Despite going in as underdogs, written off across the board by pundits, odds compilers and neutrals alike, Arsenal won the 2017 FA Cup, thanks to a pulsating 2-1 over Premier League champions Chelsea.
Saturday’s success means The Gunners have lifted the trophy in three of the last four years, beating Hull and Aston Villa, before wrecking The Blues’ dreams of a double. Sanchez and Ramsey were on the scoresheet and if manager Arsene Wenger does decide to now leave the club, he’ll do it on a high.
So, what can punters take from the day going forward? We look at three lessons learned from the FA Cup final…..
Wenger continues to break records
The majority of Arsenal fans want him out, but Arsene Wenger can do no more. Despite losing out on Champions League football this season, he has made The Gunners a regular feature in Europe’s premier competition. He’s also claimed the FA Cup as his own, and a look at the stats leading up to Saturday would’ve pushed them as the value bet. As well as winning three of the last four FA Cup titles – 2014, 2015 and 2017 – it was Arsenal’s 13th title overall.
That means they have now won the competition more times than any other side, Manchester United on 12, Spurs back on eight and Liverpool lagging behind on seven. What’s worth noting however is it was Wenger’s seventh FA Cup winners’ medal, making him the most successful manager in the history of the tournament. It gave the Frenchman a real chance to remind fans and critics just what they have to be grateful for.
Ramsey a big-game player
Aaron Ramsey isn’t the most consistent scorer in the Arsenal team, but he does save his best for the major events, and again rattled in an important goal on Saturday. Sanchez bagged with just four minutes on the clock but Chelsea worked their way back into the game, Diego Costa grabbing an equaliser deep into the second-half.
Will that be the Spaniard’s final goal in blue? 26-year-old Welshman Aaron Ramsey didn’t give it much thought, immediately going up the other end to score what turned out to be the match winner. The midfielder took his goal well, keeping cool to bullet home a dramatic header. He was impressive throughout, having a hand in the opener, before seeing a shot cannon back off the frame of the goal. Fans will remember he also scored an extra-time winner against Hull in 2014.
Chelsea aren’t the finished article
All the news pre-match was about the all-conquering might of Chelsea football club, with a double sealed before a ball had been kicked in some sections of the media. There’s absolutely no doubt the boys from the bridge are a strong side, and proved it over the course of their title winning season, but they now must turn their attentions to getting, at least, one proven scorer in during the summer.
Diego Costa nabbed the goal on Saturday that gave fans hope, but it’s believed he will be off during the transfer window, with the player having his heart set on a move away from London. That could be to the cash-rich Chinese Super League, or perhaps a major player on the Champions League scene, but one thing’s for sure, he must be replaced ASAP. Conte has his eye on a number of deadly assassins, including Everton’s Romelu Lukaku and Atletico Madrid’s Antoine Griezmann.