FA Cup Final 2017
It that time of year again, May, known as one of the biggest months of sporting events featuring some of the most important matches of the season. Champions League final, Championship league winners, Premier League winners, Europa League Final and not to mention the biggest domestic cup competition, The FA Cup.
This year, Wembley will host the 136th final of the FA Cup competition on the 27th May, the oldest football cup competition in the world which has seen some of the world’s greatest finals ever.
This year’s cup final will be a hosted at Wembley Stadium with a fantastic match up with two great footballing sides battling it out to add to their silverware collection, UEFA Europa League places and not to mention those all-important bragging rights – Arsenal vs. Chelsea.
Chelsea started their FA Cup campaign in high spirits after some fantastic performances in the Premier League. Their opening match of the campaign was a comfortable home tie against Peterborough Utd, putting themselves in the 4th round draw. The draw saw Chelsea go into the match with another home tie, this time against Brentford, after putting 4 past the championship side, the 5th round saw Chelsea make a trip away from The Bridge to Wolves, who had just beaten Liverpool at Anfield leaving them with great confidence going into the match, however Chelsea secured a place in the Quarter Final after holding out a 2-0 lead. Chelsea returned to The Bridge and so did Mourinho with his new Manchester Utd side. There was no luck from the special one this time with an early dismissal for Herrera and a cool finish from Kante, securing Chelsea’s place in the trip to Wembley for the Semi Final against their arch rivals Tottenham.
Chelsea never went behind in the Semi Final tie even after conceding to an early free-kick from Willian putting the blues ahead. Harry Kane shortly after equalised for Spurs with a bit of striker masterclass which was overlooked by a silly challenge from Son who brought down Moses in the box. Willian stepped up to the mark putting Chelsea 2-1 ahead at the break. The second half saw Dele Alli equalise with a tidy finish from an exquisite pass from Eriksen. Conte then brought on the big names, Costa & Hazard who both took the game by the scruff of the neck. Hazard left the field with a weak foot goal and an assist for Matic who’s thunderbolt strike in the top right hand corner, left Loris in no man’s land securing Chelsea’s place in the FA Cup Final.
Arsenal started their road to Wembley with a tough match against Preston North End but with Giroud’s last minute winner saw Arsenal progress to the fourth round. They then travelled to St. Mary’s and ran riot putting five past the League Cup finalists Southampton. Arsenal then drew an away tie against record breaking Sutton Utd, Perez with an early goal and Walcott sealing their place in the Quarter Final draw. Arsenal confirmed their trip to Wembley for the Semi Finals by putting 5 past another record breaking side, Lincoln City at the Emirates.
Arsenal went into their toughest match up of their campaign with a tie against Manchester City at Wembley. They went into the match as the underdogs but managed to keep City quiet for 62 minutes, until Aguero comes up with a little bit of magic to but the sky blues ahead. The underdogs fought back equalising on the 71st minute and Sanchez confirming their place in the Final with a tidy finish in extra time.
Chelsea will go into this year’s final as favourites after the fantastic run of form in the 16/17 season of the Premier League especially with Arsenals inconsistent form dropping points where they shouldn’t, but we shouldn’t undermine Arsene Wenger’s ability to win this competition after winning FA Cup six times previously.
Despite Chelsea securing their place first in the final, Arsenal will be designated as the home team appearing at Wembley for their 20th FA Cup Final. Arsene Wenger has taken some harsh criticism this season but really has the chance to show why he is in the big seat at the club or will Antonio Conte look to take some silverware back to The Bridge during his first season at the club and possibility do the double with being clear at the top of the Premier League.