Daily Archives: May 29, 2017

Arsenal wins record seventh FA Cup under Wenger

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Arsenal won 2-1 against Premier League Champions Chelsea for Arsene Wenger to secure a record seventh FA Cup title in his 21st season as manager of the club.

The Gunners began with all guns blazing at Wembley as Alexis Sanchez scored the opening goal after only four minutes, when referee Anthony Taylor overruled his assistant after he had been flagged for offside against Aaron Ramsey, although Chelsea also complained that Sanchez had handled in the process.

While they had some right to rue that particular decision, they would have none as Victor Moses was correctly sent off by Taylor in the second half after receiving a second yellow card for diving.

As Arsenal dominated the game for long periods, they remained unable to capitalise on their chances as Danny Welbeck and Ramsey both found the woodwork, with Blues defender Gary Cahill also contributing perfect clearances that helped Chelsea stay in the game.

Chelsea striker Diego Costa then equalized as Arsenal keeper David Ospina failed to keep out his deflected shot with 14 minutes left to keep a domestic double in sight for the Premier League winners.

However, Arsenal were not one to be denied as Ramsey — who had scored the FA Cup final winner against Hull City back in 2014 — did it again with a header as Olivier Giroud’s cross found him free.

And as the final whistle sounded, Arsene Wenger would decorate a season of heavy criticism with a record 13th FA Cup win for Arsenal— and a record seventh for the Frenchman.

His team had not been favourites against Manchester City in the semi-final as well as here in Wembley — a point Wenger used to pay further tribute to his team.

“You cannot get two tougher opponents, but we produced two outstanding performances,” he said. “That is what makes me particularly proud, because no one gave us a chance at Wembley and we responded with attitude and class.”

“We had an outstanding performance from the first minute onwards. This team has suffered, but they’ve united and responded. They showed strength and unity and played spectacular football.”

Roma secures Champions League spot in Totti farewell

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Glitter was added to Francesco Totti’s last game in a Roma jersey as his team secured Champions League game time next season in their final Serie A match this season.

The club legend played his final match with Roma after 25 years with the club, a game which ended in fervent celebration when the Giallorossi scored a 90th-minute goal for a 3-2 win over Genoa that also secured a spot in next season’s Champions League.

However, things did not go to plan for Roma as Genoa went off the script with 16-year-old Pietro Pellegri becoming the youngest player ever to score in Serie A when he put Genoa ahead three minutes in.

The crowd, which had saluted Totti before kickoff, was quickly silenced.

Relief came and the cheers were heard again as Edin Dzeko equalised for Roma in the 10th minute, and the team’s future captain Daniele De Rossi appeared to have the winner in the 74th, only for Darko Lazovic to equalise for Genoa five minutes later.

Diego Perotti’s then scored in the last-minute for Roma’s winner.

“When you coach a squad like Roma you’ve got to always have victory as the goal and sometimes second place isn’t acceptable for some people,” Roma coach Luciano Spalletti said.

“But this second place is a huge accomplishment. We had to obtain this result and today, particularly, the squad really deserves it for how the match developed.”

Spalletti is also now expected to leave the club after having regularly brought Totti on as a late substitute this season. He also complained before the game for being painted by the media as being confrontational towards the player.

Sunday’s match was the the first time Totti played more than 30 minutes in a Serie A game since September as he entered the game as a substitute for Mohamed Salah.

“Totti has won a great deal but he alone is not enough and he knows that,” Spalleti added. “Of course, you will take all this and make it look as if I’m angry with Totti. I use the principle of you and me, but you turn it into ‘Totti and me.’”

Michael Carrick agrees new one-year deal with Manchester United

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Michael Carrick has agreed to sign a new one-year deal with Manchester United ahead of his testimonial game on 4 June.

Carrick, who was also a former England international, joined the Red Devils from Tottenham in an £18.6m deal in 2006 and has played 458 games in all competitions in a United jersey, scoring 24 goals.

With United, the 35-year-old has won five Premier League titles, the Champions League, an FA Cup and two League Cups, and while the club had largely underperformed this season, they were still able to secure the Europa League trophy — a title that has eluded the club since its inception.

Although missing out of the Premier League top-four, United will still be able to play in the Champions League next season after their Europa League victory.

His contract was previously coming to an end in June.

“What a fantastic way to finish off the season, with a new trophy in our cabinet. I am delighted that my journey with this great club is going to continue,” Carrick said in a statement published at the Manchester United official website.

“My focus now is looking ahead to my testimonial match next Sunday; it will be a very proud moment for me and my family, and is the perfect way to top what has already been a great season. I am thrilled that the fans will also get to see our shiny new Europa League trophy on the day.”

“I have thoroughly enjoyed working with Michael over this past season,” said United coach Jose Mourinho. “Not only is he a great footballer, he is also a fantastic human being and a great role model to our younger members of the team.”

On the other hand, Mourinho also said after the Europa League win that United will bring in a few new key players, as the future of Wayne Rooney with the club remains in doubt.