Sanchez and Ozil celebrate Arsenal's win over Chelsea in dressing room

The fan base certainly seems more divided, with Wenger bemoaning the "very hostile environment" created by some fans demanding his removal.

"And that's it. It's not about popularity, its about competence". Then, in the build-up, Wenger himself let rip, denouncing those who have made his life so hard.

Arsene Wenger's turbulent year ended with a third FA Cup success in four seasons after Arsenal beat Chelsea 2-1 to deny the English Premier League champion a double on Saturday.

The Wales worldwide credited Wenger's decision to switch to a new system, using a back three, as it won its last six games of the season in all competitions to end the campaign on a high.

One man hoping Wenger will stay is Conte, who thinks the Arsenal boss is "one of the best managers in history".

But the wounded Gunners used that blow to their pride as fuel for a dominant performance that proved too much for Premier League champions Chelsea.

Just as the season reached its climax, Arsenal turned in the type of tenacious display lacking so often, and against a side so commanding in the Premier League in Antonio Conte's first season in charge. As a result, Wenger may be forced to start aging club captain Per Mertesacker, who made his first appearance of the 2016-17 season on Sunday.

Wenger said: "There's no ideal way". 'Chelsea are a strong team, you've seen that over the season, so we knew it'd be tough'.

Sizzling temperatures are expected on Saturday which could potentially help Arsenal's creative players, although Wenger is faced with a shortage of defenders with Laurent Koscielny suspended and Gabriel ruled out injured.

The Gunners took an early lead through Alexis Sanchez, though the goal came through hugely controversial circumstances, with Aaron Ramsey standing in an offside position and Sanchez handling the ball in the build up to the goal.

Amid confusion, referee Anthony Taylor consulted his assistant and the goal was allowed to stand. Our start wasn't good enough.

After Victor Moses was sent off for diving - his second yellow card - Diego Costa drew Chelsea level with 15 minutes left.

However, Willian, on as a substitute, delivered the ball from the right and Costa scored with a scuffed effort keeper Ospina - selected ahead of former Chelsea man Petr Cech - got his hand to but was unable to keep out of the net.

Within three minutes, though, Arsenal was back in front.

  • Julie Sanders