Aaron Ramsey scored the winner as Arsenal FC rallied from two down to defeat Hull City AFC 3-2 after extra time in the FA Cup final and end their nine-year trophy drought.
Goals in the opening eight minutes from centre-backs James Chester and Curtis Davies gave first-time finalists Hull a sensational start. Santi Cazorla curled in a free-kick before the break and with the Gunners throwing everything at their opponents, Laurent Koscielny swivelled to equalise with 19 minutes remaining. Ramsey landed the decisive blow in the second period of extra time.
While the east Yorkshire club must wait for the first major silverware of their 110-year existence, Arsenal have now moved level with Manchester United FC – the team they defeated in the 2005 showpiece – as the most decorated side in FA Cup history with 11 victories.
Hull struck from their first corner, Stephen Quinn's delivery to the edge of the box directed towards goal by Tom Huddlestone. Though the midfielder mis-cued his shot, it was turned in by Chester via the base of Łukasz Fabiański's right-hand upright; the perfect way to settle any nerves.
It soon got better for Hull. Retrieving a cleared free-kick, Quinn floated in a left-wing cross which defender Alex Bruce headed against a post. Captain Davies, following up, did the rest from a tight angle.
Arsenal were rocking, vulnerable to every ball into their area, and would have fallen further behind had Kieran Gibbs not cleared another Bruce header from under the crossbar. From nowhere, though, Cazorla threw them a lifeline, expertly bending a free-kick past Allan McGregor.
Having regained some semblance of composure, Arsène Wenger's side began to press, Hull often leaving Matty Fryatt up front alone. The second half continued in a similar vein, with Arsenal posing all of the questions, though clear sights of McGregor's goal were rare.
The leveller they were craving arrived when Bacary Sagna headed on a corner and the ball deflected off Olivier Giroud to Koscielny, who hooked it through McGregor's legs. Gibbs, unmarked, then fired over and Giroud's stinging shot was repelled by McGregor, meaning an additional 30 minutes.
In the first four of those, Giroud headed against the bar. Up stepped Ramsey, though, to drill past McGregor after being cutely set up by Giroud's back-heel.
"I get emotional thinking about it," said Ramsey, a member of the Cardiff City FC team beaten in the 2008 final. "We have conceded early in lots of big games this season, but we showed great strength of character to come back and to score the winner is something I have dreamed off. This one is for the manager and the fans who have already believed in us, even when things have not gone well for us."
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