EFL Cup final: Wenger aiming for another glorious Wembley outing

By Dom Farrell 23 February 2018 454
EFL Cup final: Wenger aiming for another glorious Wembley outing

Arsenal head to Wembley on Sunday chasing their remaining prospect of domestic silverware this season in the EFL Cup final against Manchester City.

It is the only major prize in English football Arsene Wenger has not lifted in his acclaimed career.

However, the veteran Frenchman has enjoyed numerous moments to remember at the national stadium, especially over recent seasons to partially placate fan frustrations over Arsenal fading from the Premier League title picture.

Here, we look at five of Wenger's most satisfying Wembley outings, spanning three decades.

 

1998 FA Cup final – Arsenal 2 Newcastle United 0

Still basking in the afterglow of captain Tony Adams sealing the Premier League title in fairytale fashion, Marc Overmars and Nicolas Anelka were on target at the old Wembley to seal a domestic double. It was Arsenal's seventh FA Cup triumph; Wenger alone now has seven to his name over the course of his tenure.

 

2014 FA Cup final – Arsenal 3 Hull City 2 (aet)

Nine years without a major trophy had really started to grate on the Gunners' fanbase and they looked set for a humiliation on par with the 2011 League Cup final loss to Birmingham City when James Chester and Curtis Davis put Hull 2-0 up inside eight minutes. Santi Cazorla's rasping drive provided a timely response and, after Laurent Kosielny forced extra-time, Aaron Ramsey – not for the last time – proved to be Arsenal's Wembley hero.

 

2015 Community Shield – Arsenal 1 Chelsea 0

Winning the traditional curtain raiser for the English season is never usually an accomplishment to linger upon but Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain's excellent first-half finish was enough to finally - after 13 failed attempts – give Wenger a victory over bitter rival Jose Mourinho. An abject Chelsea title defence followed and Mourinho was sensationally out of a job before Christmas.

 

2017 FA Cup semi-final – Arsenal 2 Manchester City 1 (aet)

A huge source of encouragement for this weekend, Arsenal were up against it when Sergio Aguero dinked beyond Petr Cech to open the scoring in a finely poised encounter. Wing-back crossed to wing-back when Nacho Monreal converted Oxlade-Chamberlain's searching delivery from the right to equalise and Alexis Sanchez pounced on poor set-piece defending during the additional period.

 

2017 FA Cup final – Chelsea 2 Arsenal 1

The City side who Arsenal saw off last April were a shadow of the expertly honed team Pep Guardiola now has at his disposal, but Wenger also has recent experience of vanquishing English football's dominant force in a showpiece final. Chelsea were heavy favourites to complete the double, having marched to the Premier League title, but ran into a rampant Arsenal, who led through Sanchez's controversial opener. Diego Costa levelled on his final Chelsea appearance but Ramsey found an instant response. Wenger had his seventh FA Cup and would soon pen a new two-year contract.

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Dom Farrell

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