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Full-time: Arsenal 2-1 Chelsea

  • Arsenal move clear of Manchester United as the most successful club in FA Cup history as they win football's oldest competition for the 13th time courtesy of a thrilling victory over London rivals at Wembley
  • Alexis Sanchez nets controversial early opener that was initially ruled out for offside
  • Victor Moses sent off after receiving a second yellow card for simulation
  • Diego Costa equalises 14 minutes from time, with David Ospina failing to keep out his deflected shot
  • Aaron Ramsey quickly restores the lead by heading home a cross from substitute Olivier Giroud
  • Wenger, potentially taking charge of Arsenal for the final time, becomes the first manager ever to win the FA Cup on seven separate occasions
  • Premier League champions fail to secure a prestigious double in their first season under Antonio Conte as winning run in FA Cup finals ends at four
Arsenal win FA Cup

That's about all we have time for, thanks for following along. Goodbye for now.

Arsenal receive their medals and the famous old trophy is hoisted aloft.

Disappointment for Chelsea, but what a debut season they have enjoyed under Conte. Their future looks extremely bright with the passionate Italian steering the ship.

Wenger sidesteps questions over his future in a quick post-match interview with the BBC. Hardly surprising.

There is a board meeting coming on Tuesday and it seems that we can expect an announcement on either Wednesday or Thursday.

A memorable end to an otherwise disappointing season for Arsenal, who move clear of Manchester United to become the most successful team in FA Cup history.

A record 20th final appearance ends with their 13th triumph. That's now three FA Cup wins in just four seasons.

Wenger is also now the only manager ever to win seven FA Cups. Not a bad way to go out, if this is to be his final game.

It's another final to savour for Ramsey, who also netted an extra-time winner against Hull City back in 2014.

Arsenal win the FA Cup


Arsenal 2-1 Chelsea

Elneny botches the chance to add a third at the death, but it doesn't matter. Arsenal have done it.

Fabregas' attempted pass through to Cahill is overhit and trickles wide for a goal kick.

Wenger looks to run the clock down by replacing Sanchez with Mohamed Elneny. The Chilean, potentially making his last appearance in an Arsenal shirt, receives a standing ovation.


Ramsey's latest attempt is blocked and Ospina gratefully claims a poor cross from Luiz.

Four minutes of added time for Chelsea to find another goal that will send this exhilarating final into extra-time.


The oft-maligned German deceives Azpilicueta and sells Courtois the eyes before sending his effort against the post.

Agony for Arsenal.

Mertesacker, no doubt worried about conceding a penalty, allows Costa to shoot straight at Ospina from close range. That was a real chance.

Coquelin immediately receives a yellow card for the latest foul on Willian. Bellerin then showcases his trademark speed before firing the ball agonisingly wide of the far post.

What a goal that would have been to seal it.

Xhaka fouls Willian and picks up a yellow card. Luiz heads just wide from the ensuing free-kick.

Wenger sends on Francis Coquelin in place of Oxlade-Chamberlain.

What drama at Wembley.

Sanchez picks out Giroud and the Frenchman stands up a cross from the byline that is headed emphatically past Courtois by an unmarked Ramsey.

What a run from the Welshman and what an impact from Giroud.

Hector Bellerin and Aaron Ramsey

Goal: Arsenal 2-1 Chelsea (Aaron Ramsey)

Wenger responds to the equaliser by withdrawing Welbeck in favour of Olivier Giroud.

No, they cannot.

Holding gets too tight to Costa and the Spaniard produces a tame-looking shot that deflects off Mertesacker and beyond Ospina, who really should have kept it out.

The 10 men are level.

Diego Costa

Goal: Arsenal 1-1 Chelsea (Diego Costa)

Cahill sends a header well over the bar after Hazard's low cross is deflected behind for a corner.

15 minutes remaining for Chelsea to find an equaliser. Can Arsenal hold out?

Oxlade-Chamberlain appeals for a penalty close to the byline after clipping the ball against Cahill's forearm from close range. Nothing given.

Conte makes his second change, sending on Willian in place of Pedro.

Time is rapidly running out for Chelsea and their chances of completing a prestigious double.

Moses receives possession from Hazard on the right flank and takes a tumble in the box as he looks to cut inside Oxlade-Chamberlain.

Taylor judges it as a dive and awards Arsenal a free-kick before producing a second yellow card for the Nigerian international.

What a huge call that could turn out to be in the context of this match. It looked the correct decision at first glance.

Victor Moses

Red card: Victor Moses (Chelsea)

Arsenal break forward with pace and Welbeck's attempted left-wing cross deflects into the path of Bellerin, whose low drive is kept out by Courtois. Great goalkeeping.

Another timely intervention from Mertesacker stops Chelsea in their tracks. You have to doff your cap to the man.


Arsenal are beginning to edge forward once more. Welbeck is just unable to get across the front of Cahill.

Conte's first change of the afternoon sees former Gunners stalwart Cesc Fabregas, a 2005 FA Cup winner under Wenger, replace Matic.

Can he make the difference against his former side?

Two apiece now in terms of yellow cards. Kante arrives late in a challenge with Ramsey and promptly has his name taken.

60 minutes gone and it's still 1-0 to Arsenal.

Moses is booked for hauling down Welbeck. The wing-back later feeds the ball inside for Pedro, who takes a touch before bending a right-footed effort wide of the far post.

Holding brings down Costa and joins Ramsey in the book.

Chelsea fail to make anything of a free-kick and corner before Bellerin scampers down the other end and botches a valuable three-on-one opportunity.

Strong stop from Ospina to repel a low Moses shot that looked to take a little nick off Monreal.

Chelsea beginning to turn the screw at Wembley.

For all the concerns regarding Mertesacker's lack of first-team football this season and scarcity of experience playing in a back three, the German has been excellent so far.

Another perfectly-timed sliding challenge prevents Costa from turning Hazard's low pass towards goal.

Final touch came off Costa. Goal kick.

That's better from Chelsea. Pedro does well and Costa tees up Kante for a powerful strike that deflects off Xhaka and into the hands of Ospina.

You do wonder if Arsenal will live to regret not making more of that first-half dominance.

Pedro chances his arm twice in quick succession, but finds no way through Mertesacker and Holding.


The second half is upon us. No changes from either Wenger or Conte at the break.


Arsenal were wearing black armbands during that first half as a mark of respect to the victims of the Manchester terror attack.

The BBC now report that Chelsea do have theirs with them, but just completely forgot to put them on. They will wear them during the second half.

To go back to the goal, Sanchez's initial scooped pass was headed away by Luiz and the rebound then cannoned forward off the Chilean - possibly off his hand.

Ramsey, seemingly in an offside position, then moved towards the ball before leaving it for Sanchez to slot home.

A chance for everyone to catch their breath. We've been treated to quite the cup final so far.

Arsenal supporters will be wondering where on earth this team have been over recent months. Every single player looks up for it and they have bullied the Premier League champions at times.


Arsenal 1-0 Chelsea

Two minutes of added time signalled as Chelsea look to restore parity before the interval.

Monreal is penalised for a trip on Pedro. Alonso steps up to whip an effort well over the top.


Hazard rolls around in considerable discomfort after being scythed down by a sliding challenge from Ozil (yes, you read that correctly).

Taylor deems it fair and play continues. That did look like a foul, it must be said.

Another Chelsea free-kick goes begging as Costa is penalised for a push on Ramsey. Five minutes left to play in this engrossing first half.

One suspects that Conte is revving up the hairdryer in preparation for his half-time team talk.

Hazard breezes past Xhaka and slips in Pedro. The ball skips up slightly on the Spaniard, who blazes a shot over the crossbar.


Sanchez springs the offside trap and looks for the run of Welbeck, who makes arguably the wrong move and slips on his backside.

Trying to go it alone, the Chilean also stumbles and shoots straight at the legs of Cahill.

Costa wins Chelsea a free-kick, but a poor delivery from Pedro is comfortably gathered by Ospina.

Cesar Azpilicueta fouls Welbeck. Matic initially heads the free-kick clear and a sweetly-struck volley from Granit Xhaka is then diverted around the post by Courtois.

Chelsea come steaming forward on the break. My word is this hectic.


Sanchez leads Arsenal on a brisk counter and Cahill eventually has to make another pivotal intervention to ensure that Welbeck cannot double Arsenal's lead after a one-two with Hector Bellerin and a deflection off Moses.

Holding misjudges a sweeping long pass from Pedro and Costa forces an impressive point-blank save from Ospina.

The Colombian looks to have taken a blow to the face there and will need treatment. Maybe Cech will be required today after all.

PFA Player of the Year N'Golo Kante has endured an uncharacteristically poor start to this game and avoids a yellow card for a foul on Welbeck, who gives Arsenal a quick bit of breathing space.

Mertesacker makes a superb sliding challenge on Costa inside his own penalty area and a speculative effort from Victor Moses is easily blocked.

Still nothing doing for Chelsea, who are being largely dominated in midfield. A title-winning hangover, perhaps?

Marcos Alonso concedes the corner and Welbeck gets up above Costa to head against the post.

Ramsey sends the rebound back against the woodwork before the ball bounces wide.

How is this still 1-0?!

Mertesacker dispossesses Eden Hazard before the former and Monreal combine to block Costa's effort.

At the other end, Cahill clears off the line after a scuffed effort from Ozil. A crucial intervention from the Chelsea skipper, who stops his side from going 2-0 down early on.

Chelsea are at sixes and sevens.

Arsenal are still dominating the ball. Sanchez drills a long-range effort narrowly over the crossbar.

A nervy moment for Courtois as Chelsea struggle to establish any early rhythm. A typically flamboyant Conte is already down on the touchline, bellowing instructions at his players.

They need a wake-up call.

A fired-up Holding clashes with Diego Costa before the latters heads over from a free-kick.

Ramsey prevents Pedro from launching a Chelsea counter-attack and picks up the first yellow card of the final.

Huge early controversy at Wembley as Sanchez fires past Thibaut Courtois, only for the referee's assistant to raise his flag seemingly against Aaron Ramsey.

After further consultation, the goal is given. Chelsea players complain bitterly, possibly pointing out a handball in the build-up.

What a start.

Alexis Sanchez

Goal: Arsenal 1-0 Chelsea (Alexis Sanchez)

No questions asked of that Arsenal back three during the opening few minutes as Arsenal monopolise possession. An early Mesut Ozil corner is headed away.


Gary Cahill comes across to hook the ball into touch as Danny Welbeck looks to get the better of David Luiz.

After an impeccably observed and powerful silence, we are ready to get underway. Anthony Taylor is today's referee.

The players have completed pre-match handshakes and there will now be a minute's silence to pay tribute to the victims of the Manchester terror attack.

Prince William, Clarke, secretary of state for culture, media and sport Karen Bradley and greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham all lay down wreaths.

FA Cup final

The teams have emerged from the tunnel, led by Conte and Wenger respectively. FA chairman Greg Clarke and president Prince William, Duke of Cambridge are also in tow.

Now time for the national anthem...

Eddie Newton and Sol Campbell carry the trophy across the pitch and we are now set for a rendition of 'Abide with Me'...


Under 15 minutes remaining until kick-off and the atmosphere is building nicely at Wembley. 90,000 people are set to be in attendance this afternoon.


Despite rumours that he will sign a new two-year contract, Wenger has insisted publicly that he does not know if this will be his last game in charge of Arsenal. However, he defiantly claimed that it would not be his final match in football.

In an interview with Football Focus that was broadcast earlier today, the Frenchman described some of the treatment and lack of respect shown towards him this season as a "disgrace"...

I don't mind criticism because we are in a public job. I believe there's a difference between being criticised and being treated in a way that human beings don't deserve.

The lack of respect from some has been a disgrace and I will never accept that. I will never forget it. The behaviour of some people during the season, that is what hurts me most. It's not my person that is hurt but the impeccable image of the club around the world. That kind of behaviour does not reflect what Arsenal is.

A strong club is a club that makes a decision. It is wrong that in modern society it is not a question of whether a decision is right but whether it is popular. That has nothing to do with competence. People with responsibility have to make the right decision.


A player of Mertesacker's advancing years must have at least some experience of playing in a back three, right?


I have never played in a back three, honestly. When I was young I started in a back four and that was my position from then on for the last 15 years.

Everyone starts from zero with that new system. It means small adjustments but what it comes down to is knowing what the others are doing and giving them information that they know what you're doing. Communication is the key in that system, even more.

Chelsea line up as expected, with outgoing captain John Terry on the bench for his farewell appearance. There will be no narcissistic 26th minute substitution/guard of honour in a game of this magnitude.

Nemanja Matic gets the nod ahead of Cesc Fabregas and Willian makes way for Pedro.

Mertesacker joins Holding and Monreal in a 3-4-2-1 system and Ospina starts ahead of Cech, who does indeed make the bench.

Oxlade-Chamberlain comes in at left wing-back with Gibbs out. Mustafi remains sidelined and Sanchez features from the off.

Chelsea subs: Begovic, Zouma, Ake, Terry, Fabregas, Willian, Batshuayi


Supporters make their way down Wembley Way. A certain Reading-supporting live blogger will be embarking upon that same iconic walk before Monday's Championship play-off final, but I'm trying not to think about that for now...

Wembley Way

It was also widely reported last night that Wenger intends to drop Petr Cech and start second-choice goalkeeper David Ospina.

Cech, who is set to be on the bench after sustaining what has been described as a slight knock in training, is said to be "devastated" about the decision.

Chelsea have been blessed with another clean bill of health, although Arsenal are dealing with something of a defensive injury crisis ahead of today's final.

Laurent Koscielny begins a three-match suspension after being sent off for an inexplicably rash challenge on Enner Valencia during last weekend's 3-1 victory over Everton, while Gabriel Paulista is expected to miss between six to eight weeks with a knee injury that saw him stretchered off in the same game.

Per Mertesacker

Shkodran Mustafi remains doubtful due to a concussion, meaning that Per Mertesacker could be in line to make his first start of the season alongside young Rob Holding and left-back Nacho Monreal in a three-man defence. The lesser-spotted club captain played the final 37 minutes of that irrelevant defeat of the Toffees.

Kieran Gibbs (thigh) may also miss out, while long-term absentee Santi Cazorla is obviously still sidelined. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and star man Alexis Sanchez are both expected to shake off hamstring issues.

There is a highly visible and unprecedented armed police presence at Wembley this weekend following Monday night's shocking terrorist attack in Manchester that killed 22 and injured dozens more.

Fans were told to arrive early to avoid delays, with thorough searches being conducted outside the stadium. Supporters were also encouraged not to bring any bags or unnecessary items with them.

Wembley Stadium

Good afternoon and a very warm welcome to IBTimes UK's coverage of the 136th FA Cup final at a sun-drenched Wembley Stadium. Today's eagerly-anticipated clash sees London rivals Arsenal and Chelsea go head-to-head in what is a huge match for both teams.

Antonio Conte would love to cap off a majestic maiden campaign in English football by claiming a prestigious league and cup double, while the Gunners could move clear of Manchester United as the most successful team in FA Cup history with a 13th triumph on what is a record 20th appearance in the showpiece of the world's oldest football competition.

FA Cup trophy

A third taste of FA Cup glory in the last four seasons is highly unlikely to quell the rising fan unrest exacerbated by a failure to secure qualification for the Champions League for the first time in two decades, although an embattled Arsene Wenger has the chance to advance beyond former Aston Villa stalwart George Ramsay and set a new mark for cup wins in what could be the final game of his 21-year reign.

Stay tuned for all the build-up to the final, which kicks-off at 17.30 BST. Team news, official lineups, manager quotes and live updates to come.