The Gunners were seeking their first trophy since 2005 but looked set to suffer more disappointment after finding themselves 2-0 down after just eight minutes. However, strikes in either half from Santi Cazorla and Laurent Koscielny drew Arsenal level and sent the final to extra-time, where Aaron Ramsey popped up to net the winner.
The French manager says the outpouring of emotion on the final whistle came from the nature of the fight back and also hailed the special spirit in the team.
Speaking to Arsenal’s official website, he said:
There is no bigger pleasure and happiness than when things looks lost, and you win it again.
The only thing is that it shortens your life! But for all the rest there is no bigger happiness.
We made a demonstration on how not to start a final, and also a demonstration on how to come back. I always said during the season that there is a special togetherness and a special spirit to the side and the players wanted so much to do well.
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I am very pleased, and very proud of them.
It wasn’t an easy affair as the Tigers’ defenders defended very well for most of the game, while the rest of the side did their best to get at the Gunners, shutting them down and fouling if necessary to disrupt their momentum as much as possible. However Arsenal’s persistent pressure resulted in a convincing comeback to level the score ahead of extra time.
After 105 minutes Hull hardly needed to see Jack Wilshere and Tomas Rosicky, both fresh as daises, jumping off the bench in extra time. These substitutions unsettled the Tigers and their clever moves found space for Ramsey to play the hero in extra time.
Wenger’s decision to bring the duo on in the last 15 minutes proved masterful and showed that the Frenchman still has that magic touch, even after nine years without a trophy. The quality and a fierce attitude to banish one ugly, pertinent streak, saw the Gunners come through the sternest of examinations.
Arsenal fans will see this victory, no matter the opposition or circumstances involved, as a stepping stone in the right direction at last. Finally we have ended one streak and it’s time to start another, but of the winning persuasion.