What else can you say other than "Fuck yeah!!!!"
Look, I'm going to be honest with you - I have multiple people who can back me up on this, but I always knew we were going to win today. Villa are a much better side than their record showed this season, but the simple fact is that we are significantly better than them, and barring any kind of significant goof-up, we were always going to annihilate them.
As it turns out, Arsene decided to play Wojciech Szczesny in goal, and Theo Walcott up top. The rest of the XI was basically as you were. Whatever the thoughts of the most hysterical of our fanbase, both were the right moves for this particular match.
(Side Note: If you are wondering why I've not done so many match reports lately, or shown up to the pub for that many matches, I've frankly been burned out by the dumber sections of our own supporter base. You know, the "DUUURRRR, OZIL IS SHIT", "DURRRR, SZCZESNY IS SHIT" fucking morons. I don't mean to be a downer on what should be a happy occasion, so I'll kill it here, but those people really have beaten me down over the last few months.)
Anyway, I had predicted a easy-peasy 2-0 win where we were never in trouble, but I had no idea how wrong I was going to be. In truth, it was all even easier than that, where the Arsenal dominated every facet of the match on the way to one of the easier FA Cup final wins in quite some time.
Also, for those mentally-challenged folks that assumed that Szczesny had turned into Helen Keller on the back of one bad match against Southampton, he came up with two absolutely crucial punches on high balls into his area. On at least one of them, I'm not so sure that David Ospina would have gotten there. And, who knows how that would have changed the match if they had scored there?
That said, it did take some time for our boys to get on the board. But, if you've ever played this game, you could see the signs coming from parsecs away. Everything about Villa's game was desperate, from the yellow cards for breaking up scoring chances to the fortunate blocks on the goal line, or the admittedly excellent saves from Shay Given.
Still, I always thought it was a great development that Tim Sherwood decided to play his second-best goalkeeper on the day, and sure enough that told on our first goal. It wasn't Given's fault per se, but I do think that Brad Guzan may have had a much better shot at it.
It was right before halftime when Nacho Monreal crossed into the box. Alexis Sanchez won the header, cushioning it into the path of Walcott. Jores Okore was screening his own goalkeeper, which made Theo's job that much easier. He just lashed it towards the near post, and the unsighted Given's hand was a few seconds too late in getting in front of it. That said, I can't help but think that the taller Guzan may have been able to keep that out.
The goal made things that much easier going into halftime, although I feel that our boys would have handled their business even if it had been 0-0 going into the interval. By way of proving that point, we were two goals to the good just five minutes after the restart. Man, it came out of nothing, too. After a spell of early Villa pressure, we went up the other end and Sanchez had the ball a good 30 yards away from goal. He made himself a yard and hit an absolute thunderbastard of a shot, the swerve of which made it absolutely unsaveable. Seriously, Thor standing on Odin's shoulders would have had no shot at that.
What a goal, and what a time for it. If Villa thought they may have had a shot of getting back into this thing, that strike clearly disavowed them of any such notion.
Poor old Sherwood tried to change things around by introducing Gabriel Agbonlahor, but the simple fact is that their personnel just didn't matter. Arsenal did such a great job of holding onto the ball, their lot could have had George Best, Pele and Ferenc Puskas up top and it wouldn't have done them any good at all. Sure enough, the Gunners put the game to bed right around the hour mark. We won a corner, and Santi Cazorla's fabulous delivery was nodded home by the Big Fucking German himself, Per Mertesacker. For all of the stick that he has undeservedly gotten this season, it was great to see him score such an important goal.
Honestly, from that point, the match was over. All that remained was to determine what the final score would be. I hoped beyond hope that Szczesny would get a clean sheet, if for no other reason than to stick it in the face of all the absolute bell-ends that treated him like he was the second coming of Massimo Taibbi. Thankfully, it turned out that he would get it...although, in fairness, he didn't actually face a single shot on goal all day.
Jack Wilshere and Olivier Giroud came on for cameos, and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was brought on right at the death in injury time. The latter two ended up combining for the goal that put the exclamation point on the afternoon. Ox worked the ball down the right, and crossed it into the box. Giroud ghosted past the static Villa backline, and and flicked it in past the helpless Given at his near post.
That, for the record, was another instance in which an Arsenal player who has gotten a ridiculous amount of unwarranted stick stuck two fingers up at his idiotic detractors. Actually, today's whole game was largely a scathing denunciation of the dumber parts of our fanbase.
Anyway, the final whistle soon came, and the FA Cup was Arsenal's for a record 12th time. It has to be said that Arsenal - and Arsene Wenger - enjoys this competition and truly has taken the chances when they've arrived...at least in recent times (historical losses against the likes of Swindon and Wrexham aside)..
Hopefully, the majority of Gooners out there treat this as the massively fun day that it is. Trophies are always good, and I personally love the hell out of this competition. And, let's be honest with ourselves - as rough as the beginning of this season was, we are not 5 or 6 or 7 players away from threatening for the title. To surmise otherwise is, well, just plain fucking stupid. Give us competition for Giroud and Francis Coquelin, and that shitbird Jose Mourinho will have a LOT to think about this off-season.
Anyway, for the second time in two seasons, we have a trophy. Let's enjoy it, let's enjoy our summer, and see you all again in late August.
The Modern Gooner Player Ratings:
Szczesny 8, Monreal 8, Koscielny 8, Mertesacker 8, Bellerin 8, Cazorla 8, Coquelin 8, Sanchez 8 (Oxlade-Chamberlain N/A), Ozil 8 (Wilshere 7), Ramsey 7, Walcott 8 (Giroud 7)
Man of the Match: Fuck it, everyone in a yellow shirt today. They all were awesome.