Scenes Of Elation On The Streets of North London After Arsenal’s FA Cup Triumph
On Saturday, Arsenal only went and beat Chelsea to win the FA Cup for a record 13th time. We were on the streets of North London, taking pictures of the resultant carnage.
No matter how many times Arsenal fans quote tweet their brave-face predictions from several days ago, we refuse to believe that a single one of them was confident their side would win the FA Cup. Were mathematicians to calculate the least probable of Arsenal victories, it would be in a major final against a Chelsea team which had already won the league with a grand total of 93 points. Lining up against Diego Costa, Eden Hazard, N'Golo Kante and numerous other players who have torn them to shreds on previous occasions, Arsenal limped into the final with a spate of injuries, selection issues and suspensions. With a back three of a callow Rob Holding, a creaking Per Mertesacker and a lesser spotted Nacho Monreal, even the dreamers amongst the fanbase had to admit that the outlook was grim.
That made it all the more glorious for them when the side put together the performance of the season, setting the tone with an offside goal – with shades of handball – at the start of a game in which they would take the absolute piss. Victor Moses was sent off for diving, Chelsea were given a chance to turn things around only to blow it almost immediately, Mertesacker and Holding played like Paolo Maldini and Fabio Cannavaro respectively, and before long the whistle had gone and Arsenal had their hands on the cup. Several miles away, on the streets which serve as the heartland of the club's support, plastic pint pots were raining from the skies, strangers were hugging and screaming in each other's faces, people were climbing up onto rooftops to celebrate and there was general pandemonium everywhere. Over the course of a triumphant afternoon, we were there to document the scenes of elation and joy in North London, at least until our camera was drenched in lager, things got a bit unprofessional, and we were forced to go and get a kebab to sort ourselves out before stumbling, scarlet with sunburn, home.