Arsenal Football Club is one of the most successful clubs in English football history, having won 13 FA Cup titles, the most of any club. In this article, we will take a close look at Arsenal’s FA Cup success over the years and analyze just how dominant they have been in England’s most prestigious domestic cup competition.
Arsenal have won the FA Cup a record 13 times. Their first triumph came in 1930 and their most recent in 2020.
The Football Association Challenge Cup, better known as the FA Cup, is the oldest football competition in the world. It was first held in 1871-72 and is open to hundreds of teams all across the English football league system. Arsenal first participated in the FA Cup in the 1886-87 season, reaching the second round. While it took the North London club over 40 years to win their first FA Cup, they have since established themselves as the competition’s most successful side with 13 titles.
Arsenal’s FA Cup Pedigree is unmatched, having achieved the feat of winning the trophy more than any other club. The Gunners have a long and storied history in the FA Cup, with their triumphant moments serving as milestones across different eras of the club’s existence. From Joe Shaw’s goal that delivered Arsenal’s first cup win in 1930 to their come-from-behind win against Hull City in 2014 that ended a nine-year trophy drought, Arsenal’s FA Cup legacy is woven into the fabric of English football history.
In this article, we will look back on Arsenal’s record 13 FA Cup wins, analyzing key details from each victorious campaign. We will recall standout performances, statistical records, and iconic moments that have come to define Arsenal’s unmatched success in the world’s oldest football competition.
Arsenal’s FA Cup Wins
Here is a breakdown of each of Arsenal’s 13 FA Cup titles:
|0–0 (PK 5–4)
1930 – First FA Cup Title
Arsenal won their first FA Cup in 1930, defeating Huddersfield Town 2–0 in the final at Wembley. Alex James scored the opener in the 15th minute, before Jack Lambert sealed the victory with a late goal in the 87th minute. Manager Herbert Chapman built an excellent team that was led by James and Lambert along with Cliff Bastin, Eddie Hapgood, and David Jack. Arsenal were dominant throughout the decade, also winning 3 league titles from 1930-1939.
1936 – Second Cup Triumph
Arsenal had to wait 6 years for their next FA Cup success, beating Sheffield United 1–0 in the 1936 final. The goal was scored by Captain Frank Moss from the penalty spot after Bastin was fouled in the box. Arsenal’s team was largely unchanged from 1930, with Chapman continuing to build one of English football’s greatest pre-WW2 sides.
1950 – Cup Double
The Gunners began the 1950s by liftinng their third FA Cup, defeating Liverpool 2–0 at Wembley. Reg Lewis opened the scoring after just 45 seconds, still the fastest goal scored in an FA Cup final. Lewis added a second goal in the 57th minute as Arsenal cantered to a comfortable victory. The win completed a memorable league and cup double for Tom Whittaker’s side.
1971 – Mee Delivers Cup Glory
It took Arsenal nearly 20 years to win their next FA Cup, finally claiming it in 1971 after a grueling final against Liverpool. Steve Heighway opened the scoring for Liverpool in the first half before Eddie Kelly equalized with a thumping header. The game went to extra time where Charlie George scored the dramatic winner to secure a 2-1 victory. Manager Bertie Mee and his double-winning side wrote their names into Arsenal folklore that day.
1979 – Five-Goal Cup Thriller
Arsenal lifted the FA Cup for the fifth time in 1979, defeating Manchester United 3-2 in a seminal final at Wembley. In an epic encounter, Arsenal raced into a 2-0 lead through goals from Brian Talbot and Frank Stapleton. Gordon McQueen and Sammy McIlroy pulled United level at 2-2 before Alan Sunderland’s famous last-minute winner clinched a dramatic victory.
1993 – Captain Fantastic
Tony Adams was the Arsenal hero in 1993, scoring the winner in a tight 2-1 victory over Sheffield Wednesday after extra time. Arsenal took an early lead through Merson but were pegged back by Chris Waddle’s equalizer. Adams popped up with the winner in the 71st minute, a stooping header that ensured Arsenal lifted the cup to end their 6-year trophy drought.
1998 – Wenger’s Double
Arsene Wenger announced his arrival at Arsenal by delivering the double in his first full season in charge in 1997-98. Arsenal comfortably defeated Newcastle United 2-0 in the final, courtesy of goals from Marc Overmars and Nicolas Anelka. Wenger outwitted opposite number Kenny Dalglish with his tactical brilliance in a dominant display.
2002 – Double Double
Wenger again led Arsenal to FA Cup and league glory in 2001-02, with the Gunners beating Chelsea 2-0 in the final. Ray Parlour’s early screamer set the tone before Freddie Ljungberg sealed the trophy. Arsenal were utterly rampant, completing a domestic double for the second time under Wenger.
2003 – Titles Back-to-Back
A year later, Arsenal remarkably won the FA Cup again, defeating Southampton 1-0 thanks to Robert Pires’s 83rd minute strike. Wenger crafted a masterclass in retaining possession, restricting Southampton to very few chances. Arsenal thus lifted the trophy in Cardiff for an unprecedented third straight season.
2005 – Shootout Kings
Arsenal added another FA Cup to their collection in 2005 after Patrick Vieira scored the decisive penalty to beat Manchester United in a shootout. The game ended 0-0 after 120 minutes before Vieira slotted home to make it 5-4 on penalties. Jens Lehmann was the hero in goal and Wenger had his fourth title.
2014 – Ozil Inspires Comeback
It took nearly a decade for Arsenal to win the cup again, coming from 2-0 down to eventually beat Hull City 3-2 in 2014. James Chester and Curtis Davies put Hull ahead before Santi Cazorla, Laurent Koscielny, and Aaron Ramsey completed a sensational comeback. Mesut Ozil was the architect with his creative passing.
2015 – Back-to-Back Retained
Arsenal successfully defended their crown a year later, thumping Aston Villa 4-0 in the 2015 final. Theo Walcott, Alexis Sanchez, Per Mertesacker, and Olivier Giroud scored the goals in a dominant display. Wenger impressively led Arsenal to a record 12th FA Cup win.
2017 – Captain Fantastic Again
Arsene Wenger’s last FA Cup win came in 2017, with Arsenal beating rivals Chelsea 2-1. Alexis Sanchez opened the scoring but Diego Costa equalized before Aaron Ramsey headed a 79th minute winner. Ramsey was provider for Sanchez’s goal too in a fitting performance on what proved Wenger’s final cup win.
2020 – Mikel’s Magical Win
Mikel Arteta guided Arsenal to a record-extending 14th FA Cup win in his debut season as manager in 2020. Two Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang goals saw Arsenal defeat Chelsea 2-1 in a disciplined, tactically astute performance. Aubameyang won Man of the Match, underlining his status as Arsenal’s key player.
Notable FA Cup Records & Statistics
In addition to Arsenal’s record 13 title wins, here are some other notable FA Cup records and statistics for the Gunners:
- Most FA Cup final appearances: 21
- Most consecutive FA Cup final appearances: 3 (2002, 2003, 2005)
- Biggest FA Cup final win: 4-0 vs Aston Villa in 2015
- Most goals in an FA Cup final: 5 vs Newcastle United in 1932
- Top goalscorer: Ian Wright, 12 goals
- Youngest goalscorer: Cesc Fabregas, 16 years 212 days vs Sheffield United in 2003
- Oldest goalscorer: Jens Lehmann, 39 years 151 days vs Blackpool in 2010
Arsenal’s unmatched record of 13 FA Cup triumphs underlines their status as one of the most successful clubs in English football history. From their first win inspired by Chapman in 1930 to Arteta leading them to a 14th title in 2020, Arsenal have consistently achieved success in the world’s oldest football competition for over 90 years.
The Gunners have won the trophy across different eras under various managers thanks to a combination of attacking talent, defensive solidarity, and sheer determination to keep lifting the prestigious cup. Arsenal’s FA Cup legacy is cemented in history and will be remembered forever by football fans.