Arsenal end 9-year title drought with FA Cup win
By Rob Harris ,AP
May 19, 2014, 12:02 am TWN
LONDON -- Doused in champagne by Arsenal's victorious players, Arsene Wenger was soaked in success once again.
The nine-year wait for a trophy finally ended Saturday and the manager, who had felt the pressure and faced derision over the drought, could finally celebrate on the Wembley Stadium pitch.
Arsenal won its fifth FA Cup trophy in Wenger's 18-year reign after Aaron Ramsey struck in extra time to clinch a 3-2 comeback victory over Hull.
“It's a big, big moment of happiness,” Wenger said. “We waited a long time for that. But the happiness is linked sometimes with the time you have to wait for it. That's why it was a great moment at the end of the game.”
Especially after Arsenal looked headed for disaster early on when its defense imploded to concede two goals in the opening eight minutes. James Chester and Curtis Davies scored for a Hull side that has never won a major trophy in its 110-year history.
Santi Cazorla began Arsenal's comeback in the 17th minute by scoring directly from a free kick, but Laurent Koscielny took until the 71st to equalize and force the game into extra time, when Ramsey completed a slick move to score.
“This one's for the manager, for the fans, who've always believed in us as well even when things weren't going as well,” Ramsey said.
It was Arsenal's 11th FA Cup win overall, tying Manchester United's record.
This is a team that has played in the Champions League for 16 successive years by finishing in the Premier League's top four but has failed to match its talent with silverware since lifting the 2005 FA Cup.
“I think it was a turning point in the lifetime of this team,” Wenger said. “And to know they can win in that way was very important today.”
Arsenal's coach Arsene Wenger is doused with champagne by his players as they celebrate after winning the English FA Cup final soccer match in London on Saturday, May 17. (AP)