Full-time: Arsenal 4-0 Aston Villa

The Walcott
Arsenal have successfully retained the FA Cup following a dominant performance against Aston Villa at Wembley. Getty Images

For Aston Villa, this unfortunately proved a rather chastening experience. However, without wishing to patronise them, to have made the final at all was quite a significant achievement in itself given how poor the outlook for the club was just a few short months ago.

While they were outclassed in every department today, Sherwood deserves enormous credit for the job he has done thus far and the real test will be keeping them away from another nail-biting relegation scrap next term.

Arsenal climb the Wembley steps and Mertesacker, along with club captain Mikel Arteta, hoists the trophy aloft to cap a wonderful day. Self-confessed Villa supporter Prince William did well to put on a smile, there.

That is it from us, we will be back next weeekend to provide live coverage of the Champions League final between Barcelona and Juventus in Berlin. Until then, goodnight.


Beaming smiles and exuberant celebrations from the men in yellow as Arsenal, who toiled badly on their last visit to Wembley and only progressed to this final as a result of an undeniably fortunate extra-time winner against Championship opposition, overtake Manchester United and become the first team to win the FA Cup on 12 different occasions.

Wenger also ties former Aston Villa boss George Ramsay on six victories in the famous old competition.


Arsenal further underline their dominance by netting a fourth with the last action of the match.

Wilshere picks up the ball towards the corner but rather than holding it and waiting for the imminent final whistle, he knocks it inside to Oxlade-Chamberlain whose low cross is turned in by Giroud.

Aston Villa's defence was caught napping again.


Arsenal have retained the FA Cup



Arsenal 4-0 Aston Villa


Goal: Arsenal 4-0 Aston Villa (Olivier Giroud)


Three minutes to be added on but Aston Villa look no more capable of scoring now than they did at 0-0. A hopelessly one-sided affair.


A third and final change from Wenger as the clock ticks down towards the end of 90 minutes. Sanchez, who lit up Wembley with a breathtaking strike, is heartily clapped off with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain taking his place.


Another penalty shout in desperation from Aston Villa as Jack Grealish gets the beating of Bellerin close to the byline but is prevented from collecting possession once more by a hand across the back.

Again, though, Moss fails to point to the spot.


A contentious moment for Jon Moss as Agbonlahor is sent sprawling to the turf by a sliding challenge from Coquelin. The Aston Villa substitute appeals strongly for a penalty, but he does not get it as the referee waves play on.

Like Ozil, Coquelin has been very assured this afternoon but he did appear to foul Agbonlahor on that occasion. Replays show the initial contact was likely made outside the box, however.


Walcott's final chance of the afternoon is sent wide of Given's left-hand post after a clever ball from Ramsey. He has since been replaced by Olivier Giroud to a standing ovation from one half of Wembley.

Jack Wilshere also enters the fray, with Ozil making way after a brilliant display in which he dominated the midfield exchanges and set Arsenal on their way to a comprehensive victory.


Under 15 minutes remaining for Aston Villa to try and salvage something from what has been a hugely underwhelming display.

Just a brief interlude to remind you that it was also the Scottish Cup final today, where Inverness Caledonian Thistle overcame Championship outfit Falkirk 2-1 at Hampden Park thanks to an 86th-minute winner from James Vincent.

Marley Watkins had opened the scoring for ICT before Peter Grant equalised in the 80th minute. John Hughes' side were forced to play the last 16 minutes with 10 men after Carl Tremarco was shown a straight red card.

Barcelona face Athletic Bilbao in the Copa del Rey showpiece later while Borussia Dortmund have just kicked off against Wolfsburg in the German Cup final.

Auxerre meet Paris Saint-Germain in the French Cup this evening also.


Leandro Bacuna is on for Richardson and Carlos Sanchez replaces Ashley Westwood but there is surely nothing that can be done now to change the outcome.

Aston Villa just have not got to grips with Arsenal's superior pace and quality at any stage.


A third for Arsenal and this final is all over bar the shouting.

Benteke pushes off from Mertesacker at a corner but gets caught under the ball and the towering German guides past Given with a combination of his head/shoulder.


Goal: Arsenal 3-0 Aston Villa (Per Mertesacker)


Walcott with another opportunity to make it 3-0 but Okore gets back to block on the edge of the penalty area. Given also saves from Cazorla.


Nick Howson at Wembley Stadium

You can only stand and admire one of the great FA Cup final goals which gives Arsenal daylight and one hand on the trophy against a Villa side who are increasingly looking like passengers.

"Sanchez was given time and space to hit from 30 yards by my goodness didn't use it, and Given was a mere bystander as the ball flew past him.

"Villa have shown a little bit more gusto since the goal but in truth Arsenal could run away with this in the second half, as they look to put the garnish on this complete performance


That was certainly a goal befitting such a grand occasion.

Arsenal have the ball in the net again through Sanchez after Walcott's effort is well saved by Given but the offside flag had already been raised.

Aston Villa are being besieged at a time when they need to be trying to set the tempo. The counter-attack now appears their only hope, and a slight one at that.


Simply sublime.

Arsenal double their lead after Sanchez, who scored both goals against Reading in the semi-finals, picks up the ball and unleashes a fierce drive from all of 25 yards that swerves violently and deceives Given before crossing the line off the underside of the crossbar.

It's very difficult to see Aston Villa getting back into this contest now. Agbonlahor is on for Charles N'Zogbia.


Goal: Arsenal 2-0 Aston Villa (Alexis Sanchez)


We are back underway. No changes from either manager at the break, but you would expect to see Sherwood make quick alterations if this second half begins in a similar vein to the first.


Wenger's happiness at his side's impressive display is likely to be tempered by the fact that they are only one goal to the good and could still be vulnerable to a spirited Villa fight back.

With all the play running through the excellent Ozil in midfield, however, it should not be long before they double their advantage.


No clear-cut chances whatsoever to speak of and three yellow cards tells the tale of Villa's FA Cup final so far.

Sherwood will need to produce a motivating speech to rouse his underperforming team and he may even be pondering a half-time change with the likes of Gabriel Agbonlahor and Scott Sinclair among the substitutes.


The half-time whistle sounds and Arsenal will wonder how they have only managed to score once during that first 45 minutes.

Aston Villa have seemed nervous and done preciously little to bely their status as underdogs, while the Gunners have applied good pressure and generally looked a class above their opponents.