Armed police guarding FA Cup final after Manchester attack

Yet despite all of the odds being stacked against them, Arsenal's fighting spirit and the brilliance of Alexis Sanchez were enough to overcome Chelsea and secure a record 13th FA Cup for the club.

When his initial attempt to chip the ball into Chelsea's area was blocked, he appeared to knock the rebound forward with his arms before running through and shooting past Thibaut Courtois despite Ramsey standing in an offside position.

Arsenal dominated the first half and could have doubled their advantage but Danny Welbeck struck the woodwork with a header and Ramsey chested the ball against the same post on the follow-up.

Arsenal even had the luxury of a man advantage from the 68th minute when Victor Moses received a second yellow card for diving.

The Wenger debate has divided the club's supporters this season, creating what Wenger describes as a "hostile" environment which has effected his players. The German defender put in a dominant display to keep Costa quiet.

Arsene Wenger was right when he said the season has been a tough one for the players and fans, but they turned up today. "It is all about trying to change the manager's decision, but he wants what's best for the team".

These two legendary squads went head-to-head in the 136th final of the FA Cup, and when the final whistle blew, it was Arsenal who walked the champion!

"After that goal, we tried to play but they deserved it".

Mertesacker was playing alongside a left-back Nacho Monreal who was converted to centre-back, while youngster Rob Holding was playing in his first major showpiece.

Chelsea were expected to pressurise the Gunners backline early on, but it was Arsenal who started brighter and were in front inside four minutes.

So it was against all expectations that the centre-back emerged as the towering foundation of Arsenal's 2-1 triumph at Wembley.

Mertesacker had only made his first appearance of a season disrupted by knee surgery in the 57th minute of last week's 4-1 win over Everton after Koscielny and Gabriel had exited the game.

Chelsea team: Courtois; Azpilicueta, David Luiz, Cahill (c); Moses, Kante, Matic, Alonso; Pedro, Diego Costa, Hazard.

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