FULL-TIME Arsenal 3-2 Aston Villa
Aston Villa boss Alex McLeish: “We still had chances in the second half to get at least a draw. But it was a terrible eight minutes. I thought the second goal was very harsh – Theo Walcott put the ball in with his arm.”
Theo Walcott: “I enjoyed the second half. The team worked so hard. This Cup means masses to us, because we haven’t won anything for a long time. We want to win this trophy. It shows we’ve got great character, when no-one thinks we do. We need a bit of luck and perhaps our luck has changed now.”
Robin van Persie: “If you’re 2-0 behind it’s always going to be hard to come back. It was a crazy 16 minutes in the second half, which changed the entire game. Credit to us all, because we worked hard and we’re still in it, which is vital. To score 120 goals for Arsenal is a big honour. Dennis Bergkamp is a big legend and I have massive respect of him, so to score as many goals as him at Arsenal is a great honour.”
ARSENAL v ASTON VILLA
Arsenal: Fabianski, Coquelin, Koscielny, Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ramsey, Song, Rosicky, Walcott, van Persie. Subs: Szczesny, Sagna, Arteta, Park, Henry, Arshavin, Benayoun.
Aston Villa: Given, Hutton, Dunne, Cuellar, Warnock, Ireland, Petrov, Clark, Agbonlahor, Keane, Bent. Subs: Guzan, Heskey, Bannan, Weimann, Lichaj, Baker, Gardner.
Referee: Mike Jones (Cheshire)
GOAL Arsenal 0-1 Aston Villa (Dunne)
Aston Villa goal: Well, well. A well-worked corner routine puts Robbie Keane in space on the byline and the on-loan Irishman clips over a teaser of a cross to the back post where Richard Dunne leaps over Laurent
GOAL Arsenal 0-2 Aston Villa (Bent)
Aston Villa goal: A delicious counter-attacking goal from Villa places Arsenal and Arsene Wenger in the deep stuff. Stephen Ireland rewards Darren Bent’s angled run with a perfectly weighted ball in behind the Arsenal defence. Bent’s first effort is repelled by Lucasz Fabianski, but the striker slides home the rebound from an acute angle. Lovely finish, a less than lovely reaction from the Arsenal fans who jeer their team as they trudge off for half-time
GOAL Arsenal 1-2 Aston Villa (Van Persie pen)
Arsenal goal Richard Dunne, already booked, is lucky to stay on the pitch as he slides straight through the side of Aaron Ramsey as the Welshman bursts into the box. Robin van Persie slots home from 12 yards.
GOAL Arsenal 2-2 Aston Villa (Walcott)
Arsenal goal Arsenal are back level as Theo Walcott skins his man out wide on the right, takes a stroll down the byline and attempts to flick the ball past Shay Given. The keeper gets enough of a block on it to keep out the initial effort, but Alan Hutton’s hasty clearance cannons off Walcott and finds the back of the net anyway.
GOAL Arsenal 3-2 Aston Villa (Van Persie pen)
Arsenal goal A quarter of an hour of relentless Arsenal pressure and they have blown Aston Villa apart so far since the break. Laurent Koscielny has his blood up and canters forward. Darren Bent slides in to try and halt his progress but it is an untidy one and the referee gives a penalty that Robin van Persie tucks the other side of Shay Given.