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26 March 1927: Arsenal start the journey to being the most successful FA Cup team

This is the day to celebrate Arsenal’s journey which led them become the most successful FA Cup club of all time.  For on this day in 1927 the result was Arsenal 2 Southampton 1 in Arsenal’s FA Cup semi-final number 3 –  the first semi-final since the Woolwich Arsenal days and the first victory in the semi-final. Hulme and Buchan scored the goals that took Arsenal to Wembley for the first time.

Of course the subsequent first final was lost, but on 26 March 1930 Arsenal beat Hull City 1-0 in a semi-final replay.  David Jack scored the goal at Villa Park which took Arsenal to their second final and ultimately their first major trophy, and the journey to being the most successful cup team in England had truly begun.

Although Arsenal’s success from the 1930s onwards gave them more cup wins, it was as league winners that the club became initially recognised, winning the league five times in that decade alone (and doing it under three different managers).

But it was during the Wenger era that the club pulled ahead of the rest as an FA Cup winning team, and indeed Mr Wenger himself became the most successful FA Cup manager of all time, winning the trophy seven times.

Wenger’s nearest rivals were George Ramsey who won the trophy six times between 1887 and 1920, and Alex Ferguson who won it five times between 1990 and 2004.  The Ramsay figure, although valid in terms of the number of wins, is slightly misleading as in the 19th century, the level of competition was nowhere near that of today.

As of March 2022, Arsenal have won the cup 14 times and made 21 final appearances (also a record).  Their nearest rivals remain Manchester United with 12 wins while being runners up eight times.

The next nearest challengers are Chelsea and Tottenham with eight wins each, although Tottenham seem to be slacking a little of late in that their last appearance in the final was 1991.

Here is the list of finals * = extra time

1926–27 Cardiff City 1–0 Arsenal Wembley 91,206
1929–30 Arsenal 2–0 Huddersfield T Wembley 92,488
1931–32 Newcastle U 2–1 Arsenal Wembley 92,298
1935–36 Arsenal 1–0 Sheffield United Wembley 93,384
1949–50 Arsenal 2–0 Liverpool Wembley 100,000
1951–52 Newcastle U 1–0 Arsenal Wembley 100,000
1970–71 Arsenal 2-1* Liverpool Wembley 100,000
1971–72 Leeds Utd 1–0 Arsenal Wembley 100,000
1977–78 Ipswich T 1–0 Arsenal Wembley 100,000
1978–79 Arsenal 3–2 Manchester Utd Wembley 100,000
1979–80 West Ham U 1–0 Arsenal Wembley 100,000
1992–93 Arsenal 1–1* Sheffield Wednesday Wembley 79,347
2–1* Wembley 62,267
1997–98 Arsenal 2–0 Newcastle Utd Wembley 79,183
2000–01 Liverpool 2–1 Arsenal Cardiff 72,500
2001–02 Arsenal 2–0 Chelsea Cardiff 73,963
2002–03 Arsenal 1–0 Southampton Cardiff 73,726
2004–05 Arsenal 0–0 Manchester Utd Cardiff 71,876
2013–14 Arsenal 3–2 Hull City Wembley 89,345
2014–15 Arsenal 4–0 Aston Villa Wembley 89,283
2016–17 Arsenal 2–1 Chelsea Wembley 89,472
2019–20 Arsenal 2–1 Chelsea Wembley 0

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