31 May 2015

Arsenal win FA Cup for record 12th time

10:25 am on 31 May 2015

The Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger could be excused if he felt like singing a verse of 'we've won our trophy back' after his team retained English football's FA Cup with a 4-0 demolition of Aston Villa in the final at Wembley.

The Arsenal striker Theo Walcott.

The Arsenal striker Theo Walcott. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The 65-year-old Frenchman is now the most successful FA Cup manager of modern times having led the Gunners to a 12th triumph, a record for football's oldest knockout competition.

"I am very proud of that because if it has not been done it shows that it is not easy," Wenger told reporters.

"I have managed in seven finals and we have won six. I am very proud of that."

Theo Walcott, preferred to Olivier Giroud in attack after scoring a Premier League hat-trick against West Bromwich Albion last weekend, fired Arsenal in front before halftime.

Alexis Sanchez added a second after the break with a thumping shot that swerved one way and then the other before defender Per Mertesacker and substitute Olivier Giroud completed a comfortable victory.

"It was a convincing win because we were at it from the first to the last minute. I never felt the focus or the quality dropped," Wenger said.

"I had many, many, many big decisions to make before the game. I had to leave big players out of the squad but I just tried to find a good balance in the team."

Arsenal finished third in the Premier League and Wenger is backing his side to build on their second straight FA Cup success, they beat Hull City 3-2 in the final 12 months ago, next term.

"We feel we have made progress since the start of the season in the way we play and the way we manage games," he said.

"Of course we can push on. It is about consistency at the top level. In the past when we have won leagues we have been consistent."

The Gunners may need to go into the transfer market to catch league champions Chelsea but Wenger's mind was set firmly on where his players were taking him for a celebratory drink.

"The players have organised it and I'm following," he said. "I've organised the whole season so I just want to follow tonight."

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs

We have regular online commentary of local and international sport.