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Cup final performances: Player by player

Arsenal celebrate winning the 2015 FA Cup

Arsenal won the FA Cup for a record-breaking 12th time with a 4-0 victory over Aston Villa at Wembley Stadium.

We assess the performance of each player:

WOJCIECH SZCZESNYThe Pole started confidently, moving quickly from his goal to punch clear a cross in front of Benteke. In truth, he had little to do as Arsenal dominated - but when called upon he stood up to every test.

 

Mathieu Flamini, Aaron Ramsey, Per Mertesacker, Olivier Giroud and Wojciech Szczesny

Mathieu Flamini

 

HECTOR BELLERINThe right back came close to creating the opener when he burst to the byeline and sent in an inviting low cross. An excellent attacking performance, he was also assured in defence though a touch fortunate not to concede a penalty after holding back Jack Grealish late on.

PER MERTESACKERBig match, big German, big goal. Arsenal’s captain capped a commanding display by heading home the decisive third. Mertesacker’s form has been impressive since the turn of the year and he led the defence with authority here.

LAURENT KOSCIELNYThe France international loves big games and, having scored in Arsenal’s final match of the last three seasons, was only denied an early opener by Shay Given. His central-defensive partnership with Mertesacker has become so important and they combined astutely to nullify the threat of Christian Benteke.

 

Arsenal celebrate winning the 2015 FA Cup

Arsenal celebrate winning the 2015 FA Cup

NACHO MONREALThat Charles N’Zogbia was kept so quiet before being substituted early in the second half had much to do with Monreal’s excellent display. The left back didn’t put a foot wrong and played a key role in the opening goal for Theo Walcott.

 

FRANCIS COQUELINAnother excellent showing, the Frenchman was everywhere when Villa attacked, reading the game well to intercept passes, recovering possession on no less than 11 occasions and engineering Arsenal attacks with some intelligent passing.

SANTI CAZORLAThe Spaniard completed more passes than anyone else on the pitch and some of his combination play with Alexis and Mesut Ozil was a joy to watch. Cazorla set up Arsenal’s third with a pinpoint corner and deserved his man of the match award.

 

Arsenal celebrate winning the 2015 FA Cup

Arsenal celebrate winning the 2015 FA Cup

AARON RAMSEYTypical lung-busting runs from midfield caused Villa problems throughout. Should have given Arsenal the lead after 20 minutes but shot over when well placed. Ramsey’s energy didn’t diminish at any point.

 

MESUT OZILOzil was absolutely outstanding, playing a crucial role as he found space between the lines and playing more key passes than any other Arsenal player. Another big performance from a big player.

ALEXIS SANCHEZSet up the opening goal with a clever header before taking centre stage five minutes after the restart. Receiving the ball outside the penalty area, the Chilean let fly with an unstoppable swerving shot that clipped the underside of the bar on its way in. What a way to bring up his 25th goal of the season.

THEO WALCOTTWenger's decision to select Walcott over Giroud was vindicated five minutes before the break. Racing on to a loose ball in the area, the England international finished emphatically on his left foot to give Arsenal the lead. His pace and intelligent runs off the ball unsettled the Villa backline from the outset.

 

Theo Walcott and Olivier Giroud

Theo Walcott and Olivier Giroud

 

SUBSTITUTES

JACK WILSHEREReplaced Ozil with 13 minutes to go and injected energy into the midfield.

OLIVIER GIROUDIntroduced late on and made his mark, capping a dominant team performance by finishing neatly with virtually the last kick of the match.

ALEX OXLADE-CHAMBERLAINOnly on the pitch for a matter of minutes but still managed to set up Giroud for Arsenal’s fourth.

 

Arsenal - FA Cup winners 2015

 

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