2015 FA Cup Final

The 2015 FA Cup Final was the 134th final of the FA Cup, the world's oldest football cup competition. The match was contested by Arsenal and Aston Villa at Wembley Stadium in London. The match was played on 30 May 2015 and was the final match of the competition.[3] Arsenal won the match 4–0 with goals from Theo Walcott, Alexis Sánchez, Per Mertesacker and Olivier Giroud, for a record 12th title.[4] This was the sixth FA Cup win for manager Arsène Wenger, putting him in joint-first place for wins with George Ramsay.[5]

Following a change in UEFA rules, this was the first season where runners-up in cup competitions did not enter the Europa League if the winners had already qualified for Europe. Therefore, as Arsenal had already qualified for the Champions League by finishing third in the Premier League, the remaining Europa League place went to Southampton, the highest-placed Premier League team that had not qualified for any European competition.[6]

As winners, Arsenal played Chelsea, winners of the 2014–15 Premier League, in the 2015 FA Community Shield at Wembley.[7]

2015 FA Cup Final
2015 FA Cup Final programme
The match programme cover
Event2014–15 FA Cup
Arsenal Aston Villa
4 0
Date30 May 2015
VenueWembley Stadium, London
Man of the MatchSanti Cazorla (Arsenal)
RefereeJon Moss (West Yorkshire)[1]
Attendance89,283
WeatherScattered clouds
16 °C (61 °F)[2]

Background

"Watch the Gunnersaurus"! (16420684192)
Arsenal thrashed Aston Villa 5–0 in the Premier League on 1 February 2015. Pictured are Villa's Fabian Delph and Arsenal's Per Mertesacker, both club captains.

Arsenal were playing a record 19th FA Cup final, surpassing Manchester United. They had previously won 11, a joint record with United, most recently last season's final against Hull City. Their most recent defeat in the final was in 2001, losing 2–1 to Liverpool.[8]

It was Aston Villa's 11th final, of which they had won seven, most recently in 1957 with a 2–1 win over Manchester United. Their most recent final was a 1–0 defeat to Chelsea in 2000.[8]

Arsenal and Aston Villa played twice during the league season, both games resulting in Arsenal victories. On 20 September 2014, they won 3–0 at Villa Park with three goals in under four minutes of the first half, from Mesut Özil, Danny Welbeck and an own goal from Aly Cissokho off a shot from Kieran Gibbs.[9] At the Emirates Stadium on 1 February 2015, Arsenal triumphed 5–0 with goals by Olivier Giroud, Özil, Theo Walcott, a penalty kick by Santi Cazorla after goalkeeper Brad Guzan fouled Chuba Akpom, and Héctor Bellerín.[10]

Pre-match

Children's television programme Blue Peter ran a competition to design the mascot for the final. The winning entry was "Billie", a horse based on the one which controlled the crowds ahead of the 1923 final. Former England international Phil Neville, one of the judges in the competition, said that: "I think the design is great, the story behind it is even better and I think it’s something everyone’s going to be really impressed with.”[11]

Religious television programme Songs of Praise ran a competition to be part of a 64-person choir to sing the traditional hymn "Abide with Me" before the final. The 64 are fans of each of the clubs which reached the Third Round of the competition, including a 99-year-old Newcastle United fan and a Liverpool fan who survived the Hillsborough disaster. The music was performed by the Band of the Brigade of Gurkhas.[12]

Following the semi-finals, both clubs met at Wembley to discuss final arrangements. Arsenal were designated as the "home" team because they were first alphabetically. Despite this, Aston Villa won the pre-match coin toss for choice of strips and chose to wear their home claret and blue kit that they had worn for all of the previous rounds. Arsenal decided to wear their yellow and blue away kit instead of their dark blue cup kit.[13]

The BBC devoted a whole day of programming to the final, reviving the tradition of its all-day coverage.[14]

Ticket allocation

Both Aston Villa and Arsenal received a ticket allocation of 25,000 for the game with 17,000 being offered to members of Club Wembley, de facto season ticket holders at Wembley Stadium. Ticket prices range from £50, £70, £90 and £120.[15]

Route to the final

Arsenal

Round Opposition Score
3rd Hull City (H) 2–0
4th Brighton & Hove Albion (A) 3–2
5th Middlesbrough (H) 2–0
6th Manchester United (A) 2–1
SF Reading (N) 2–1 (a.e.t.)
Key: (H) = Home venue; (A) = Away venue; (N) = Neutral venue.

FA Cup holders Arsenal entered the competition in the Third Round as a Premier League club. In their first match, they were drawn at home against fellow top-flight team Hull City in a repeat of the previous year's final. At their Emirates Stadium, Arsenal won 2–0 with goals from Per Mertesacker and Alexis Sánchez.[16] In the Fourth Round, Arsenal drew a Championship team, Brighton & Hove Albion away. At the Falmer Stadium, Arsenal won 3–2 with goals from Theo Walcott, Mesut Özil and Tomáš Rosický.[17] Arsenal were then drawn at home against another Championship club, Middlesbrough at the Emirates Stadium, and won 2–0 with both goals scored by Olivier Giroud.[18] In the Sixth Round, Arsenal were drawn away at Manchester United. The match was also scheduled to be televised on BBC One on a Monday evening, which led to criticism from Arsenal supporters as there would be no trains back to London after the match.[19] Despite this, at Old Trafford with 9,000 away supporters, Arsenal won 2–1 with goals from Nacho Monreal and former United player Danny Welbeck.[20] In the semi-finals at Wembley Stadium, Arsenal were drawn against Championship side Reading and won 2–1 after extra time, with two goals from Sánchez to reach the FA Cup Final for the second consecutive year.[21]

Aston Villa

Round Opposition Score
3rd Blackpool (H) 1–0
4th Bournemouth (H) 2–1
5th Leicester City (H) 2–1
6th West Bromwich Albion (H) 2–0
SF Liverpool (N) 2–1
Key: (H) = Home venue; (A) = Away venue; (N) = Neutral venue.

Also a Premier League team, Aston Villa entered the tournament in the Third Round with a 1–0 home win over Championship club Blackpool, Christian Benteke scoring the only goal two minutes from the end of the game.[22] In the Fourth Round, they defeated another second-tier team at home, Bournemouth, 2–1. Carles Gil opened the scoring on his Villa debut, later doubled by Andreas Weimann, with a late consolation by Bournemouth substitute Callum Wilson.[23] Now managed by Tim Sherwood, they played at home again in the Fifth Round against Premier League club Leicester City, winning by the same score. Leandro Bacuna scored the first goal, Scott Sinclair the second, and Andrej Kramarić an added-time consolation for the visitors.[24]

Their Sixth Round game was again at Villa Park, a 2–0 victory over West Midlands rivals West Bromwich Albion. Fabian Delph and Sinclair netted in the second half, wherein the away team's Claudio Yacob and Villa substitute Jack Grealish were sent off. The victory prompted a pitch invasion for which Aston Villa were charged by The Football Association.[25][26] In May 2015, Aston Villa were fined £200,000 following the pitch invasions and were severely warned as to the club's future conduct.[27] In the semi-final at Wembley Stadium, Villa came from behind to defeat Liverpool. They conceded the first goal by Philippe Coutinho, but responded with goals from Benteke and Delph to reach the final for the first time since 2000.[28]

Match

Details

Arsenal4–0Aston Villa
Walcott Goal 40'
Sánchez Goal 50'
Mertesacker Goal 62'
Giroud Goal 90+3'
Report
Arsenal
Aston Villa
GK 1 Poland Wojciech Szczęsny
RB 39 Spain Héctor Bellerín
CB 4 Germany Per Mertesacker (c)
CB 6 France Laurent Koscielny
LB 18 Spain Nacho Monreal
CM 34 France Francis Coquelin
CM 19 Spain Santi Cazorla
RW 16 Wales Aaron Ramsey
AM 11 Germany Mesut Özil Substituted off 77'
LW 17 Chile Alexis Sánchez Substituted off 90'
CF 14 England Theo Walcott Substituted off 77'
Substitutes:
GK 13 Colombia David Ospina
DF 3 England Kieran Gibbs
DF 5 Brazil Gabriel Paulista
MF 10 England Jack Wilshere Substituted in 77'
MF 15 England Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain Substituted in 90'
MF 20 France Mathieu Flamini
FW 12 France Olivier Giroud Substituted in 77'
Manager:
France Arsène Wenger
Arsenal vs Aston Villa 2015-05-30
GK 31 Republic of Ireland Shay Given
RB 21 Scotland Alan Hutton Yellow card 33'
CB 4 Netherlands Ron Vlaar
CB 5 Denmark Jores Okore
LB 18 England Kieran Richardson Substituted off 68'
DM 15 England Ashley Westwood Yellow card 52' Substituted off 71'
CM 8 England Tom Cleverley Yellow card 14'
CM 16 England Fabian Delph (c) Yellow card 37'
RW 28 France Charles N'Zogbia Substituted off 53'
LW 40 Republic of Ireland Jack Grealish
CF 20 Belgium Christian Benteke
Substitutes:
GK 1 United States Brad Guzan
DF 2 England Nathan Baker
DF 7 Netherlands Leandro Bacuna Substituted in 68'
MF 9 England Scott Sinclair
MF 12 England Joe Cole
MF 24 Colombia Carlos Sánchez Substituted in 71'
FW 11 England Gabriel Agbonlahor Yellow card 83' Substituted in 53'
Manager:
England Tim Sherwood

Man of the match

Match officials

Match rules

  • 90 minutes.
  • 30 minutes of extra-time if necessary.
  • Penalty shoot-out if scores still level.
  • Seven named substitutes.
  • Maximum of three substitutions.

Statistics

Statistic Arsenal Aston Villa
Goals scored 4 0
Possession 59% 41%
Shots on target 8 0
Shots off target 8 2
Corner kicks 8 0
Fouls 8 15
Offsides 5 2
Yellow cards 0 5
Red cards 0 0
Source: [30]

Post-match

Arsenal FA Cup Winners Parade (18351309601)
Arsenal's Jack Wilshere was charged with misconduct by the FA for his role in their victory parade.

The game was broadcast live in the UK on free-to-air TV on BBC One and on pay TV on BT Sport. It was the first FA Cup Final broadcast by the BBC in seven years and they restored the tradition of having an all-day build-up for the final, linking up with various other BBC programmes.[31] The game was watched by an average of 8 million viewers on BBC One and a peak of 8.8 million.[32] BT Sport's audience peaked with 212,000. It was the most watched game in the UK of the 2014–15 football season.

On Arsenal's victory parade after winning the final, Jack Wilshere led fans in a chant calling local rivals Tottenham Hotspur "shit".[33] Having previously been warned after a similar chant in the previous season's victory parade, The Football Association charged him with misconduct.[34]

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f Callow, James (21 April 2015). "Jon Moss will referee the 2015 FA Cup Final at Wembley". TheFA.com. The Football Association. Retrieved 21 April 2015.
  2. ^ "History for London City, United Kingdom". Weather Underground. Retrieved 1 June 2015.
  3. ^ "2015 FA Cup Final date". Wembley Stadium. Retrieved 14 April 2015.
  4. ^ "Gunners thrash Villa as Arsene Wenger makes history". Daily Telegraph. 30 May 2015. Retrieved 3 June 2015.
  5. ^ "Arsene Wenger overtakes Sir Alex Ferguson to become FA Cup's joint most successful manager". London Evening Standard. 30 May 2015. Retrieved 31 May 2015.
  6. ^ Stone, Simon (17 April 2015). "Reading and Aston Villa need FA Cup win for Europa League spot". BBC Sport (British Broadcasting Corporation). Retrieved 17 April 2015.
  7. ^ "Arsenal 4 Aston Villa 0". BBC Sport. 30 May 2015. Retrieved 3 June 2015.
  8. ^ a b "England FA Challenge Cup Finals". RSSSF. Retrieved 19 April 2015.
  9. ^ Sanghera, Mandeep (20 September 2014). "Aston Villa 0–3 Arsenal". BBC Sport (British Broadcasting Corporation). Retrieved 19 April 2015.
  10. ^ Dawkes, Phil (1 February 2015). "Arsenal 5–0 Aston Villa". BBC Sport (British Broadcasting Corporation). Retrieved 19 April 2015.
  11. ^ "Billie the White Horse wins the Blue Peter FA Mascot Competition". British Broadcasting Corporation. 16 April 2015. Retrieved 17 April 2015.
  12. ^ "Songs of Praise FA Cup Fans Choir". British Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 17 April 2015.
  13. ^ Gallagher, Sean (24 April 2015). "Arsenal to wear yellow and blue away strip for FA Cup final showdown with Aston Villa". Daily Mail. Associated Newspapers. Retrieved 18 May 2015.
  14. ^ "BBC to bring back all-day coverage of final for 2015". BBC Sport (British Broadcasting Corporation). 19 May 2015. Retrieved 19 May 2015.
  15. ^ "FA defends Villa's 'low' FA cup final ticket allocation". ITV. Retrieved 29 April 2015.
  16. ^ Jurejko, Jonathan (4 January 2015). "Arsenal 2–0 Hull City". BBC Sport (British Broadcasting Corporation). Retrieved 18 April 2015.
  17. ^ Chowdhury, Saj (25 January 2015). "Brighton & Hove Albion 2–3 Arsenal". BBC Sport (British Broadcasting Corporation). Retrieved 18 April 2015.
  18. ^ Jennings, Patrick (15 February 2015). "Arsenal 2–0 Middlesbrough". BBC Sport (British Broadcasting Corporation). Retrieved 18 April 2015.
  19. ^ Cunningham, Sam (18 February 2015). "Arsenal fans' fury after FA Cup clash at Manchester United is scheduled for a Monday night". Daily Mail. Associated Newspapers. Retrieved 18 April 2015.
  20. ^ Steinberg, Jacob (9 March 2015). "Manchester United v Arsenal: FA Cup quarter-final". The Guardian. Guardian News and Media. Retrieved 18 April 2015.
  21. ^ "FA Cup: Reading v Arsenal". BBC Sport. 18 April 2015. Retrieved 18 April 2015.
  22. ^ Canavan, Steve (4 January 2015). "Aston Villa 1–0 Blackpool". BBC Sport (British Broadcasting Corporation). Retrieved 19 April 2015.
  23. ^ McNulty, Phil (25 January 2015). "Aston Villa 2–1 Bournemouth". BBC Sport (British Broadcasting Corporation). Retrieved 19 April 2015.
  24. ^ Jennings, Patrick (15 February 2015). "Aston Villa 2–1 Leicester". BBC Sport (British Broadcasting Corporation). Retrieved 19 April 2015.
  25. ^ McNulty, Phil (7 March 2015). "Aston Villa 2–0 West Brom". BBC Sport (British Broadcasting Corporation). Retrieved 19 April 2015.
  26. ^ "Aston Villa & Reading charged over FA Cup pitch invasions". BBC Sport (British Broadcasting Corporation). 21 April 2015. Retrieved 21 April 2015.
  27. ^ "Aston Villa fined £200,000 after FA Cup pitch invasions". BBC Sport (British Broadcasting Corporation). 14 May 2015. Retrieved 14 May 2015.
  28. ^ "Aston Villa 2–1 Liverpool". BBC Sport (British Broadcasting Corporation). 19 April 2015. Retrieved 19 April 2015.
  29. ^ "FA Cup Final as it happened". BBC Sport. 30 May 2015. Retrieved 4 June 2015.
  30. ^ Taylor, Daniel (30 May 2015). "Alexis Sánchez inspires Arsenal to win over Aston Villa". The Observer. London. Retrieved 2 June 2015.
  31. ^ "FA Cup: BBC brings back all-day coverage of final for 2015". BBC Sport (British Broadcasting Corporation). 26 May 2015. Retrieved 8 June 2015.
  32. ^ Plunkett, John (1 June 2015). "BBC's FA Cup final coverage nets peak of nearly 9 million". The Guardian. Guardian News and Media. Retrieved 8 June 2015.
  33. ^ Steinberg, Jacob (31 May 2015). "Jack Wilshere ticked off by Arsenal after foul-mouthed abuse of Spurs". The Guardian. Guardian News and Media. Retrieved 3 June 2015.
  34. ^ "Arsenal: Jack Wilshere charged with misconduct after parade". BBC Sport. 3 June 2015. Retrieved 3 June 2015.
2004 FA Cup Final

The 2004 FA Cup Final was the 123rd FA Cup Final and the fourth to be played at the Millennium Stadium, the Welsh national stadium in Cardiff, due to the ongoing reconstruction of the usual venue, London's Wembley Stadium. The match took place on 22 May 2004 and it was contested by Manchester United, who had finished third in the Premier League that season, and Millwall, who had finished 10th in the First Division.

Manchester United secured a record 11th FA Cup victory with a headed goal from Cristiano Ronaldo and a brace from Ruud van Nistelrooy, which included a penalty kick. In contrast, it was Millwall's first appearance in a final of either the FA Cup or the Football League Cup. At the trophy presentation after the match, the Manchester United players wore shirts bearing the name and number of midfielder Jimmy Davis, who died in a road accident in August 2003.

The match was refereed by Jeff Winter. Tony Green and Roger East were the assistant referees and Matt Messias was the fourth official.

2015 FA Community Shield

The 2015 FA Community Shield (also known as The FA Community Shield supported by McDonald's for sponsorship reasons) was the 93rd FA Community Shield, an annual English football match played between the winners of the previous season's Premier League and FA Cup. The match was contested by Arsenal, the 2014–15 FA Cup winners, and Chelsea, champions of the 2014–15 Premier League. It was held at Wembley Stadium on 2 August 2015. Watched by a crowd of 85,437 and a television audience of over a million, Arsenal won the match 1–0.

This was Arsenal's 21st Shield appearance and Chelsea's 11th. Petr Čech made his competitive debut for Arsenal against his former team, while captain Mikel Arteta and striker Olivier Giroud were named as substitutes. Gary Cahill was passed fit to start for Chelsea alongside captain John Terry, and Loïc Rémy started up-front as Diego Costa was absent.

The only goal of the match came near the midway point of the first half; Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain collected a pass from Theo Walcott from the right and scored past Thibaut Courtois. Both managers did not shake hands after the game, which drew media attention. Arsenal's victory was their first against Chelsea in over three years and manager Arsène Wenger's first over José Mourinho in 14 attempts.

Aaron Ramsey

Aaron James Ramsey (born 26 December 1990) is a Welsh professional footballer who plays as a midfielder for Premier League club Arsenal and the Wales national team. Ramsey mainly plays as a box-to-box midfielder, but has also been deployed on the left and right wings. He played as a schoolboy for Cardiff City, where he spent eight years in youth football, became the club's youngest ever first team player, and made 28 appearances (including loan spell) for the senior team – including the 2008 FA Cup Final.

Ramsey moved to Arsenal in 2008 in a £5 million deal, where he quickly gained first-team experience. However, his career stalled significantly after he suffered a broken leg in a match against Stoke City in February 2010. After two loan spells away from Arsenal, he returned to full fitness and re-established himself as a regular starter during the 2011–12 season. Ramsey was a key player for Arsenal in the 2013–14 season campaign, scoring 16 goals in all competitions, including the winner in the 2014 FA Cup Final against Hull City. He also played in the 2015 FA Cup Final, which Arsenal won, and scored a second FA Cup winning goal in 2017. He will join Juventus on 1 July 2019 after having signed a pre-contractual agreement.

Ramsey made his full international debut for Wales in 2008 and was part of their UEFA Euro 2016 campaign, where he helped his nation to the semi-finals and was included in the Team of the Tournament. He also represented Great Britain at the 2012 Olympics.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

Alexander Mark David Oxlade-Chamberlain (born 15 August 1993) is an English professional footballer who plays as a midfielder for Premier League club Liverpool and the England national team.

After rising to prominence with Southampton during the 2010–11 season aged 17, he signed for Arsenal in August 2011. Scoring twice in his first three matches for the club, Oxlade-Chamberlain became the youngest English goalscorer in UEFA Champions League history and also claimed a regular place in the England under-21 team. Over his six seasons at the Emirates Stadium, he played 198 games and scored 20 goals, winning the FA Cup three times. He signed for Liverpool in August 2017.

Oxlade-Chamberlain made his debut for the senior England team on 26 May 2012 in a 1–0 win against Norway in a friendly. Following this, he received a surprise call-up to the England squad for UEFA Euro 2012, becoming the second youngest player ever to represent England in the European Championships behind Wayne Rooney. He was also called up for the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

Alexis Sánchez

Alexis Alejandro Sánchez Sánchez (Spanish pronunciation: [aˈleksis ˈsantʃes]; born 19 December 1988), also known simply as Alexis, is a Chilean professional footballer who plays as a forward for English Premier League club Manchester United and the Chile national team.

Sánchez began his career as a youth player for Cobreloa at age 17, completing a season at the club before relocating to Italy to play for Udinese in 2006. He won his first trophies in the following seasons, winning consecutive league titles in loans spells to Colo-Colo and River Plate. In 2008, he returned to Udinese, becoming an integral member of the team in his first full season at the club. After three seasons in Italy, Sánchez moved to Barcelona in a transfer worth €30 million (£25 million), becoming the most expensive Chilean player of all time.In his first season at Barcelona, Sánchez starred in an attacking trio alongside Lionel Messi and David Villa, helping the club win the Copa del Rey, Supercopa de España, UEFA Super Cup, and FIFA Club World Cup. The trio scored a total of 82 goals the following season, as the club won the 2012–13 La Liga, as well as retaining the Supercopa de España, before Sánchez enjoyed his highest scoring return at the Blaugrana, ending the season with a total of 21 goals, and 14 assists. Following the high-profile arrival of Neymar in 2013, Sánchez transferred to Premier League side Arsenal in a deal worth £31.7 million (€35.8 million) a year later.

At Arsenal, Sánchez quickly established himself as the figurehead of the team, completing every season in England with double figures in both goals and assists. He also won the FA Community Shield, as well as the FA Cup on two occasions, scoring in both finals. In the 2016–17 season, Sánchez scored 30 goals and provided 14 assists, his best return as a professional footballer, while going onto being nominated for the FIFPro World XI. However, after lacking "inspiration" at the direction of the club, he signed for rivals Manchester United in a swap deal in 2018.Popularly dubbed "El Niño Maravilla" (The Wonder Child), Sánchez has been a full international for Chile since 2006, and has earned 125 caps, making him the team's most capped player of all-time. With 42 goals, he is the country's all-time leading goalscorer. He played in an instrumental role in allowing Chile to reach the final of the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup, while further leading the side to their first international victory at the 2015 Copa América, scoring the winning penalty in the final against Argentina. He later contributed to a repeat of this triumph, aiding in the side's retention of the trophy and winning player of the tournament at the Copa América Centenario.

Aston Villa F.C.

Aston Villa Football Club (nicknamed Villa, The Villa, The Villans and The Lions) is an English professional football club based in Aston, Birmingham. The club competes in the Premier League, the top tier of the English football league system. Founded in 1874, they have played at their current home ground, Villa Park, since 1897. Aston Villa were one of the founder members of the Football League in 1888 and of the Premier League in 1992. Villa are one of only five English clubs to have won the European Cup, in 1981–82. They have also won the Football League First Division seven times, the FA Cup seven times, the League Cup five times, and the UEFA Super Cup once.

Villa have a fierce local rivalry with Birmingham City and the Second City derby between the teams has been played since 1879. The club's traditional kit colours are claret shirts with sky blue sleeves, white shorts and sky blue socks. Their traditional club badge is of a rampant lion. The club is currently owned by the NSWE group, a company owned by the Egyptian billionaire Nassef Sawiris and the American billionaire Wes Edens.

Calum Chambers

Calum Chambers (born 20 January 1995) is an English professional footballer who plays as a defender for Arsenal, and the England national team.

Originally a member of Southampton's academy system, Chambers was promoted to the first team at the beginning of the 2012–13 campaign. After two seasons with the club, he moved to fellow Premier League club Arsenal.

Chambers made his senior international debut for the English national team in 2014.

Christian Benteke

Christian Benteke Liolo (born 3 December 1990) is a Belgian professional footballer who plays as a striker for Premier League club Crystal Palace and the Belgium national team.

He began his career at Standard Liège, playing a part in their 2008–09 Belgian First Division triumph. Following a season at Genk he was signed for £7 million by Aston Villa. He scored 49 goals in 101 matches for Villa across all competitions, including 19 Premier League goals in his debut season and helping them to the 2015 FA Cup Final, before transferring to Liverpool in 2015 for £32.5 million. He spent a single season at Liverpool, scoring a total of ten goals, before being transferred to Crystal Palace at the start of the 2016–17 season.

Benteke has earned over 30 caps for Belgium since making his debut in 2010. He missed the 2014 FIFA World Cup through injury, but was part of their team that reached the quarter-finals of UEFA Euro 2016.

Cliff Britton

Clifford Samuel Britton was a footballer and football manager. He was born 29 August 1909 in Hanham in Bristol and died 1 December 1975.

Craig Pawson

Craig Pawson (born 2 March 1979) is an English professional football referee who officiates primarily in the Premier League, having been promoted to the panel of Select Group Referees in 2013, as well as in the Football League.He is based in South Yorkshire and is associated with the Sheffield & Hallamshire County Football Association.

David Ospina

David Ospina Ramírez (Spanish pronunciation: [daˈβið osˈpina raˈmiɾes], born 31 August 1988) is a Colombian professional footballer who plays as a goalkeeper for Premier League club Arsenal, and the Colombia national team.

Ospina began his career at Atlético Nacional, making his debut with the club in 2005. After achieving two domestic titles with Los Verdolagas, Ospina joined French side Nice. In 2014, he joined Arsenal on a four-year deal.

Ospina has been representing his country at a full international level since 2007. Upon his debut against Uruguay, he became the second-youngest goalkeeper to play for Colombia. He has since earned over 90 caps for his nation and has appeared at three Copa Américas and two World Cups.

FA Cup Final referees

In English football, the FA Cup Final, the deciding match of the FA Cup competition, is considered the highest domestic honour for referees to be appointed to officiate.

The most recent final (2019) was refereed by Kevin Friend, with Constantine Hatzidakis and Matthew Wilkes as assistant referees; Graham Scott was fourth official and Edward Smart the reserve assistant referee.

History of Aston Villa F.C. (1961–present)

The history of Aston Villa F.C. from 1961 to the current season covers the fluctuating fortunes of the club during the 1960s and 1970s, the European Cup victory in 1982 and the present day Premier League club.

The late 1960s was a turbulent time for the club. The problems began when the club, under manager Dick Taylor, was relegated from the first tier of English football for the third time in 1967. Within two years, pressure from supporters led to the resignation of the board of directors. The club was then relegated to the Third Division. In the 1971–72 season, Aston Villa returned to the Second Division as champions with a record 70 points. In 1974 Ron Saunders was appointed manager, and by 1975 he led the club back into the First Division and into European competition. It continued to have much success under Saunders, winning the league in the 1980–81 season. Saunders' resignation halfway through the 1981–82 season came as a surprise, with the club in the quarter-final of the European Cup. He was replaced by his assistant manager Tony Barton who guided them to 1–0 victory over Bayern Munich in the European Cup final in Rotterdam. However, winning the cup marked a pinnacle, and the club fell steadily down the League standings over the next five years and was relegated in 1987. The club was promoted the following year, and achieved second place in the Football League in 1989.

Villa was one of the founding members of the Premier League in 1992 and finished runners-up to Manchester United in the inaugural season. The 1990s was a decade of inconsistency; the club had three different managers, and league positions were unpredictable, despite winning two League Cups. They reached the FA Cup Final for the first time since 1957 in 2000, but lost 1–0 to Chelsea in the last game to be played at the old Wembley Stadium. Villa's league position continued to fluctuate under various managers and, in the summer of 2006, David O'Leary left under acrimonious circumstances. Martin O'Neill arrived to a rapturous reception from team supporters. After 23 years as chair and largest shareholder, owning approximately 38% of the club, Doug Ellis decided to sell his stake to Randy Lerner, the owner of the NFL franchise Cleveland Browns. The arrival of a new owner and manager marked the start of sweeping changes throughout the club, including a new crest, a new kit sponsor and new players in the summer of 2007.

2007–08 saw Villa qualify for the Intertoto Cup. In the 2008–09 season they reached the group stage of the UEFA Cup for the first time in seven years. The first major final of the Randy Lerner era was the 2010 Football League Cup Final; Villa lost 2–1 to Manchester United. Martin O’Neill resigned before the 2010–11 season and was replaced by Gérard Houllier. After suffering from health problems, he was replaced by the former Birmingham City manager Alex McLeish. His contract was terminated at the end of the 2011–12 season after the team narrowly avoided relegation. On 28 February 2012, the club announced a financial loss of £53.9 million. Paul Lambert replaced McLeish in July 2012. Lerner put the club up for sale on 12 May 2014, with an estimated value of £200 million. In the 2014–15 season Aston Villa scored just 12 goals in 25 league games, the lowest in Premier League history, and Lambert was sacked in February 2015. Tim Sherwood replaced him and saved Villa from relegation in the 2014–15 season taking them to the 2015 FA Cup Final. He was fired in October 2015 and replaced by Rémi Garde who left in March 2016 with the club rooted in the bottom of the table. They were relegated from the Premier League on 16 April. In June 2016, Chinese businessman Tony Xia bought the club for £76 million. Roberto Di Matteo was appointed manager and was replaced shortly by Steve Bruce. In the 2017–18 season Villa lost the 2018 EFL Championship play-off Final at Wembley Stadium. In July 2018 Aston Villa were sold by Xia to Nassef Sawiris and Wes Edens. They sacked Bruce and appointed Dean Smith, who led the team back to the Premier League with victory in the 2019 EFL Championship play-off Final.

Héctor Bellerín

Héctor Bellerín Moruno (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈeɣtoɾ βeʎeˈɾim moˈɾuno], born 19 March 1995) is a Spanish professional footballer who plays as a right back or wing back for Premier League club Arsenal and the Spain national team.

Bellerín started his career as an attacking winger for Barcelona, and credits his development as a successful right back to Steve Bould upon his arrival at Arsenal in the summer of 2011. His speedy pace, skilful dribbling on the ball, and crossing ability have also helped him in creating chances for his team. On 21 November 2016, he signed a long-term contract that ties him to the club until 2022.Bellerín played internationally for Spain from under-16 to under-21 levels. He made his senior debut for Spain in 2016 and was later chosen for the European Championship of that year.

Jarrett Rivers

Jarrett Anthony Rivers (born 10 September 1993) is an English professional footballer who plays for Darlington as a right winger.

Jonathan Moss (referee)

Jonathan Moss (born 18 October 1970) is an English professional football referee who officiates primarily in the Premier League having been promoted to the Select Group of Referees in 2011.

He was born in Sunderland but is now based in Horsforth, West Yorkshire. He is a member of the West Riding County Football Association.

Olivier Giroud

Olivier Jonathan Giroud (French pronunciation: ​[ɔlivje ʒiʁu]; born 30 September 1986) is a French professional footballer who plays as a forward for Premier League club Chelsea and the France national team.

He began his career at Grenoble in Ligue 2 before joining Tours in 2008. In his second season at Tours, he was the division's top scorer with 21 goals, earning him a move to top-flight side Montpellier. Giroud was again the top scorer with 21 goals in the 2011–12 season, giving the club their first ever Ligue 1 title before moving to Arsenal. Giroud won the FA Cup with Arsenal in 2014, 2015 and 2017, and totalled 105 goals in 253 games for the club. In January 2018, he transferred to Chelsea where, in his first full season, he became the first player from the club to score 10+ goals in a single European campaign.

Giroud made his full international debut for France in 2011. He has since become the nation's third-highest goalscorer with 35 goals in 89 caps, and was part of the teams which reached the quarter-finals at UEFA Euro 2012 and the 2014 FIFA World Cup, the final of UEFA Euro 2016 in which he received the Bronze Boot as joint second-highest goalscorer, and won the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

Randy Lerner

Randolph David "Randy" Lerner (born February 21, 1962) is an American billionaire investor and former sports-team owner. He became the majority owner of the American football team, the Cleveland Browns, of the National Football League, upon the death of his father Alfred "Al" Lerner in October 2002. In August 2012, he sold the team. Lerner became the owner and chairman of English club Aston Villa F.C. of the Premier League in 2006, subsequently Lerner sold the club at a loss in 2016 following their relegation. His personal fortune has been estimated at over US$ 1.09 billion.

Wojciech Szczęsny

Wojciech Tomasz Szczęsny ([ˈvɔjt͡ɕɛx ˈʂt͡ʂɛ̃snɨ] (listen); born 18 April 1990) is a Polish professional footballer who plays as a goalkeeper for Italian club Juventus and the Poland national team.

After starting his club career at Legia Warsaw, Szczęsny signed for Arsenal in 2006, where he made his professional debut in 2009. After a spell on loan with Brentford the following season, he later became the capital club's first choice goalkeeper, winning two FA Cups and being the joint recipient of the 2013–14 Premier League Golden Glove with Petr Čech. He subsequently went on two consecutive season-long loans to Italian club Roma in 2015, where his performances earned him a move to reigning league champions Juventus in 2017. After serving mainly as a back-up to Gianluigi Buffon in his first season, during which he won a domestic double, he inherited the starting spot from the departed Buffon the following season, winning his second Serie A title.

At international level, Szczęsny has earned more than 40 caps for Poland since his debut in 2009, and was included in the nation's squad as it co-hosted UEFA Euro 2012, also later taking part at UEFA Euro 2016 and the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

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