That’s all from me, I’ll leave you with that fantastic result for Arsenal! They have retained the cup!
FULL TIME! ARSENAL WIN THE FA CUP!
Goal! Giroud makes it four with a trademark low flick in the 94th minute. Why not score again?
90+2. The name of Arsenal is inscribed on the trophy next to… Arsenal!
90+1. Santi Cazorla is man of the match, or maybe Sanchez. 3 minutes of stoppage time.
89. Sanchez is brought off by Arsene Wenger to a fantastic reception. If only Liverpool had signed him…
86. And then Grealish has a thumping effort blocked by Laurent Koscielny. Arsenal are defending – a sight rarely seen so far.
86. Another penalty shout, and it looked a stonewall penalty as Jack Grealish appears to be strangled!
83. Vlaar and Giroud caught in a tangle that results in an Arsenal free kick and perhaos an injury to Ron Vlaar. He looks ok, and the free kick is to no avail.
80. Penalty shout for Villa turned down incorrectly as Coquelin brought down Agbonlahor. Definitely a foul, but probably outside the box.
79. Ramsey wriggles his way through but Vlaar clears.
76. A killer ball by Ramsey falls to Walcott who cannot find the target. Not great. He then makes way.
72. This game is slowing to nearly a standstill as Arsenal slow things down and Villa look like the team that were thrashed 6-1 by Southampton.
69. Still nothing developing for Villa, Arsenal totally in charge.
66. My dinner’s ready, and Aston Villa have no chance. I’m off to have some fish and chips, but I will keep an eye out if Villa actually get a good passage of play…
64. Do Arsenal’s best players EVER deliver? Today they do. Also, the German centre-back’s last 3 Arsenal goals have come in the cup. All over now, for sure. No dream finale for Tim Sherwood, I’m afraid.
Goal! – 62. Mertesacker simply knocks it down into the corner with a free header. Easy peasy.
62. Surprise, surprise – an Arsenal corner… Mertesacker rises to meet Cazorla’s cross…
61. Arsenal counter, and Walcott appears to be through one-on-one but Jores Okore recovers excellently.
60. For the first time today, Villa prompt and probe around the Arsenal 18-yard-box, but they are forced back.
57. And they come again, as Sanchez hits one against Okore, and Cazorla then finds space to hit a fizzling shot that is palmed away by Shay Given.
56. Another couple of crosses from Villa are cleared by a solid Arsenal defence. Solid Arsenal defence? It’s a miracle!
56. The ball comes into the box and Walcott smashes it against Given and Sanchez follows it up by hitting the back of the net, only to discover the pacy Englishman was offside.
55. Villa put a cross into the box and a combination of Mertesacker and Shezny (why does he have such a weirdly spelt name?) clear it.
54. Sanchez, who else, wins another corner, but it is cleared.
52. A booking for Westwood, as Nzogbia is replaced by Agbonlahor. Free kick to the Gunners. It however comes to nothing.
GOAL! GOAL! GOAL! GOAL! GOAL! WHAT A GOAL!
50. Alexis Sanchez shows just quite how good he is. His best goal of the season, one of the best goals of the season! 25 yards or so out, he dips and swerves a crashing effort into the roof of the net with the help of the cross bar. Arsenal have 2, and they must be nearly home and dry now.
47. Ramsey tried to cheekily catch out Given but his shot was again deflected and trickled into his arms.
46. No Agbonlahor yet for Villa, but he will no doubt come on sooner rather than later.
We’re ready for half number 2.
Villa need to bring on Agbonlahor to give the Arsenal defence something to worry about.
Arsenal are dominant and they could have 5 or 6. Villa are in big big big big trouble. The trouble is in fact relatively large…
Half Time: 1-0 to Arsenal
45+1. And they have another corner after a wonderful move. Again, though, it comes to nothing.
44. Arsenal have a corner thanks to Kieran Richardson’s challenge on Walcott. The result is nothing but a Villa throw in.
43. Villa have only been behind once this FA Cup campaign, and that was for just 6 minutes…
40. Theo Walcott thunders in a knock-down by Sanchez from 10 yards out and it has been coming. A superb strike on his weaker foot! Bang!
36. An acrobatic volley catches Cazorla and he goes down in pain. He should be OK though.
35. The goalies have forgotten how to punch as Shay Given wobbles a corner away from his 6-yard box. Then he heads a long ball away from the box. I doubt the Villa fans will have any nails left after the biting going on here.
33. Awful tackle from Alan Hutton on Sanchez results in a booking.
32. Woohoo! Purple! Delph’s cross comes in towards – guess who? – Benteke and Shezny (that’s his new name) goes for a wild punch that nearly goes horribly wrong. Better from Villa.
31. You may be thinking that I’ve forgotten the html for purple, but actually it’s another Arsenal chance. Bellerin’s cross is thwacked away by Ron Vlaar. Again.
28. The colour is red again as Ramsey runs clear but Vlaar deflects his shot into the arms of Shay Given. 62% possession for Arsenal.
25. And just as I speak, Theo Walcott has a gaping goal but an incredible block again frustrates Arsenal. Pat on the back to Kieran Richardson. Arsenal are knocking on the door, relentlessly…
24. A trademark effort from Sanchez is blocked by Alan Hutton. Arsenal upping the tempo but still a goalless cup final. It’s nv=ever going to stay that way.
20. Delph runs into trouble, uncharacteristically, and Ozil ball is poor, however Vlaar cannot clear and Aaron Ramsey puts it agonizingly over the top – another chance the Welshman has missed.
19. A looping ball falls to Benteke as the Arsenal fans wince, but his touch is not great.
17. Hector Bellerin dribbles well into the box and rolls it along the ground, but Aaron Ramsey can only find the side-netting. A good spell for the Gunners, and this cup final is enthralling so far.
15. The ball makes it’s way to Laurent Koscielny after a free kick straight off the training ground, and Shay Given produces one of the stops of the season to deny him. Up the other end, a poor ball from Jack Grealish is collected by Shezny.
14. The yellow card does come out this time, for a bad tackle by Tom Cleverley. Not cleverly done there.
13. Kieran Richardson dinks a ball into the box towards Benteke, but Shezny (I’m going to stick with that spelling) punches it well.
12. Poor free kick from Ozil which is cleared.
10. Arsenal get another corner as Cazorla is making them tick this game. It is cleared but comes back out to Cazorla. Benteke brings him down with a striker’s challenge and is lucky not to get booked. Confident start from Arsenal.
9. Arsenal win another corner after the first one is cleared. Koscielyn rises well but his header is a long way wide. The first clear-cut chance.
8. Lovely work from Sanchez and Cazorla as Arsenal get their first sniff of a chance, but Ron Vlaar puts the low cross behind.
6. Flag goes up for offside against Benteke after a scrap around the centre circle. It’s been 12 in 12 for Benteke, will he make it 13?
4. Alan Hutton’s deflected cross is gobbled up by Shezny (how do you spell it?) at his near post. Fabian Delph with some good play – he is now an England regular.
2. Villa give away a silly foul after a wobbly first couple of minutes. However, the resulting free-kick comes to nothing.
And we have lift off! The Final has begun!
John Moss is the referee, and he brings the whistle to his mouth…
The fans are drowning out anything else as the teams switch ends.
Jack Grealish is the youngest player on the pitch, at 19, and Shay Given, at 39, last appeared in a cup final in 1998 with Newcastle.
The formalities reach the climax with a rapturous national anthem.
IT’S NEARLY TIME FOR KICK OFF AS THE PLAYERS EMERGE
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The Villa flags are waving and Abide With Me begins…
Crazy things going on out on the Wembley turf and there is 15 minutes remaining before kick off…
Aston Villa are surely the underdogs, but it’s entirely possible that they will surprise everyone today. Will it be known as the Benteke final? Or the Sanchez final? Let’s see. Less than 20 minutes to go…
Me – 2-1 to Arsenal AET
Mark Lawrenson – 2-0 to Arsenal
Ginny the Psychic Penguin at Sea Life, Birmingham – Aston Villa to win
James DeGale – Arsenal win, Sanchez to score
Next season, The FA Cup will be known as The Emirates FA Cup, as the company have agreed a deal to become the tournament’s first title sponsor.
Benteke has been fantastic this season under Tim Sherwood and is in the form of his life. Per Mertesacker & Laurent Koscielny have their work cut out to stop him.
THE TEAMS ARE IN:
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In other footy news, Sepp Blatter will stay on for a fifth term as FIFA boss, Liverpool have had a £10 million bid for Nathaniel Clyne rejected, and Rio Ferdinand has announced his retirement from football.
In the semis, Aston Villa defied the script by knocking out Liverpool and preventing Gerrard from finishing off his Anfield career in the final. Meanwhile, Arsenal overcame Reading.
The Best Cup Final Goal Ever?:
Arsenal came out on top of the pile in last year’s tournament, with Aaron Ramsey’s extra time winner beating Hull City 3-2. Villa, however, haven’t won for 58 years, and haven’t even been in a final of the FA Cup since 2000.
The FA Cup 2015 has been a fantastic spectacle – Bradford’s heroics, Villa’s dream run and who on earth are Blyth Spartans? But now it boils down to this – 22 players, one football, and one prize. Who will triumph – Arsenal or Aston Villa? I’ll be blogging every minute of this long-awaited fixture, so keep an eye out! And enjoy the game!