What an incredible FA Cup final that was!
Despite Chelsea being heavy favourites, an Arsenal side with a make-shift backline got the job done, thanks largely to a colossal performance from Per Mertesacker in particular.
After an early, and controversial, opening goal from Alexis Sanchez, the tempo of the game never seemed to relent as Chelsea threw waves forward in the hope of nabbing an equaliser. They would eventually get one through Diego Costa, although it was a tad fortunate to find the net thanks to a deflection and a weak hand from David Ospina.
But the lead would only last two minutes.
Olivier Giroud was introduced right away, and the Frenchman had an immediate impact as he provided a sublime cross for Aaron Ramsey to bury the finish and restore the lead.
Chelsea had managed to claw their way back into the game despite being down to 10 men.
Already on a yellow card, Chelsea's Victor Moses tried to con the referee with the score at 1-0 despite being roughly 10 feet away from referee Anthony Taylor. The ref was absolutely certain, and showed no hesitation in brandishing Moses' second yellow as the replays showed that he got it spot on.
Embarrassing for Victor Moses.
Chelsea just did not look themselves, and had a number of poor performers on the day, most notably Marcos Alonso and Nemanja Matic, but after the game all the talk was about Arsenal's big performers Per Mertesacker, Danny Welbeck, and of course Olivier Giroud.
Arsenal fully deserved that, Mertersacker outstanding along with Sanchez, Bellerin & Xhaka. #FACupFinal
— Jamie Carragher (@Carra23) May 27, 2017
This Per Mertesacker display is the greatest argument I've ever seen that 'match fitness' doesn't exist. He's amazing!
— Jack Pitt-Brooke (@JackPittBrooke) May 27, 2017
What a final. Hope you're not missing it.
— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) May 27, 2017
Why did LVG sell Danny Welbeck again?
— Philip Neville (@fizzer18) May 27, 2017
This game is wild. #FACupFinal
— Alex Morgan (@alexmorgan13) May 27, 2017
To me, Mertesacker should be man of the match. Given the circumstances. And his performance. #FACupFinal
— Mattias Karén (@MattiasKaren) May 27, 2017
— Francesca La Frenais (@FLaFrenais) May 27, 2017
— Mario Melchiot (@MarioMelchiot) May 27, 2017
38 - There were just 38 seconds between Olivier Giroud coming on as a substitute and the Frenchman providing the assist. Gamechanger.
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) May 27, 2017