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Victor Moses sees red as Arsenal overrun Chelsea to lift FA cup


Amid all the euphoria for Arsenal, there has to be a school of thought that perhaps these are now the ideal circumstances for Arsène Wenger to step aside. His team had won, thrillingly, against the champions of England, making Wenger the most successful manager in the history of this competition. It was his seventh victory and these are the occasions that remind us why a manager with his record of achievement surely deserves a happy ending.
Equally, these must be the kind of occasions when Wenger is reminded what it is about football that makes it an addiction. It is a hard habit to kick and his team chose a good moment to put in their best performance of the season, beating a Chelsea side for whom Victor Moses suffered the indignity of being sent off for two bookable offences.
That Moses was guilty of a penalty-box dive for the second booking probably sums up the state to which Arsenal reduced their opponents after Alexis Sánchez had given them an early lead. Diego Costa’s equaliser did conjure up the possibility of an improbable comeback for Chelsea’s ten men.
But those thoughts were short-lived. Aaron Ramsey’s winner arrived two minutes later and, though it is a debate for another day perhaps, Wenger must wonder why his team cannot play to these levels more regularly.
Arsenal played as though affronted by the fact they had finished 18 points behind Chelsea in the league. They also had to get by without key personnel in defence and cobbled together a backline that had Per Mertesacker starting his first match in 13 months. Mertesacker is 32, with a 14-year professional career behind him, but this was the first time he has ever lined up in a three-man defence. Wenger experimented with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, with lingering questions about his fitness, on the left. And then there was the perplexing choice of David Ospina, his manager deciding his loyalty should go towards a second-choice goalkeeper who will leave this summer while leaving out the one, Petr Cech, who will stay.