2013/14 FA Cup: Arsenal’s Best Moments in the Tournament
I’m still basking in the euphoria of winning a trophy after eight years, 11 months and 27 days… trust me, that’s a long time. If you thought that the taunts, jibes, trolling and jokes were bad enough, imagine being in Arsene Wenger’s shoes when a fellow professional labelled him as a “specialist in failure” in the wake of the club’s barren spell.
Still in the spirit of celebratory mood, Gooner Daily has decided to look back on the tournament and share it’s five favored and iconic moments that made the competition worth the wait. I’m certain that we may not agree on all the moments, and you’re free to share yours in the comments section.
Rosicky’s Delicate Chip
It’s the FA Cup third round against the old enemy, Tottenham Hotspurs. Despite spending more money that the amount of times Mikel Arteta uses his hair gel, all it took was an Olivier Giroud finish to settle the contest in September. The Gunners had gotten the lead when Serge Gnabry teed up Santi Cazorla but Tottenham tried to get themselves back in the game.
That’s when poor ol’ Danny Rose chose to go a-slipping…
Tomas Rosicky, a player not renowned for his pace, darted with the ball and bore on Hugo Lloris’ goal. An obviously quicker Kyle Walker chased the Czech maestro with the hope of winning the ball…Hugo Lloris also raced from his goal line to anticipate the ball…
What happened next?
A brilliant chip that clinched the match for the Gunners.
A Goal for an “Out-of-Form” Ozil
“What a waste of £42.5m”, “He hasn’t delivered yet”, “He isn’t all that”
These were the words on the street concerning Mesut Ozil, a super-talented footballer that graced the Emirates with his mesmeric skills, silky passing, orbicular eye balls and garnering reputation as the most creative force in Europe over the last five seasons.
However, he started his Arsenal career like a house on fire as it took him just 11 minutes to register his first assist in the club. He kept on piling the assists and even scored a couple as well. Then fatigue set its toll on the German superstar and adjusting to life in England wasn’t exactly a bed of roses.
That’s why when he received that through ball from Santi Cazorla, he knew that with Seamus Coleman and John Stones closing down, he had to take a shot and he had only one chance. And he took it.
Arteta’s Composure From the Spot
Some poor defending combined with a swift Everton counter attack saw Romelu Lukaku get the equalizer for the Toffees and it seemed as if it was going to be a repeat of the previous encounter in December when Roberto Martinez’ side went back to Merseyside with the spoils of battle.
But when Gareth Barry’s lack of pace was well exploited by the Ox, Mikel Arteta, an ex-Evertonian was given the daunting task of scoring the penalty that would give Arsenal the lead. In his head, he probably saw Mark Schwarzer in goal with the scores tied at 3-3 and an expectant Emirates crowd waiting to go into raptures. He played the penalty well but Schwarzer guessed right and the prospect of having three points were shattered within seconds.
There was no Schwarzer this time, just plain ol’ Joel Robles, Everton’s second choice goalie, standing on the goal line. Arteta stepped up and smashed it in but the ref told him to play it again. TF!
Well, he played it again and the rest they say was history.
Fabianski’s Penalty Saves
Ah! It’s the semifinal and the Gunners were set to play against
the almighty Manchester City Wigan that showed that lightning can actually strike the same place twice when they won the Citizens in their turf. This was a Championship outfit but the Gunners knew that they weren’t going to take anything for granted.
All Hell broke loose when Per Mertesacker blatantly fouled Callum McManaman and another upset was on the cards. The trolls were ready to launch new attacks on the Gunners and create more “trophyless” jokes but the BFG, that was probably working as a double agent, decided to change from villain to hero as he nodded in the equalizer. 30 minutes of extra time couldn’t settle the contest so we had to go through the lottery of a penalty shootout.
The Arsenal spot kick takers did their jobs superbly but they had to rely on Lukasz Fabianski to do his. This was their reaction.
Lifting the Trophy
Fabianski’s heroics got the Gunners to the final and as Wenger had promised, the Pole remained in goal despite the fact that his footballing future is away from North London. The match against Hull was an epic contest with the Gunners digging really deep to claw their way from the jaws of defeat to the sweet taste of victory thanks to Aaron Ramsey’s finish in the 109th minute.
The reactions from the players and fans alike have been epic. Jack Wilshere said the win was for the fans, Ivan Gazidis stated that it’s a ‘huge step’ for the club, Timas Rosicky said that it was exhausting to watch, Lukas Podolski declared that it was special and the boss himself, Arsene Wenger, said that it was very emotional.
But this feeling was indescribable,
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