Saturday, May 30, 2015

Sport: with Villa 'out to lunch" Gunners, Wenger leap into history

Going into today's FA Cup final at London's Wembley, Arsenal was a team on the cusp, in several repsects.

A win would mean no other team would have as many trophies (12), no other team would have notched back-to-back wins on two separate occasions (the gunners previously did it in the 2002 and 2003 seasons) and no other manager since WWII had notched more than 5 wins.

Well, all those conditionalities were soundly resolved today in one of the most lop-sided victories in over a decade, as the resurgent Gunners thumped a strangely out of touch and out of sorts Aston Villa 4-0, in a game that could easily have seen two or three more goals for Wenger's men.

Walcott opened the account with a fine volley 5 minutes from the interval, justifying the manager's faith in starting him over Giroud.  Then, ironically five minutes into the second half, Alexis Sanchez delivered the coup de grace, a thunderous 32-yard screamer that dipped exquisitely to chip in under the crossbar and effectively remove any residual resistance from a clearly resigned Tim Sherwood and his squad.

A towering Mertesacker header and a simple tap-in from late sub Giroud (who now has 4 goals in consecutive matches against Villa) slammed and sealed the coffin and sent the trophy back to the Emirates for at least another year. Deserved jubilation for Arsenal and dejection for the shell-shocked Villans and their fans, the latter no doubt expecting much more of a contest than materialized.

It may not totally wipe taste of losing both the Premiership (to Chelsea) and the Champions League (to Monaco, subsequently wiped out by finalists Juventus), but it sure speaks volume about Arsenal's potential as a dominant team, both in England and in Europe, come next season.

The players will surely be off to a well-deserved summer break.

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