Arsenal will head into Saturday’s Emirates FA Cup Final clash with Chelsea knowing that a win will mean they’ll have broken two records.
One: it would mean they will have won this competition a staggering 13 times, that’s more than any other club in the history of the game.
Two: with seven medals to his name, it would make Arsene Wenger the cup’s most successful manager of all-time.
So we’re looking back at the journey of both club and manager up to this point…
26 April, 1930 – Arsenal’s First
We’d be flabbergasted if any of our readers can remember this one – but it was a huge day in the Gunners’ history.
Heading into the Wembley showpiece after playing out a 6-6 draw with Leicester City just five days prior to the Final, Arsenal would have been considered outsiders against a Huddersfield Town side which finished four places higher than them in the old First Division.
Still, it was Herbert Chapman’s men who came out on top, recording a 2-0 victory with goals from Alex James and Jack Lambert in either half.
The latter is considered one of Arsenal’s most prolific strikers of all time, netting 98 goals in 143 games with the club over an eight year spell.
16 May, 1998 – Arsene’s First
In Wenger’s first season with the North London outfit, Arsenal faced defeat in the Fourth Round to Leeds United, and there were questions regarding just how seriously the Frenchman was taking the competition.
He answered those with immediate effect, although it took a penalty shootout win against Port Vale in the Third Round to ensure the Gunners remained involved.
From that moment they brushed aside all that stood before them, and a 1-0 victory over Wolverhampton Wanderers in the semis set up a clash with Newcastle at Wembley.
The Magpies just never got going, and their opponents ran out 2-0 winners courtesy of goals from Marc Overmars and Nicolas Anelka.
This was Wenger’s first full season with the Gunners, and he’d already wrapped up the Premier League title, meaning he’d secured a domestic double for just the second time in the club’s history. Not too shabby.
17 May, 2014 – The Significant One
On paper this one looked easy, but it was far from that. And it was undoubtedly the most significant in Arsenal’s recent history both for club and manager.
The Gunners had gone nine years without winning a trophy, having moved from Highbury to the Emirates, selling their best players in the process in order to balance the books.
Fans were told to be patient, but this had gone on for far too long.
So what better way to add to the trophy cabinet than with an Emirates FA Cup Final victory over Hull City?
Perhaps complacency got the better of the Gunners, who were 2-0 down after just eight minutes. A Santi Cazorla free-kick ensured Wenger’s men would go into the interval just a goal down, but they just couldn’t seem to find an equaliser.
That was until Laurent Koscielny found some space off a corner to turn and scoop the ball into the roof of the net. Game on.
Though Arsenal would have loved a last gasp winner, they had to settle for extra-time which, given the circumstances – wasn’t bad at all.
It then took the favourites 19 minutes to score another and it came from Aaron Ramsey, who’d just enjoyed by far his best campaign in a Gunners shirt. Fitting that he netted what turned out to be the winner.
Will the Welshman be making the headlines again this weekend?
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