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Ramsey raid crowns Arsenal comeback in FA Cup final

Date

Jason Burt, London

Gunner glory: FA Cup hero Aaron Ramsey is swamped by teammates after scoring the deciding goal in extra time at Wembley Stadium.

Gunner glory: FA Cup hero Aaron Ramsey is swamped by teammates after scoring the deciding goal in extra time at Wembley Stadium. Photo: AFP

Arsenal 3 Hull City 2

No longer is it 3283 days and counting; no longer is it a nine-year weight that has grown heavier and heavier. Arsenal has its trophy. But after such a long, painful wait it was inevitable this dramatic, raucous FA Cup final went all the way into extra-time. Defeat was cruel on Hull, who could not hold on to its two-goal lead, but ultimately a deserved triumph for Arsene Wenger and Arsenal.

There had been an air of dangerous inevitability and assumption about Arsenal in the days leading up to this final; a sense perceived, perhaps unfairly, that the win would be simply claimed and the trophy quest ended. It was not about booking victory parades - as of course it had to provisionally - but about claiming superiority.

After all Arsenal could not, surely, let another one slip away and especially against Hull, in the first final in its history, comfortably beaten twice in the Premier League, and depleted without its two January signings in strikers Nikica Jelavic and Shane Long.

Hull looked defensive with three central defenders but what a trick that proved to be as all three of those centre-halves were involved as Steve Bruce's side scored two precious goals inside an astonishing, stunning opening eight minutes.

The first came as Ahmed Elmohamady sprinted down the right with his cross deflected for a corner. Stephen Quinn took it, swinging the ball deep to Tom Huddlestone on the edge of the penalty area only for the midfielder to miscue his volley. It was squirting wide but the ball ran to James Chester who adjusted his feet to divert it with a smart side-footed shot back across Lukasz Fabianski and into the net. There was disbelief - from all sides of the stadium - and then the celebrations began. Wenger turned on his heels, shaking his head.

He was stunned into angry protests soon after as, extraordinarily, Hull scored again. Once more Arsenal was chaotic, disorganised and lacking any impetus. A disputed free-kick came in, it was headed back by David Meyler and retrieved by Quinn who worked his way to the byline and crossed. The ball was met by Alex Bruce whose header beat Fabianski and came back off the post - and there was Curtis Davies to steer it home from an acute angle. The celebrations this time were instant and even more exuberant.

Arsenal was reeling and almost fell even further behind from another corner. Again it was met by Bruce who headed it back across goal with Fabianski rooted only for Kieran Gibbs to clear off the goal-line. Another goal then and the capitulation would have been complete and the contest over before it had even begun. The recriminations would have been deep.

How Arsenal needed a response. How it then found it. A free-kick was earned 23 metres out and Santi Cazorla stepped up to arc a powerful right-footed effort around a Hull wall which fell away. Goalkeeper Allan McGregor appeared to react late and he was clawing at air as the ball struck the net.

Suddenly the dynamics of a final that was threatening to engulf Arsenal in further trauma had changed. Doubts now surrounded Hull. It made for the most open, unpredictable, chance-laden and, error-strewn final. It was entertaining, but defences were most definitely not on top and it was all the more glorious for that. Both sides sensed goals with Arsenal trying to capitalise on the supremacy it established with Cazorla's strike and its superiority in terms of talent.

Hull were hemmed back, pushed deep, unable to clear cleanly. Corners were accrued and wasted by Arsenal with Olivier Giroud shooting into the side-netting and an Aaron Ramsey effort blocked. But eventually Hull, with Jake Livermore snapping into tackles, found a response and began to push back and Huddlestone drove fiercely over from distance.

Half-time was reached and Hull deserved its advantage. It appeared simply to want this more but the issue would be whether it was physically able and mentally prepared to continue to press and harry and push high up the pitch.

Its intent remained the same even if it was quickly breached when Mesut Azil found space down the left and cut the ball back. No Arsenal player was there with Lukas Podolski arriving late and Giroud continuing to struggle to match the pace of the encounter.

Huddlestone drove another shot over as a reminder that Hull would not easily be cowed. It was becoming increasingly tense with Bacary Sagna demanding more movement ahead of him while Giroud implored the referee for a penalty when he went to ground as Huddlestone threw his arm across him. The angry demands were waved away. Huddlestone was perhaps fortunate.

Shortly afterwards the Hull midfielder was cautioned as he brought down Cazorla and Wenger sensed it was time to try to press his side's advantage, introducing another striker in Yaya Sanogo. The ineffective Podolski gave way.

From a corner Laurent Koscielny rose but headed wastefully wide; from another the ball appeared to strike Livermore's arm while the Arsenal fans began to accuse Hull of time-wasting. There was 25 minutes to go and that tension was rising.

Again Arsenal demanded a penalty. Again it was waved away. Davies challenged Cazorla as the Spaniard cut inside. The ball bounced off him but the follow-through brought down Cazorla. Lee Probert was unmoved and Wenger was furious.

Driven by desperation and a sense of injustice Arsenal came forward again and, finally, it did score. Another corner was earned as Sanogo's near-post flick was deemed to have deflected off a defender - but it had not. It proved a crucial decision. The ball came in and Sagna's powerful header ricocheted off Giroud dropping for Koscielny who turned it beyond McGregor from close range.

Hull looked beaten and the chances racked up with Gibbs skying over from only six metres. The chance came as Sanogo's raw strength held off defenders and he rolled the ball across. Gibbs even had time to control it. He had time to tee it. But over it sailed.

Arsenal agonised yet again when the ball dropped to Giroud on the edge of the box and his drive was superbly turned away by McGregor as it threatened to bounce beyond the goalkeeper. The Scot was stretching once more soon after only for Sanogo's shot to veer narrowly wide.

Extra-time brought more opportunities as Giroud met Aaron Ramsey's cross only for his superb diving header to cannon off the bar. Like Giroud, Ramsey's influence was growing and he exchanged passes with Cazorla then swerved his shot into the side-netting.

Finally the breakthrough came and Ramsey claimed it. Again Hull could not clear and Giroud cleverly back-heeled for the Welshman to prod first-time past McGregor.

But it was not quite over Sone Aluko beat Fabianski to the ball as he charged from goal and from the tightest of angles, outside the area, shot. The ball swung across goal and oh so narrowly wide.

The Sunday Telegraph

Hyundai A - 2014-15 - All Rounds

Round 1
Fri, 10 OctTimes shown AEDT
VIC 4 vs WSW 1 Stats
Sat, 11 OctTimes shown AEDT
CCM 1 vs NEW Stats
SYD 1 vs HRT 1 Stats
Sun, 12 OctTimes shown AEDT
WEL 1 vs PER 2 Stats
BRI 1 vs ADE 2 Stats
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Round 2
Fri, 17 OctTimes shown AEDT
ADE 1 vs VIC 1 Stats
Sat, 18 OctTimes shown AEDT
CCM 1 vs WEL 2 Stats
SYD 3 vs WSW 2 Stats
Sun, 19 OctTimes shown AEDT
HRT 1 vs NEW 1 Stats
PER 3 vs BRI 2 Stats
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Round 3
Fri, 24 OctTimes shown AEDT
BRI vs SYD 2 Stats
Sat, 25 OctTimes shown AEDT
VIC 5 vs HRT 2 Stats
Sun, 26 OctTimes shown AEDT
WEL 4 vs NEW 1 Stats
ADE 2 vs PER Stats
Wed, 19 NovTimes shown AEDT
WSW vs CCM Stats
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Round 4
Fri, 31 OctTimes shown AEDT
HRT 1 vs ADE 2 Stats
Sat, 01 NovTimes shown AEDT
PER 2 vs NEW 1 Stats
Sun, 02 NovTimes shown AEDT
SYD 2 vs CCM Stats
Mon, 03 NovTimes shown AEDT
VIC 2 vs WEL Stats
Wed, 03 DecTimes shown AEDT
WSW vs BRI 1 Stats
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Round 5
Fri, 07 NovTimes shown AEDT
WEL 1 vs WSW Stats
ADE vs SYD Stats
Sat, 08 NovTimes shown AEDT
NEW 2 vs VIC 2 Stats
BRI 1 vs HRT 3 Stats
Sun, 09 NovTimes shown AEDT
CCM vs PER 1 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 6
Fri, 14 NovTimes shown AEDT
NEW vs BRI 4 Stats
Sat, 15 NovTimes shown AEDT
ADE 2 vs WEL 1 Stats
SYD vs VIC Stats
PER 2 vs WSW 1 Stats
Sun, 16 NovTimes shown AEDT
HRT 2 vs CCM 2 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 7
Fri, 21 NovTimes shown AEDT
VIC 1 vs BRI Stats
PER 2 vs WEL 1 Stats
Sat, 22 NovTimes shown AEDT
WSW 1 vs NEW 1 Stats
HRT 1 vs SYD 2 Stats
Sun, 23 NovTimes shown AEDT
CCM vs ADE 2 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 8
Fri, 28 NovTimes shown AEDT
VIC 3 vs ADE 2 Stats
Sat, 29 NovTimes shown AEDT
BRI 1 vs PER 1 Stats
WSW 1 vs SYD 1 Stats
Sun, 30 NovTimes shown AEDT
WEL 5 vs HRT 1 Stats
NEW 1 vs CCM 1 Stats
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Round 9
Thu, 04 DecTimes shown AEDT
SYD 1 vs PER 2 Stats
Fri, 05 DecTimes shown AEDT
CCM vs VIC 3 Stats
Sat, 06 DecTimes shown AEDT
NEW 1 vs WEL 3 Stats
ADE 2 vs WSW Stats
Sun, 07 DecTimes shown AEDT
HRT 1 vs BRI Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 10
Fri, 12 DecTimes shown AEDT
ADE vs BRI 1 Stats
PER 2 vs NEW Stats
Sat, 13 DecTimes shown AEDT
WEL 1 vs CCM 1 Stats
VIC 3 vs SYD 3 Stats
Wed, 11 MarTimes shown AEDT
WSW 3 vs HRT 2 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 11
Fri, 19 DecTimes shown AEDT
NEW 2 vs ADE 1 Stats
Sat, 20 DecTimes shown AEDT
HRT 1 vs VIC Stats
PER 4 vs CCM 1 Stats
Sun, 21 DecTimes shown AEDT
SYD vs WEL 2 Stats
Wed, 25 MarTimes shown AEDT
BRI 1 vs WSW 4 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 12
Fri, 26 DecTimes shown AEDT
HRT 1 vs PER 1 Stats
SYD vs ADE 3 Stats
Sat, 27 DecTimes shown AEDT
CCM 3 vs BRI 3 Stats
VIC 1 vs NEW Stats
Sun, 28 DecTimes shown AEDT
WEL 1 vs WSW Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 13
Tue, 30 DecTimes shown AEDT
NEW 2 vs HRT 5 Stats
BRI vs SYD Stats
Wed, 31 DecTimes shown AEDT
ADE 1 vs WEL 3 Stats
Thu, 01 JanTimes shown AEDT
WSW vs CCM Stats
Fri, 02 JanTimes shown AEDT
VIC 1 vs PER 2 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 14
Sat, 03 JanTimes shown AEDT
SYD vs NEW Stats
Sun, 04 JanTimes shown AEDT
WEL 3 vs BRI Stats
CCM 2 vs HRT Stats
Mon, 05 JanTimes shown AEDT
PER 1 vs ADE 2 Stats
Tue, 06 JanTimes shown AEDT
WSW 1 vs VIC 2 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 15
Sat, 24 JanTimes shown AEDT
ADE 7 vs NEW Stats
CCM 1 vs SYD 5 Stats
Sun, 25 JanTimes shown AEDT
PER 3 vs VIC 3 Stats
Sun, 01 FebTimes shown AEDT
HRT 2 vs WSW 1 Stats
Mon, 02 FebTimes shown AEDT
BRI 3 vs WEL 2 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 16
Fri, 06 FebTimes shown AEDT
NEW 1 vs BRI 2 Stats
Sat, 07 FebTimes shown AEDT
CCM 2 vs ADE 1 Stats
VIC 3 vs HRT Stats
PER 1 vs SYD 3 Stats
Sun, 08 FebTimes shown AEDT
WSW 2 vs WEL Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 17
Fri, 13 FebTimes shown AEDT
CCM vs BRI 2 Stats
Sat, 14 FebTimes shown AEDT
WEL vs HRT Stats
NEW 1 vs WSW 1 Stats
SYD 3 vs VIC 3 Stats
Sun, 15 FebTimes shown AEDT
ADE 1 vs PER 1 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 18
Sat, 21 FebTimes shown AEDT
SYD 4 vs CCM 2 Stats
ADE 2 vs WSW 1 Stats
Sun, 22 FebTimes shown AEDT
WEL 2 vs NEW 2 Stats
HRT vs PER Stats
Wed, 15 AprTimes shown AEST
BRI vs VIC 19:40Suncorp Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 19
Fri, 27 FebTimes shown AEDT
HRT 3 vs ADE 1 Stats
Sat, 28 FebTimes shown AEDT
NEW vs CCM Stats
WSW 3 vs SYD 4 Stats
PER 2 vs BRI 2 Stats
Sun, 01 MarTimes shown AEDT
VIC 2 vs WEL 3 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 20
Fri, 06 MarTimes shown AEDT
NEW vs SYD 1 Stats
Sat, 07 MarTimes shown AEDT
WEL 2 vs ADE Stats
VIC 1 vs PER 1 Stats
Sun, 08 MarTimes shown AEDT
CCM 1 vs HRT Stats
BRI 1 vs WSW Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 21
Thu, 12 MarTimes shown AEDT
ADE 2 vs CCM 1 Stats
Fri, 13 MarTimes shown AEDT
WSW vs VIC 3 Stats
Sat, 14 MarTimes shown AEDT
HRT 4 vs NEW Stats
PER 1 vs WEL 2 Stats
Sun, 15 MarTimes shown AEDT
SYD 5 vs BRI 4 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 22
Fri, 20 MarTimes shown AEDT
SYD vs HRT 1 Stats
Sat, 21 MarTimes shown AEDT
WSW 1 vs NEW 2 Stats
ADE 2 vs VIC 2 Stats
Sun, 22 MarTimes shown AEDT
CCM 1 vs PER 1 Stats
BRI 1 vs WEL 2 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 23
Fri, 27 MarTimes shown AEDT
VIC 2 vs CCM 1 Stats
Sat, 28 MarTimes shown AEDT
HRT 1 vs BRI Stats
PER 3 vs WSW 2 Stats
Sun, 29 MarTimes shown AEDT
WEL vs SYD 3 Stats
NEW vs ADE 1 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 24
Thu, 02 AprTimes shown AEDT
BRI vs CCM 20:00Suncorp Stadium
Fri, 03 AprTimes shown AEDT
WSW vs HRT 19:40Pirtek Stadium
Sat, 04 AprTimes shown AEDT
SYD vs ADE 19:30Allianz Stadium
Sun, 05 AprTimes shown AEST
WEL vs VIC 17:00Westpac Stadium
Mon, 06 AprTimes shown AEST
NEW vs PER 17:00Hunter Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 25
Fri, 10 AprTimes shown AEST
VIC vs NEW 19:40AAMI Park
PER vs SYD 21:45nib Stadium
Sat, 11 AprTimes shown AEST
ADE vs BRI 17:00Coopers Stadium
CCM vs WSW 19:30Central Coast Stadium
Sun, 12 AprTimes shown AEST
HRT vs WEL 17:00AAMI Park
View All Fixtures
Round 26
Fri, 17 AprTimes shown AEST
WEL vs CCM 17:30Westpac Stadium
NEW vs SYD 19:45Hunter Stadium
Sat, 18 AprTimes shown AEST
WSW vs ADE 17:00Pirtek Stadium
BRI vs VIC 19:30Suncorp Stadium
Sun, 19 AprTimes shown AEST
PER vs HRT 17:00nib Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 27
Fri, 24 AprTimes shown AEST
BRI vs NEW 19:40Suncorp Stadium
Sat, 25 AprTimes shown AEST
WSW vs PER 17:00Pirtek Stadium
ADE vs HRT 19:30Coopers Stadium
Sun, 26 AprTimes shown AEST
WEL vs SYD 15:00Westpac Stadium
VIC vs CCM 17:00AAMI Park
View All Fixtures
Round 28
Fri, 01 MayTimes shown AEST
vs 15:00TBC
Sun, 03 MayTimes shown AEST
vs 15:00TBC
View All Fixtures
Round 29
Fri, 08 MayTimes shown AEST
vs 15:00TBC
Sun, 10 MayTimes shown AEST
vs 16:00TBC
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Round 30
Sun, 17 MayTimes shown AEST
vs 16:00TBC
View All Fixtures
Hyundai A - 2014-15 - Ladder
Overall standings
Team P W L +/- Pts
Wellington Phoenix 23 13 7 13 42
Melbourne Victory 22 11 3 19 41
Sydney FC 23 11 4 13 41
Perth Glory 23 11 4 8 41
Adelaide United 23 12 7 13 40
Melbourne City FC 23 9 8 0 33
Brisbane Roar 22 7 11 -6 25
Central Coast Mariners 23 4 11 -17 20
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