What years have Arsenal won the FA Cup?

Arsenal are one of the most successful clubs in the history of the FA Cup, having won the famous old trophy a record 14 times. The Gunners’ first triumph came in 1930, when they beat Huddersfield Town 2-0 in the final at Wembley. Since then, Arsenal have gone on to win the cup on 13 more occasions, far outstripping any other club.

When Have Arsenal Won the FA Cup?

Here is the full list of Arsenal’s 14 FA Cup final victories:

Year Opponent Score
1930 Huddersfield Town 2-0
1936 Sheffield United 1-0
1950 Liverpool 2-0
1971 Liverpool 2-1
1979 Manchester United 3-2
1993 Sheffield Wednesday 2-1
1998 Newcastle United 2-0
2002 Chelsea 2-0
2003 Southampton 1-0
2005 Manchester United 0-0 (5-4 on penalties)
2014 Hull City 3-2
2015 Aston Villa 4-0
2017 Chelsea 2-1
2020 Chelsea 2-1

As the table shows, Arsenal’s wins have come against a variety of opponents, including local rivals such as Tottenham, Chelsea and Manchester United. Their most common opponents in FA Cup finals are Liverpool and Manchester United, whom they have beaten 4 times each.

Arsenal’s First FA Cup Triumph in 1930

Arsenal had to wait until their 27th season as a professional club before landing their first FA Cup success in 1930. Managed by Herbert Chapman and inspired by stars such as David Jack, Arsenal beat Huddersfield Town 2-0 in the final at Wembley.

Alex James scored the opening goal after just 17 minutes, latching onto a pass from Jack and firing emphatically past Huddersfield goalkeeper Billy Mercer. James then turned provider in the 82nd minute, squaring for Jack to tap home and seal the victory.

It was Arsenal’s first major trophy and ended their run of having lost two FA Cup finals in 1927 and 1932. Chapman famously dropped his trousers in front of the players in the Wembley dressing room, telling them they could spank his backside after ending the club’s long wait for silverware!

The Era of Manager George Graham

While Arsenal have enjoyed FA Cup success across many different eras, their most fruitful period in the competition came under manager George Graham. Between 1987 and 1995, Graham guided Arsenal to three FA Cup victories.

The first came in 1993 as Arsenal beat Sheffield Wednesday 2-1 in a replay after initially drawing 1-1. Arsenal took the lead through Steve Morrow, only for Chris Waddle to equalize with a last-minute free-kick for Wednesday. The replay saw Morrow score early again, and this time Arsenal held on to win 2-1.

Two years later in 1995, Arsenal faced local rivals Tottenham in the semi-finals. They edged past Spurs 1-0 thanks to Alan Smith’s goal to reach the final against Newcastle. Goals from John Jensen and Smith saw Arsenal overcome the Magpies 2-0 to retain the trophy.

Graham’s Arsenal team were known for having a rock-solid defense marshaled by the famous back four of Tony Adams, Steve Bould, Lee Dixon and Nigel Winterburn. But they also had attacking talents like Ian Wright, who remains Arsenal’s greatest ever goalscorer.

Arsenal’s Double Winning Side of 1998

In 1998, Arsenal managed to complete the remarkable feat of winning both the Premier League title and FA Cup to secure the ‘Double’. Managed by Arsene Wenger in his first full season in charge, this stylish Arsenal side swept away all before them.

They clinched the league title with two games to spare after a 4-0 win against Everton. Arsenal finished with 78 points from 38 games, one point ahead of second-placed Manchester United.

The FA Cup final pitted Arsenal against Newcastle United at Wembley. Despite being underdogs, two quick-fire goals at the end of the first half from Marc Overmars and Nicolas Anelka saw Arsenal run out 2-0 winners.

Captain Tony Adams lifted both trophies in what was the club’s most successful campaign in decades. Wenger’s injection of continental stars like Overmars, Emmanuel Petit and Anelka, allied to homegrown talents such as Adams and Ian Wright, made Arsenal an unstoppable force that season.

Winning the Cup in Cardiff

While the vast majority of Arsenal’s Cup final triumphs have come at Wembley Stadium in London, they have also had the joy of lifting the trophy in Cardiff on three occasions.

The first was a 1-0 victory over Manchester United in the 2005 final, which was held in the Welsh capital while Wembley was being rebuilt. Patrick Vieira captained Arsenal to victory, with a penalty from Spotkick specialist Jose Antonio Reyes proving decisive.

Eight years later in 2014, Arsenal were FA Cup winners in Cardiff again after a dramatic 3-2 win against Hull City. Despite taking a 2-0 lead inside the opening 10 minutes through early goals from Santi Cazorla and Laurent Koscielny, Arsenal were pegged back to 2-2. However, Aaron Ramsey popped up in stoppage time to head a last-gasp winner and end Arsenal’s 9-year trophy drought.

Most recently in 2017, Arsenal made it a hat-trick of Cardiff successes by beating Chelsea 2-1. Goals from Alexis Sanchez and Ramsey gave Arsenal the lead, before Diego Costa pulled one back for the Blues. But Arsenal held on to lift the Cup for a record 13th time.

Key FA Cup Heroes Over the Years

While Arsenal’s FA Cup record is very much a team effort, certain individuals have stepped up time and again to help deliver success:

– Alex James – Arsenal’s 1930 hero scored in both the final and semi-final on the path to that breakthrough first FA Cup win. He was a creative midfield maestro.

– Cliff Bastin – Part of the side that won the FA Cup in 1930 and 1936, Bastin scored 169 goals in 396 games for Arsenal – a club record at the time.

– Ian Wright – Became Arsenal’s greatest ever goalscorer, including crucial goals on the way to 1993 FA Cup success. He netted 185 times for the Gunners.

– Tony Adams – Captained Arsenal’s 1993, 1998 and 2002 triumphs. A true leader and club legend, epitomizing Arsenal’s stubborn resilience.

– Patrick Vieira – Peerless midfielder and captain of the unbeaten ‘Invincibles’ of 2004. Scored winning penalty in 2005 FA Cup final.

– Aaron Ramsey – Often saved his best for the big occasion, Ramsey scored the iconic extra-time winner in 2014 and was also on target in the 2017 final.

Unusual Records & Facts

In their long association with the world’s oldest cup competition, Arsenal hold a number of unusual records and have been involved in some of the tournament’s most peculiar moments:

– Arsenal hold the record for the biggest ever FA Cup final victory – winning 6-1 against Manchester United in 1930. Alex James scored a hat-trick.

– The Gunners have scored more FA Cup final goals than any other club, with 73 over the years. Their biggest final win was the famous 6-1 thrashing of Manchester United in 1930.

– Arsenal’s 27 FA Cup final appearances is another competition record. Manchester United come second with 25 appearances in the showpiece match.

– In 1952 Arsenal played in the only FA Cup final to be postponed. Their clash with Newcastle United was pushed back three days due to the death of King George VI.

– The Gunners have won the Cup a record 7 times at the old Wembley Stadium – more than any other side.

– Arsenal legend Ian Wright holds the individual record for FA Cup goals scored with 44, five more than any other player.

Why Arsenal Have Dominated the FA Cup

There are several reasons why Arsenal have proven so successful in the FA Cup over their history:

– Strong managers – from Chapman in the 1930s to Graham in the 90s and Wenger more recently, Arsenal have been led by tactically astute managers who took the Cup seriously.

– Style of play – Arsenal’s smooth passing, attacking style is well suited to the more open nature of FA Cup games compared to tighter league matches.

– Big game experience – by reaching so many finals, Arsenal have accumulated knowledge of how to get the job done in the high-pressure showpiece occasion.

– Wembley advantage – based in London, Arsenal have often felt more at home at the national stadium than opponents. Familiarity has bred contempt for Wembley’s daunting atmosphere.

– Club culture – lifting the FA Cup is ingrained as a tradition at Arsenal. There is a determination not just to compete for it, but win it time and again.

– Strength in depth – with large squads, Arsenal have been able to rotate players effectively during long FA Cup campaigns while maintaining quality.

– Fan support – Arsenal’s huge fanbase always back them passionately in Cup matches and Cup final attendances, giving the team an edge.


Arsenal’s era of dominance in the FA Cup extends across almost a full century of football. From Alex James to Aaron Ramsey, the Gunners have made a habit out of lifting the most famous domestic trophy of them all. The fact Arsenal have won the competition more than any other club highlights their tremendous consistency when it comes to the FA Cup.

While they may not have had their best period in the Premier League recently, Arsenal’s proud FA Cup tradition remains very much alive. The club has proven time and again that, whatever the circumstances, they know how to grind their way through the rounds to reach Wembley and get their hands on some shiny silverware once again. Given the magic of the FA Cup, no Arsenal fan would bet against further glory in the years ahead.

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