5 things we learned from Arsenal's FA Cup final win over Chelsea

27 May 2017 08:40

Arsenal upset the odds to beat Premier League champions Chelsea and secure the FA Cup at Wembley on Saturday.

Here, Press Association Sport takes a look at five things we learned from the all-London final:

FOOTBALL STANDS TOGETHER

Supporters of both clubs came together before kick-off to observe an immaculate minute's silence for the victims of Monday's terror attack in Manchester. Twenty-two people were killed and many more injured after an explosion at Manchester Arena and they were remembered here. Prince William laid one of four wreaths and, while Chelsea players accidentally left their black armbands behind for the first half, it was another fitting occasion where sport marked the recent tragedy.

NEAR PER-FECT RETURN FOR CAPTAIN MERTESACKER

Having not started a game for Arsenal in 392 days, Per Mertesacker was called upon by Wenger after injury and suspension decimated his defence. The German World Cup winner had not kicked a ball for the Gunners this season until his second-half introduction against Everton last weekend, but he enjoyed a superb afternoon with a man-of-the-match display. From last-ditch sliding tackles to well-timed interceptions, the 32-year-old showed why Wenger put such faith in him, despite a serious knee injury last summer.

CHELSEA SHOW THEIR WEAKNESS

Having roared to the Premier League title while Arsenal were finishing fifth, Antonio Conte's Blues were not a the races as they chased the double. Their first-half display was one of their worst 45 minutes of the entire campaign - arguably only the 3-0 loss at the Emirates Stadium trumps it - and they left it too late when rallying with 10 men. Conte was a coiled spring on the touchline, bellowing instructions early on, but the likes of Eden Hazard, Pedro and even the PFA and FWA Player of the Year N'Golo Kante were not at their best.

MOSES SIMULATION CLEAR ON FIRST VIEWING

Chelsea were starting to find a way back into the contest and, even though they hit back when down to 10 men, the red card for wing-back Victor Moses hampered their efforts. The Nigeria international has enjoyed a fantastic season but, having stopped Danny Welbeck as he looked to burst forward, he picked up a second yellow for an obvious dive inside the penalty box. The Football Association announced recently that a panel will now look at potential dives in future and dole out retrospective punishment - it was not needed here.

WENGER: ALWAYS UP FOR THE CUP

With his future still uncertain Arsene Wenger became a record breaker as he masterminded his seventh FA Cup success. The 67-year-old Frenchman is still facing protests from a number of supporters who do not want him to sign a new deal at the Emirates Stadium, with his current contract expiring next month. But he delivered a seventh FA Cup win, his third in four years, to give himself plenty of ammunition when he attends a board meeting next week.

Source: PA


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