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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.


Arsenal 1-0 Aston Villa

The fourth official signals two minutes of first-half stoppage time. Aston Villa will be hoping to get back to the dressing room at the break with only a one-goal deficit.

Arsenal are finally ahead through Walcott's seventh goal of the season and his fourth in just two outings.

A deep cross from Monreal on the left is met by the head of Sanchez, and the England forward is on hand to rifle the ball into the top corner with his left foot. No chance for Given.

Hard to say that isn't deserved.

Goal: Arsenal 1-0 Aston Villa (Theo Walcott)

The yellow cards are mounting for Sherwood's side here as the combative Delph enters the book following an infringement on Ozil.

Five minutes plus added time of the first half remaining and the game has just entered a bit of a lull.

Nick Howson at Wembley Stadium

Only Kieran Richardson knows how Arsenal aren't ahead at Wembley, a superb block to keep out Theo Walcott but the truth is that is a rare positive on a one-sided half for Villa.

"Sherwood's side are wasteful in possession, lacking the incisiveness which defined their win over Liverpool, while they can't get close to Ozil and Cazorla, who are running the game either side of the Villa midfield

Fabian Delph fools Ramsey near the byline on the left-hand side before swinging in a cross towards the head of Benteke.

Szczesny comes to punch once more, but this time he totally fails to make contact and luckily for him his defence is on hand to clear.

Alan Hutton the second Aston Villa player to receive a caution after the right-back brings down Sanchez.

Another shot on target for Arsenal as the rapid Walcott finds Ramsey and his shot takes a nick off Vlaar before carrying through to Given.

Surely it is just a matter of time before they notch an opener unless Villa can find a way to retain possession with greater success.

What a block that is from Richardson to deny Walcott from close range after the latter had been picked out via Ozil's deflected cross.

He looked almost certain to score on the volley before that crucial intervention. Superb defending.

Another good chance for Ramsey after Delph is caught in possession by Ozil and the latter's underhit cross is not dealt with at all well by Vlaar. The ball then falls to the Welsh midfielder, but he can only lift his effort over Given's crossbar.

Another reprieve for Villa, who are soaking up a fair amount of pressure in this first half.

Nick Howson at Wembley Stadium

Aston Villa playing in their first FA Cup final for 15 years and in the opening quarter of an hour it is showing.

"The underdogs are standing off Arsenal and giving them far too much respect in the early going, with Cazorla in particular thriving in both halves with the amount of room he is being afforded.

Another good sign for Arsenal fans is also the trouble Theo Walcott's pace is giving Okore and Vlaar in the Villa defence. One to look out for as as the game goes on

A first nervy moment for the Gunners as Szczesny has to leave his line and punch clear a Kieran Richardson cross.

Tom Cleverley is booked for a foul on Nacho Monreal before Shay Given denies Koscielny with a good reaction save after the French defender had headed Sanchez's free-kick goalbound.

Aaron Ramsey then hits the side netting after being teed up by Hector Bellerin.

Benteke rather crudely scythes down Cazorla and can perhaps count himself a tad fortunate not to become the first player of the afternoon to enter the referee's notebook.

It's a free-kick in a good position for Arsenal, but Mesut Ozil's effort is wasted.

A first period of sustained pressure from Arsenal as Alexis Sanchez draws a good block from Ron Vlaar to win a corner.

Francis Coquelin then sees a shot blocked by the returning Jores Okore and another delivery from Santi Cazorla is headed harmlessly wide by Koscielny.

As you might expect, a good atmosphere emanating early on from the stands as both teams look to banish any lingering pre-match nerves and settle into a rhythm.

The national anthem has been sung and referee Jon Moss gives a short blast of his whistle to get the 2015 FA Cup final underway.

Can Arsenal successfully retain the trophy or do Villa have what it takes to provide another upset?

In case you missed it, the Football Association announced earlier today that they have agreed a three-year sponsorship deal with Dubai-based airline Emirates that will see the competition rebranded as 'The Emirates FA Cup' from next season.

The agreement is believed to be worth approximately £30m and it is the first time the FA Cup has properly sported a title sponsor. Chairman Greg Dyke believes it will provide a boost to the grassroots game across the country.

That's more like it. A choir are currently belting out a rendition of 'Abide with Me' in a break from the usual opera-style offering.

Under 15 minutes to go until kick-off and the pre-match festivities/pyrotechnics appear to be in full swing.

There should be no need to generate any additional atmosphere today. Both sets of supporters will take care of that without any trouble at all.

For Villa supporters, meanwhile, this final appearance must come as somewhat of a relief after a difficult and frustrating period spent treading water in the league.

Sherwood may not always be to everyone's liking, but he has done excellently to guide this team through to a Wembley showpiece and the decision to appoint him as Lambert's successor has been fully vindicated.

Christian Benteke in particular looks to have been handed a new lease of life under his management and the Belgian should prove instrumental to his side's chances of success today.

Having ended their long nine-year wait for a trophy in this competition last season, it is perhaps fair to say that there isn't anything like as much pressure on Arsenal this time around.

Saying that, however, would third place and no silverware be an acceptable outcome to those fans who have become steadily more unsympathetic towards Wenger over recent years?

Nick Howson at Wembley Stadium

Strange atmosphere at Wembley Stadium before the 134th FA Cup final. The sunny conditions have been replaced by a chill, and though a plenty of noise has greeted both teams on their way out to warm up, you can't help but feel nerves are already gripping both sets of fans.

"There might be a significant gulf between these two sides, best represented by their respect positions in the Premier League table, but their form since reaching the final suggests it could be more evenly matched than some have predicted.

How Arsenal deal with Christian Benteke, who has scored 12 goals in as many games for Villa, could well be the key to deciding the destiny of the cup. The Belgian is unplayable at his best and as we have seen on the countless occasions, Per Mertesacker is no stranger to being given the runaround

Arsenal have beaten Hull, Brighton, Middlesbrough, Manchester United and Reading to progress to this season's final, while Aston Villa triumphed over Blackpool, Bournemouth, Leicester, West Brom and Liverpool.

While there is no doubting that the holders start today as firm favourites, in truth neither side has exactly been in sparkling form of late.

Arsenal ended the 2014/15 Premier League season with a thumping 4-1 win over West Brom, but that victory - spearheaded by a 33-minute hat-trick from Theo Walcott and a quite stunning volley from Jack Wilshere - represented only their second in six games.

Villa, meanwhile, were decimated 6-1 by Southampton at St Mary's on the penultimate weekend and suffered a hugely disappointing home defeat to relegated Burnley on the final day.

IBTimes UK's sport editor Nick Howson is in attendance at Wembley this afternoon. Here is his take on that breaking team news:

Managers get paid to make the big decisions, and Arsene Wenger, chasing a record equalling sixth FA Cup, has made a flurry of huge calls for the FA Cup final.

Theo Walcott, Wojciech Szczesny and Nacho Monreal start for the Gunners with Olivier Giroud, David Ospina and Kieran Gibbs missing out. Big call from the Frenchman.

Tim Sherwood was faced a similarly tough selection dilemma, and it is Shay Given and Charles N'Zogbia who are preferred to Brad Guzan and Scott Sinclair. Christian Benteke leads the attack.

Both sets of supporters seemed satisfied with the selection as they were announced just a moment ago at Wembley

Arsenal: Szczesny, Bellerin, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal, Coquelin, Cazorla, Ramsey, Ozil, Sanchez, Walcott

Subs: Ospina, Gibbs, Gabriel, Flamini, Wilshere, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Giroud

Aston Villa: Given, Hutton, Vlaar, Okore, Richardson, Westwood, Delph, Cleverley, Grealish, N'Zogbia, Benteke

Subs: Guzan, Bacuna, Sinclair, Agbonlahor, Cole, Sanchez, Baker

Hello and a very warm welcome to IBTimes UK's live coverage of the 134th FA Cup final between Arsenal and Aston Villa.

The Gunners, who needed extra-time to see off the challenge of Hull at this stage last year, are looking to win the oldest football competition in the world for the 12th time in their history today and a sixth since Arsene Wenger was appointed manager in 1996.

Arsenal have only successfully retained the FA Cup once before and standing in their way this afternoon is an Aston Villa side that experienced somewhat of a resurgence after Tim Sherwood replaced Paul Lambert as manager in February and successfully avoided relegation from the Premier League.

Seven-time winners Villa last claimed the cup with a 2-1 win over Manchester United way back in 1957 and they also contested the last final at the old Wembley in 2000 but were defeated narrowly by Chelsea courtesy of a late goal from Roberto di Matteo.

Stay tuned for breaking team news and live updates...