They weren’t given much of a hope, but Arsenal did it.
The Gunners won the 13th FA Cup in their history with a 2-1 win over Chelsea on Saturday, meaning what had been a difficult season ends on a high.
Alexis Sanchez and Aaron Ramsey got the goals as Arsenal prevented the Blues from completing a Premier League and FA Cup double.
Even Arsene Wenger’s biggest critics couldn’t spoil the day for the Arsenal manager.
The Frenchman described the criticism that has come his way this season as “a disgrace” he will “never forget”.
And while yesterday’s victory won’t be enough to turn the heads of those who want him to leave, he has at least proven those who don’t believe he’s on the same tactical level as Antonio Conte, Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho wrong.
The desire to prove the doubters wrong ended up being Wenger and Arsenal’s biggest source of motivation.
Wenger: 'No one gave us a chance'
The Frenchman hailed the strength and unity of his players at full-time.
“You cannot get two tougher opponents, but we produced two outstanding performances,” Wenger said in reference’s win to Arsenal’s wins over Manchester City and Chelsea in the semi-final and final respectively, per The Guardian.
“That is what makes me particularly proud, because no one gave us a chance at Wembley and we responded with attitude and class.
“We had an outstanding performance from the first minute onwards. This team has suffered, but they’ve united and responded. They showed strength and unity and played spectacular football.”
FA Cup final tunnel cam
The FA’s official YouTube channel has posted a behind-the-scenes video from inside the tunnel at Wembley Stadium.
It shows the players arriving, walking in and out of the tunnel during warm-ups and for half-time and full-time, and Arsenal’s celebrations in the dressing room following their win.
It’s a great watch. One of the best moment comes when Per Mertesacker, who produced an inspired performance in his first start of the season, spotted Martin Keown at full-time.
Keown starts bowing to Mertesacker before giving him a hug. The German then say: “Don’t write me off, man, don’t write me off.”
Watch: FA Cup final tunnel cam
Watch the entire video below. Mertesacker and Keown’s exchange comes at the 11:27 mark.
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