Arsene Wenger’s last bit of silverware came back in 2005 when they beat Manchester United on penalties to claim this very same prize, but nearly a decade had passed without a trophy before today’s result – which led to criticism of the Gunners boss.
Despite consistently bringing Champions League football to the North London club, small sections of the Arsenal fans had called for Wenger to vacate his post at the end of the season, but the Frenchman earned the right to rest easy on Saturday evening after his side wrapped up victory at a packed out Wembley.
The 133rd FA Cup final exploded into life after just four minutes as Hull took the lead when defender James Chester turned home a scuffed Tom Huddlestone volley, sending Bruce - who won the trophy three times as a player - and the Tigers fans into delirium.
And just moments later it was two, with Chester’s central defensive partner Curtis Davies reacting quickest inside the six yard box, smashing past the floored Lukas Fabianski from the tightest of angles following a goalmouth scramble.
Arsenal halved the deficit soon after courtesy of a wonderful Santi Cazorla free-kick, with the Spaniard wrong-footing Hull keeper Allan McGregor to find the top right-hand corner.
Hull looked as if they had stifled the Arsenal attack in the second half and would hold out for the win, but their hopes of claiming their first FA Cup took a hit as Laurent Koscielny equalised with 20 minutes remaining.
The Gunners continued to search for a winning goal in normal time, and, though it didn’t come within the 90 minutes, their persistence paid off as Aaron Ramsey netted in the second half of extra-time to end Arsenal’s nine years of hurt.
4’ - HULL TAKE THE LEAD!! It’s a scrappy goal, but the Hull players and fans won’t care one bit. Elmohamady’s corner is sent onto the edge of the 18-yard box towards Huddlestone. The midfielder’s volley is a poor one, but James Chester of all people is there to turn it home from eight yards. What a start.
9’ - HULL SCORE AGAIN!! IT’S 2-0. Another centre-half scores, and it’s CURTIS DAVIES!! Bruce’s initial header comes back off the post after Quinn’s cross, but Davies is there to smash home from the tightest of angles.
14’ – ALMOST THREE: We almost have a centre-back hat-trick. Bruce rises highest from the corner, heading towards the far post. It looks to be creeping in, but some brilliant work from Gibbs underneath the crossbar clears it.
17’ – ARSENAL GET ONE BACK!! Cazorla halves the deficit! It’s a beautiful free-kick from Cazorla, who wrong-foots McGregor, whipping the ball into the far corner. What a game!!!
72’ - ARSENAL ARE LEVEL!! The corner is met by Sagna on the penalty spot and headed down towards goal where Koscielny is waiting. The defender spins to turn the ball past McGregor and level the score.
80’ - CHANCE!! WHAT A CHANCE!! Sanogo does well down the right, bullying his way into the penalty area to cross. Somehow it finds its way to Gibbs who is eight yards from goal. The defender takes a touch and then blazes it over the bar. Unbelievable.
109’ – RAMSEY GRABS THE WINNER!! The Gunners take the lead for the first time today. And it's heartbreak for Hull. A wonderful finish from Ramsey after Giroud's backheel will surely win the game now.
116’ - SO CLOSE FOR HULL! Mertesacker gets his header all wrong, and Fabianski rushes off his line and out of his box. Aluko nicks the ball ahead of the keeper and wildly shoots from the tightest of angles and almost on the touchline, when the pass or a dribble were far better options. The ball rolls agonisingly past the face of the goal.
Arsenal became only the third team - and the first in 48 years - to win the FA Cup final after trailing by two goals, without needing a penalty shoot-out. (Infostrada)
Arsenal equal Manchester United's total of 11 FA Cup titles. (Infostrada)
The FA Cup triumph is Arsenal's 12th title under Wenger: he has three Premier League titles, five 5 FA Cups... and, er, four Community Shields (Infostrada)
Will Arsenal have to wait another nine years for a trophy? Nobody would have expected the Gunners to have to wait almost a decade to lift another trophy following their FA Cup win over Manchester United in 2005, but that was the case. Wenger has finally found a formula that works, and, although they missed out in the league, Champions League and League Cup this season, they must now surely go on to pick up some more silverware in the coming years.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Aaron Ramsey (Arsenal) – While there were few performances of outstanding quality, there were a number of courageous performances - and none more so than that of Aaron Ramsey. The Arsenal midfielder put in a real shift, worked tirelessly for his team and was rewarded with the winning goal.
Arsenal: Fabianski 6, Sagna 7, Mertesacker 6, Koscielny 6, Gibbs 6, Arteta 7, Ramsey 8, Cazorla 7, Ozil 6, Podolski 6, Giroud 7. Subs: Rosicky 5, Wilshere 5, Sanogo 5
Hull City: McGregor 7; Davies 7, Bruce 6, Chester 6, Rosenior 7, Elmohamady 6, Livermore 6, Huddlestone 6, Meyler 6, Quinn 5, Fryatt 7. Subs: McShane 6, Boyd 5, Aluko 7
MATCH IN TWEET
- Sports & Recreation
- Manchester United
- Arsene Wenger
- Hull City
- Aaron Ramsey
- Tom Huddlestone
- Santi Cazorla
- FA Cup
- Curtis Davies