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Aston Villa

Aston Villa vs. Arsenal in FA Cup final

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Arsenal's FA Cup victory should lead to a credible Premier League challenge

Aston Villa were no match for Arsenal at Wembley as the Gunners successfully defended their FA Cup title.
ESPN FC's Steve Nicol feels its time Arsenal look beyond the FA Cup for their silverware.

LONDON -- This was the kind of football that Arsene Wenger has been promising for years. This was the kind of flawless 4-0 display that wins hearts, minds and silverware. Granted, it might have been more impressive had Aston Villa not frozen in the opening exchanges and forgotten their game plan, but it was still a pleasure to watch.

"We were at it from the first minute to the last," glowed Arsene Wenger afterward. "I never felt that the focus dropped or the quality dropped. It became comfortable...

Arsenal dominate Aston Villa to defend their FA Cup trophy

Aston Villa were no match for Arsenal at Wembley as the Gunners successfully defended their FA Cup title.
ESPN FC's Steve Nicol feels its time Arsenal look beyond the FA Cup for their silverware.

LONDON -- Three observations from Arsenal's 4-0 win over Aston Villa in the FA Cup final at Wembley Stadium. 

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1. Arsenal overwhelm Aston Villa

Now Arsenal are out on their own in the history books. They have won football's oldest honour, the FA Cup trophy, more often than anyone else -- their 12th FA Cup means they have overtaken Manchester United in the all-time standings. It was also Arsene Wenger's sixth, and no manager has tasted glory more often in the competition's 144-year existence.

But...

 By Kevin Palmer

Shay Given desperate for FA Cup glory with Aston Villa to erase past woes

Aston Villa boss Tim Sherwood is excited at the prospect of an FA Cup showdown with Arsenal at Wembley.

Aston Villa goalkeeper Shay Given has experienced some of the most agonising moments of his career in the FA Cup, and as he prepared for his fourth final on Saturday, it seemed as if his curse had struck again.

Given has been a shining star of Villa's run to a Wembley clash with Arsenal but a groin injury was threatening to derail his hopes of a career-defining FA Cup triumph, as American keeper Brad Guzan waited in the wings to take his place.

Yet Villa boss Tim Sherwood has confirmed that his...

Arsenal vs. Aston Villa - The FA Cup final's four key battles

Former Arsenal defender Martin Keown speaks about his admiration for the job Tim Sherwood has done at Aston Villa, from lifting the overall mood at the club to getting more from key players like Christian Benteke.

Saturday's FA Cup final will see Aston Villa's Tim Sherwood going toe-to-toe with Arsene Wenger from Arsenal for the final domestic trophy on offer. We look at four of the key battles that could determine the outcome.

1. Laurent Koscielny vs. Christian Benteke

The first port of call was always going to be how Arsenal's main centre-back would fare against Aston Villa's star striker. Christian Benteke has rediscovered his best form under Sherwood, with 11 of his 13 Premier League goals coming once...

Aston Villa looking to deny Arsenal a second successive FA Cup

Watch the best bits from Aston Villa's run to the FA Cup final, where they face holders Arsenal.

Arsenal went nine years without a trophy before winning last season's FA Cup but now stand on the brink of their second piece of silverware in 12 months. Standing in their way is Tim Sherwood's Aston Villa, who last reached the final in 2000.

Kevin Hughes (Villa) and Andrew Mangan (Arsenal) tackle the key questions ahead of the big one at Wembley on Saturday.

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FA Cup final: Arsenal vs. Aston Villa (12:30 p.m. ET)
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So -- a nice routine win for Arsenal this, right?

Andrew Mangan: Absolutely not. Arsenal may have beaten Aston Villa twice this season and...

Tim Sherwood has revitalised Aston Villa, but how long will it last?

Watch the best bits from Aston Villa's run to the FA Cup final, where they will face Arsenal at Wembley.

Tim Sherwood's brief time as a manager has produced few definitive conclusions beyond the clear proof of his capacity to divide opinion.

He has become one of the Premier League's most compelling figures, one who has coached two of the country's great institutional clubs in Tottenham and Aston Villa yet whose credentials remain debated.

For every person who believes he's a character, someone views him as a chancer. Those who argue he is the great hope of English management have others who bite back...