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Arsenal retain FA Cup with victory against Villa

Arsenal FC retained the FA Cup at Wembley with a 4-0 defeat of Aston Villa FC thanks to goals from Theo Walcott, Alexis Sánchez, Per Mertesacker and Olivier Giroud.

There was no hiding Theo Walcott's joy after he opened the scoring for Arsenal
There was no hiding Theo Walcott's joy after he opened the scoring for Arsenal ©Getty Images

Arsenal FC defeated Aston Villa FC 4-0 at Wembley to win the FA Cup for a record 12th time.

Though the holders were ascendant throughout, they had to wait until five minutes before the interval for Theo Walcott to put them ahead. Alexis Sánchez, Per Mertesacker and Olivier Giroud – with the last kick of the game – added to the tally in the second half to give manager Arsène Wenger his sixth triumph in the competition, drawing him level with former Villa boss George Ramsay at the head of the all-time standings.

Two of the Gunners' scorers in Wenger's fifth success, against Hull City AFC last season, went closest to breaking the deadlock in the early stages. First, Laurent Koscielny's header was clawed away by Villa keeper Shay Given, before Aaron Ramsey fired into the side-netting and then poked narrowly over.

Walcott had himself been denied, by Kieran Richardson's last-ditch block, before giving Wenger's team the lead their superiority warranted. The England forward finished adroitly with his weaker left foot after Alexis Sánchez had nodded down Nacho Monreal's cross from the left.

Creator turned scorer soon after the interval, the Chilean international beating Given from fully 25 metres out with a vicious, swerving effort that went in via the crossbar. Given showed sharp reflexes to keep out Santi Cazorla's low drive four minutes later but was subsequently rooted to the spot when the ball spun in off Mertesacker's shoulder from a corner.

Giroud turned in from close range at the death to ice the cake. The north Londoners move out on their own ahead of Manchester United FC as the most decorated club in FA Cup history.