2014 FA Cup Final
The match programme cover
|Event||2013–14 FA Cup|
|After extra time|
|Date||17 May 2014|
|Venue||Wembley Stadium, London|
|Man of the Match||Aaron Ramsey (Arsenal)|
|Referee||Lee Probert (Wiltshire)|
Partly, mostly cloudy|
22 °C (72 °F)
The 2014 FA Cup Final was the 133rd final of the FA Cup, the world's oldest football cup competition. The match was contested between Arsenal and Hull City at Wembley Stadium on 17 May 2014. Hull City made their first appearance in an FA Cup Final, while Arsenal equalled Manchester United's record of 18 final appearances. It was the first time since 2010 that the FA Cup Final had taken place after the end of the Premier League season.
Each club needed to win five matches to reach the final. Arsenal beat three of their divisional rivals and needed penalties to defeat cup holders Wigan Athletic. By contrast, four of Hull City's opponents were from the lower divisions; they played one replay in the fifth round against Brighton & Hove Albion.
The match was won by Arsenal, a joint-record 11th Cup, after extra time. Hull scored with two goals in the opening ten minutes from James Chester and Curtis Davies, but Arsenal came back with goals from Santi Cazorla and Laurent Koscielny to level the match by the end of regulation time. Aaron Ramsey scored the winner 11 minutes from the end of extra time.
As Arsenal qualified for the Champions League by their league position, Hull City entered the 2014–15 UEFA Europa League at the third qualifying round; however, due to a change in UEFA rules, this was the last season the runners-up would enter the Europa League if the winners had already qualified for European competition.
Route to the final
The FA Cup is English football's primary cup competition. It was first held in 1871–72 with only 15 teams entering; the growth of the sport and changes to the competition's structure meant by 2013–14, 373 teams took part. If a match is drawn, a replay comes into force, ordinarily at the ground of the team who were away for the first game.
|3rd||Tottenham Hotspur (H)||2–0|
|4th||Coventry City (H)||4–0|
|SF||Wigan Athletic (N)||1–1 (aet)|
|Key: (H) = Home venue; (A) = Away venue; (N) = Neutral venue.|
As both Arsenal and Hull City were Premier League clubs, they entered the competition in the third round. Arsenal's cup run started with a home tie against their north London rivals, Tottenham Hotspur. Goals from Santi Cazorla and Tomáš Rosický either side of half time meant Arsenal won 2–0; the match was marred by a long-term injury to winger Theo Walcott. In the fourth round, the team was drawn against Coventry City of Football League One, at the Emirates Stadium. Arsenal won 4–0, on a night where Henry Winter noted: "All of the fans were united in laughter when some of the floodlights went out, following a power surge."
For the fifth round, Arsenal was drawn against Liverpool at home. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain opened the scoring within the first 15 minutes, before Podolski doubled their lead. Steven Gerrard scored a penalty just before the hour mark, making the final score 2–1.
In the sixth round, Arsenal was again at home and welcomed Everton. They won the match 4–1, with three of the goals coming in the final 10 minutes of the game. In their semi-final at Wembley Stadium, Arsenal was drawn with FA Cup holders Wigan Athletic. The match finished 1–1 after extra time, with a late Per Mertesacker equaliser making up for the penalty he conceded, which had been scored by Jordi Gómez to give Wigan the lead. Arsenal progressed to the final after winning 4–2 in a penalty shoot-out, in which Łukasz Fabiański saved two penalties and Arsenal scored all of their penalty kicks including the winner from Cazorla. In doing so, Arsenal matched their achievement in the 1949-50 FA Cup where they reached the final without leaving London.
|4th||Southend United (A)||2–0|
|Brighton & Hove Albion (A)
Brighton & Hove Albion (H)
|SF||Sheffield United (N)||5–3|
|Key: (H) = Home venue; (A) = Away venue; (N) = Neutral venue.|
Hull City was drawn away to Middlesbrough and made nine changes to the team that played their previous match. A goal apiece from Aaron McLean and Nick Proschwitz ensured a 2–0 win. Matty Fryatt scored both goals in Hull's fourth round victory against Southend United of Football League Two.
In the next round, Hull were paired with Football League Championship team Brighton & Hove Albion. Striker Leonardo Ulloa gave Brighton a first half lead, but Hull's Yannick Sagbo levelled the score with five minutes of the match remaining. As there were no further goals, the tie was replayed at the KC Stadium, which Hull won 2–1.
Hull's opponent in the sixth round was Sunderland. Three second half goals by Curtis Davies, David Meyler and Fryatt led Hull to a 3–0 win – a "richly deserved" victory said journalist Luke Edwards writing for The Daily Telegraph. The club therefore reached its first FA Cup semi-final since 1930. In the last four of the competition, Hull beat Sheffield United, by five goals to three. Jose Baxter gave Sheffield United the lead in the 19th minute; although Sagbo equalised for Hull, Stefan Scougall's goal just before half time meant Sheffield United restored their lead. The second half consisted of five goals produced from both sides, four of which scored by Hull.
Arsenal appeared in an FA Cup final for the eighteenth time to equal the appearance record set by Manchester United. The record for the number of wins by a single club was also matched after Arsenal's win, with Manchester United winning the cup on 11 separate occasions and Arsenal having 10 prior victories (1930, 1936, 1950, 1971, 1979, 1993, 1998, 2002, 2003 and 2005). Hull City, however, made their first appearance in an FA Cup Final since the club was founded in 1904.
Arsenal wore their traditional red and white home kit for the final and used the home team dressing room, while their fans were allocated the West End of the stadium. Hull City fans occupied the East End and the team played in their amber and black home kit.
Ticket prices for the final started at £45 and were available at £65, £85 and £115, with a £10 discount for concessions, as ticket prices remained the same from the previous FA Cup final. Both clubs, Arsenal and Hull City, were allocated 25,000 tickets, with approximately 20,000 tickets being distributed to volunteers "through the football family" which included counties, leagues, local clubs and charities.
Arsenal were without long-term injured attackers Theo Walcott and Serge Gnabry, while captain Thomas Vermaelen and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain faced late fitness tests. While Vermaelen made the bench, Oxlade-Chamberlain missed the final.
Hull strike partnership Shane Long and Nikica Jelavić were cup-tied, having appeared earlier in the tournament for West Bromwich Albion and Everton respectively. Paul McShane, James Chester, Sone Aluko and Robbie Brady faced fitness tests for Hull, who saw the return of goalkeeper Allan McGregor from a kidney injury.
Hull kicked off the 133rd FA Cup Final and dominated possession for the opening stages. Barely four minutes into the game, Hull won a corner that was crossed in by Stephen Quinn to find Tom Huddlestone on the edge of the penalty area; Huddlestone tried a volley that went into the path of James Chester, who tapped it in from close range to give Hull City an early lead. The high tempo with which Hull started the game overwhelmed Arsenal, and four minutes after the first goal, they scored again. Ahmed Elmohamady received a free kick and crossed it in to the penalty area. This caused controversy as Arsenal believed he had taken the free kick several yards in front of where the foul was committed. Nevertheless, the ball was picked up on the far edge of the penalty area by Quinn, who got past Aaron Ramsey and crossed it in to the goalmouth, where it was headed towards goal by centre-back Alex Bruce. Arsenal goalkeeper Łukasz Fabiański parried it out to Hull captain and fellow centre-back Curtis Davies, who fired the ball into the far bottom corner of the goal. Hull almost scored a third goal moments later, when a header from Bruce was headed off the goal line by Arsenal's Kieran Gibbs. Instead, it was Arsenal who scored the next goal; in the 16th minute, they won a free kick on the edge of the Hull penalty area, which Santi Cazorla fired over the Hull wall and into the top corner of the goal. For the rest of the first half, chances were scarce and Hull maintained their lead into the half-time interval.
At the start of the second half, Arsenal came out on top, constantly pressing for an equaliser. They were denied two penalties by referee Lee Probert before they finally got an equaliser in the 71st minute, with centre-back Laurent Koscielny bundling a header from Bacary Sagna over the line following a corner. Many believed that a goal kick should have been given instead of a corner as it appeared that substitute Yaya Sanogo got the last touch. In the 79th minute, Gibbs had a chance to put Arsenal in front when he had just goalkeeper Allan McGregor to beat, but he could not hit the target, shooting high of the goal. Arsenal had another chance for a winning goal in injury time, but Olivier Giroud's shot was saved by McGregor.
Arsenal looked like the better team for most of extra time, creating lots of chances. Giroud hit the crossbar after five minutes and Ramsey fired a number of low shots at goal, forcing saves from McGregor. Four minutes into the second half of extra time, Arsenal took the lead via a low shot from Ramsey to the near corner following a back-heeled pass by Giroud. With four minutes of the game left, Hull had a chance to equalise when Sone Aluko took advantage of a Per Mertesacker slip, went round the onrushing Fabiański, and fired a shot across the Arsenal penalty area from a very tight angle, only for it to go inches wide. Three minutes later, Aluko had another chance when he shot at the corner only for it to be saved just in time by Fabiański. Arsenal had a chance to extend their lead at the tail end of stoppage time when Tomáš Rosický had his low effort cleared off the line by Paul McShane. Ten seconds later, Probert blew for full-time with the score at Arsenal 3–2 Hull City, giving Arsenal their first trophy in nine years since beating Manchester United on penalties in the 2005 FA Cup Final.
|Arsenal||3–2 (a.e.t.)||Hull City|
Man of the match
|Shots on target||7||4|
A new version of the FA Cup trophy was cast to be presented, for the first time, to the winners of the 2014 final. Heavier than the previous two versions of the cup it is made of 925 Sterling Silver. It stands 61.5 centimetres (24.2 in) high and weighs 6.3 kilograms (13 lb 14 oz). Commissioned in 2013, it replaces a cup first presented to Liverpool in the 1992 FA Cup Final, and is the third version of the trophy. The base of the old trophy containing the names of winners is retained. Having won the cup, Arsenal paraded the trophy from an open top bus on 18 May, from the Emirates Stadium to Islington Town Hall on Upper Street in north London.
The match was broadcast live in the United Kingdom by both ITV and BT Sport. ITV provided the free-to-air coverage and BT Sport 1 was the pay-TV alternative. ITV held the majority of the viewership – a peak audience of 10.1 million viewers (52.1% viewing share) watched at 7:30 p.m. The ratings were up on last year's final, which peaked at 9.4 million (42%). BT Sport’s coverage averaged 250,000 viewers (1.8%). Coverage of the final began on ITV at 3 p.m. and averaged 5.4 million (50%).
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