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The FA Cup final: All You Need to Know

The day we have waited for has finally arrived.

Arsenal takes on Aston Villa for the right to win the last domestic silverware of the season. A win for Arsenal will also ensure that they become the record holders of the competitions with 12 wins as they’re currently locked on 11 with their eternal rivals, Manchester United.

The folks at London Designer Outlet have decided to create a lovely infographic that tells all you need to know about this historic fixture. This infographic has all you need to know about the FA Cup final and has lots of fun facts, figures and records on the worlds biggest and best domestic cup competition.

If you have a minute or so to take a look you can find the graphic here.

FA Cup Final: All You Need To Know

The tie promises to be an interesting encounter and we can only hope that Arsenal turns up a notch to deliver the trophy home.

The fans are very expectant and we can only hope the club delivers the trophy home.

Sayonara.

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All Roads Lead to Wembley and it’s against Aston Villa

I must say that I felt it wasn’t ‘right’ fixing Arsenal’s semifinal tie against Reading with the Chelsea vs. Manchester United clash from a neutral perspective. But in all honesty, I didn’t really care about the game at Stamford Bridge because Wembley was the place to be and as expected, the Gunners almost gave me a heart attack but Alexis Sanchez’s goals were enough to send Arsene Wenger’s men to the final. Credit to Reading for putting up a good fight as well as giving Arsenal fans some fright but it the end, it was the Gunners that would fill up Wembley on the 30th of May.

The million pound question was – who was going to join the Gunners? Aston Villa or Liverpool? The Villans have endured a tumultuous campaign this season which ultimately led to the sacking of Paul Lambert. There were two spells in the league were Aston Villa lost five games in a row and seven game in a row as well, much to the dismay of their loyal fans from Birmingham. Liverpool is another club that has had a hot and cold campaign and the fans must have felt heartbroken losing out in the semifinals of the League Cup to Chelsea. Their European campaign was rather pathetic in the Champions League and they didn’t fare any better in the Europa League either.

The game itself was a feisty encounter with Liverpool getting the early goal through Phillippe Coutinho but Aston Villa got an equalizer through their in-form striker, Christian Benteke. Fabian Delph scored the all-important goal that proved to be the match winner, which ruled out Liverpool’s chances of silverware this season. With the money the club spent this summer (£117m on eight players), it’s obvious to see that the club hasn’t been able to cope with the loss of Luis Suarez and to some extent, Daniel Sturridge. Raheem Sterling has been on the back pages for the ‘wrong reasons’ and a lot of burden have been placed on his shoulders this campaign.

However, some credit should go to Aston Villa and Tim Sherwood for what has been a great FA Cup campaign. It began with wins over Championship outfits, Blackpool and Bournemouth, before wins over fellow Premier League sides , Leicester City, West Brom and most recently, Liverpool.

There’s a lot of football to play between now and the FA Cup final, so we can focus on finishing strongly in the Premier League.

All roads lead to Wembley and it’s against Aston Villa.

Sayonara.

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5-Star Heroes Destroy the Villans

Arsenal 5 Aston Villa 0

Sometimes playing with some measure of pressure can be a good thing you know. With Arsenal’s top four rivals, Tottenham and Manchester United sealing victories, it was paramount to get a win over the non-scoring Aston Villa because Southampton had a match against Swansea and in the form they’re in, compounded with the losses of Wilfried Bony and Gyifl Sigurdsson, one expected the Saints to steamroll past the Swans.

Arsenal started with more urgency and almost broke the deadlock when Aaron Ramsey sent a brilliant through ball to Theo Walcott. The winger’s rustiness was on show again and Okore showed good anticipation to block his effort. Aston Villa’s first sniff at goal arrived with a tame shot from Fabian Delph that drifted wide.

Arsenal was on the prowl again as Nacho Monreal teed up Ramsey with a nice pass but the Welshman’s search for a league goal continued as he blasted his effort wide. Arsenal opened the scoring when Mesut Özil delightfully cushioned Per Mertesacker’s cross-field ball to Olivier Giroud. The Frenchman covered some distance with the ball before clipping the ball past Brad Guzan to send the Emirates into raptures.

With that all-important goal scored, Arsenal played in bullish mode and almost made it two but it was a classic case of one touch too many when Giroud attempted a one-two with Ramsey when shooting the ball might have been a better option. Giroud almost doubled his tally when his looping header from a Santi Cazorla cross clipped the cross bar and went over.

Cazorla and Özil connected superbly on the left and the German scored a neat goal that was wrongly ruled offside. David Ooooooooooooooooospina was having a relatively untroubled day at the back but he had to keep his guard up when Andi Weimann guided a glancing header goalwards. Arsenal launched a counter attack from that move but Walcott killed it off.

Arsenal made it two when Giroud showed off his creativity to thread a sumptuous pass to Özil that wasted no time in scoring his second goal in his second start from injury. Two quickly became three when Walcott intercepted Cazorla’s proposed pass to Giroud before curling the ball past Guzan. I’m pretty sure that Thierry Henry and Robert Pires on the stands would have enjoyed that. The party wasn’t over and it almost became four when Cazorla fired an effort that hit the upright.

With Tottenham on the horizon and the game put beyond doubt, Wenger brought on Chuba Akpom for Giroud and Tomas Rosicky for Walcott. With Lukas Podolski, Yaya Sanogo and Joel Campbell out on loan, Akpom would have a chance to stake a claim and his cause was helped when he used his pace to go past Guzan before he was scythed down. Cazorla took the penalty and made it four.

The Spanish magician was enjoying himself and he created another chance for Akpom but he missed his chance. Cazorla created another chance for Bellerin that was well taken and the young Spaniard’s placed effort made it five.

Late on, Ospina made a wonderful save to keep his clean sheet intact and that was it. Aston Villa’s hunt for a goal continued and they are currently the lowest scoring team in all nine divisions in England. This consists of 649 teams.

Despite the goalscoring exploits by the team’s attackers, the defender’s did their bit to maintain balance and Francis Coquelin had another awesome game in the holding midfield role. We really shouldn’t be looking at him as a short term solution, he’s actually the solution.

With Tottenham and Arsenal in good form, the North London derby promises to be a mouthwatering prospect.

Sayonara