Gunners win the FA Cup final in extra time after fighting back from 2-0 down to beat Hull.
Arsenal won their first major trophy since 2005 on Saturday by producing a stunning comeback to see off Hull City 3-2.
Goals from Santi Carzorla, Laurent Koscielny and Aaron Ramsey turned the FA Cup final on its head, after defenders James Chester and Curtis Davies had fired Hull into a 2-0 lead in the opening eight minutes.
Steve Bruce’s Tigers, who had finished 42 points and 12 places below the Gunners in the Premier League table, made an incredible start Wembley Stadium.
Just four minutes were on the clock when Hull broke the deadlock from a clever set piece. Right-back Ahmed Elmohamady got forward and won a corner, which Stephen Quinn used to pick out Tom Huddlestone just outside the penalty area. The former Tottenham Hotspur playmaker hit a volley, which Chester redirected into the bottom corner of Lukasz Fabianski’s net.
The Polish goalkeeper, playing his last game for the Gunners, was beaten again moments later. He could only parry Alex Bruce’s header onto the post, allowing Davies to dispatch the rebound and send Hull’s travelling army of fans into euphoric celebration.
Things almost got even better for Hull. Having seen both of his central defensive partners get on the scoresheet, Bruce very nearly followed suit. However, his looping header was cleared off the line by Kieran Gibbs.
Arsenal were lacklustre and they needed something special to get them out of their rut. Right on cue, Cazorla provided a piece of magic – dispatching a stunning 25-yard free-kick into the top corner of Allan McGregor’s goal, via the the Scot’s fingertips and then the underside of his crossbar.
Cazorla’s 17th-minute strike put Arsenal in the ascendancy. The Gunners quickly began to boss the game and they came close to an equaliser midway through the first half when Lukas Podolski crossed low for Mesut Ozil, who missed the ball.
Arsene Wenger’s side threatened again just before the half-hour mark, but Olivier Giroud was denied by a determined block from the impressive Chester.
At the other end, Huddlestone fizzed a long-range half-volley narrowly wide just before half time, politely reminding Arsenal of Hull’s attacking potential amid a sustained period of Gunners dominance.
The interval seemed to stifle Arsenal’s momentum, forcing a worried Wenger to switch to a 4-4-2 formation on the hour, replacing Podolski with Yayo Sanogo.
Sanogo was involved in the action almost immediately, latching onto a Cazorla corner and flicking on a header that struck the hands of Hull midfielder Jake Livermore.
No penalty, said referee Lee Probert, who turned down another strong claim moments later when Davies sent Cazorla tumbling inside the 18-yard box.
Probert then made a controversial call that went in Arsenal’s favour. Sanogo sent a back-heeled shot into the side-netting, but a corner was awarded, when it should have been a goal kick.
From the corner, the ball bounced untidily around the penalty area before falling to Koscielny, who finished well from close range.
Arsenal were level and 19 minutes were still left on the clock. The Gunners went for the kill and Gibbs should have completed the turnaround, but he blazed over from seven yards.
Giroud then forced McGregor into an excellent save, before Sanogo fired wide from the edge of the box in the final minute of normal time.
The announcement of five minutes of injury time was met by a combination of excitement and fear from both sets of supporters.
Arsenal came closest to pinching a stoppage-time winner, but Giroud was again thwarted by McGregor.
Giroud rattled Hull’s woodwork early in extra time, when his bullet head from Ramsey’s cross smashed against the crossbar. Ramsey then went close himself, crashing a low drive into the side netting.
Wenger made his final two substitutions at half time in extra time. Tomas Rosicky replaced Cazorla, while Jack Wishere came on in place of Ozil.
However, It was two players that had been on the pitch for the entire match that combined to put Arsenal in front on 109 minutes. Giroud back-heeled into the path of Ramsey, who, using the outside of his boot, guided a beautiful first-time shot just inside McGregor’s near post.
Hull’s challenge did not end there. Arsenal’s name was literally being engraved on the trophy when Fabianski raced out of his goal and was beaten to the ball by Sone Aluko, who dribbled around the goalkeeper before shooting wide from a narrow angle.
Aluko and Fabianski duelled once more before time was up. The Nigerian winger unleashed a stinging effort from long range, but the out-of-contract Pole made a decent stop, which is likely to be his last ever contribution to the Arsenal cause.