Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger pumped his fists after the final whistle, celebrating a moment of vindication as his side’s “outstanding performance” pushed them past 10-man Chelsea 2-1 in the FA Cup final at Wembley.
It was a record seventh FA Cup win for the long time Gunners’ manager, and one that he will need to save his job, which has been under greater fire since the team finished below fourth for the first time in a long while and Arsenal are set to miss the Champions League for the first time in 20 years.
“We had an outstanding performance from the first minute onwards,” said Wenger. “This team has suffered. They’ve united and responded. They showed strength and unity and played spectacular football today.”
Alexis Sanchez, one of the few bright spots who might even leave the club this summer, opened the scoring for the Gunners in just the fourth minute, though he did it in contentious fashion since his teammate Aaron Ramsey got flagged offside in the build-up.
Premier League champions Chelsea did not look their best but Diego Costa revived their hopes of snagging their first FA Cup since 2012 when he scored in the 76th minute.
But the Gunners played what can be described as their best performance this season and scored the winner through Ramsey three minutes later and held on for the victory.
The North London club won their 13th FA Cup trophy to edge past Manchester United (12) in the list of top FA Cup winners.
Yesterday, Wenger met with Gunners major share owner Stan Kroenke to discuss his future with the club. According to reports, the outcome has not been released to the public and will be further discussed at a board meeting later this week.