There was an immense feeling of eerie frustration when the referee whistled at the end of the FA Cup game between Arsenal and Watford yesterday. The game that was believed ‘hopeful’ for Arsenal’s hat-trick FA Cup wins ended with furious questions shot against Arsenal and Arsene Wenger on the team’s desire and character. The loss at home ended Arsenal’s fantastic streak without a loss, that goes back to February 2013. But much to the dismay of Arsenal and its fans, the London club is out of the Nation’s oldest football tournament.
It was on February 2013, when Colin Richards of Blackburn Rovers scored against the Gunners to register a terrific win. The next season saw Arsenal stridently marching in the cup run. The team also showed plenty of promise of winning the Premier League title, which was eventually faltered after the team losing to Chelsea (6-0), Liverpool (5-1) and Manchester City (6-3). The loss against Chelsea rubbed more salt on Arsenal’s wound as it was Arsene Wenger’s 1000th game in charge of Arsenal.
But the FA cup run was going in favour of Arsenal. They beat Tottenham (2-0), Everton (4-1) and Liverpool (2-1) before winning against Wigan Athletic in a pulsating penalty game which longed into penalty shoot-out.
The final was a thriller as Hull City took a two goal lead within the opening ten minutes. But Arsenal stroke back to restore parity, thus prolonging the game into extra time. Aaron Ramsey, scored a sensational extra time goal to lift the FA Cup at Wembley, their first silverware since Arsenal won the same trophy in 2005.
History repeated in the next season, as Arsenal successfully defended the FA Cup. The early fixtures of the competition was comparatively easier than the last season, as they successfully defeated Hull City, Brighton and Hove Albion FC, and Middlesbrough before travelling to Old Trafford.
The game was a test of nerves for Wenger’s men. The game was won by ex-Manchester United striker, after Wayne Rooney cancelled Nacho Monreal’s opening goal.
Arsenal played Reading in the semi-final and was lucky to win the goal, as Alexis Sanchez scored a brace, both of the goals could have been avoided for Reading, if only their goalkeeper had avoided misjudgments of shots and some minuscule blunders.
The win in the final against Aston Villa was in emphatic fashion as Tim Sherwood’s men were outclassed by a brilliant Arsenal teamwork. Theo Walcott, Per Mertesacker, Olivier Giroud and Alexis Sanchez register their names in the scoresheet.
This season, the FA Cup run for Arsenal started comfortably as they brushed off Sunderland at the stadium of lights. The next game against Hull City finished in a goalless stalemate forcing a replay, which Arsenal won, thanks to braces from Giroud and Walcott.
But last night, hopes for another FA Cup was shattered after Warford registered a surprising win against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium, thus ending the 13-games unbeaten run by Arsenal in FA Cup.