The start of August is a time more synonymous with the Community Shield than the FA Cup final, but it’s the latter event that will be taking place at Wembley on Saturday as the curtain finally comes down on the 2019/20 domestic campaign.
Arsenal are the most successful club in the competition’s history, having got their hands on the trophy 13 times.
Eight of those triumphs came in the Premier League era, but Chelsea will pull level in that regard if they defeat their London rivals this weekend.
Ahead of Saturday’s showdown, we’ve cast our eye back at the five best FA Cup finals since 1992.
Liverpool 3-3 West Ham, (3-1 on pens) 2006
The most entertaining FA Cup final of the modern era, Liverpool edged out West Ham on penalties after the two sides couldn’t be separated in two hours of football.
Rafael Benitez’s side were favourites to come out on top, but West Ham had just secured a top-half finish in the Premier League and had only lost narrowly to the Reds a few weeks earlier.
Alan Pardew’s men drew first blood when Jamie Carragher put through his own net midway through the first half, then Dean Ashton doubled their lead in the 28th minute after a mistake from Pepe Reina.
Liverpool hit back to halve the deficit soon after, Djibril Cisse volleying home after a fine pass from Steven Gerrard, before the club captain levelled the scores after the break.
West Ham weren’t done yet, though, and they retook the lead when Paul Konchesky’s cross-cum-shot looped over Reina and into the net.
The Hammers were just minutes away from glory when Gerrard rifled a superb long-range shot into the bottom corner in stoppage time.
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Neither team landed a decisive blow in extra time but West Ham scored only one of their four penalties, so successful spot-kicks from Dietmar Hamann, Gerrard and John Arne Riise gave Liverpool the trophy.
Liverpool 2-1 Arsenal, 2001
Arsenal again lost out to Manchester United in the 2000/01 Premier League title race, and Arsene Wenger was determined to avoid ending the season empty-handed.
Liverpool, for their part, were eyeing an unlikely treble, having already lifted the League Cup and with the UEFA Cup final to come a few days later.
Arsenal were the better team for the majority of the contest, which was the first FA Cup final to be held at the Millennium Stadium in Wales.
With Thierry Henry in an uncharastically profligate mood, Freddie Ljungberg broke the deadlock in the 72nd minute, rounding Sander Westerveld and slotting the ball into an empty net.
Michael Owen’s pace was causing the Gunners problems, though, and a last-gasp intervention from Martin Keown denied the England international a one-on-one with David Seaman.
But Owen wasn’t to be denied, and it was he who reacted quickest to fire a loose ball home after Arsenal failed to clear a free-kick.
Then, in the 88th minute, Owen wrote his name into the history books, outpacing Lee Dixon and angling a terrific finish inside the far post to give Liverpool victory and leave Arsenal shell-shocked.
Arsenal 3-2 Hull City, 2014
Arsenal had gone nine long years without a trophy by the time of the 2014 FA Cup final. Their most recent attempt to win silverware had ended in embarrassment, Arsene Wenger’s side losing to unfancied Birmingham City in the League Cup final three years previously.
This time, though, there seemed no way that even Arsenal could mess things up. Hull had spent the season battling against relegation, and the Gunners had knocked out Tottenham Hotspur, Liverpool and Everton en route to the final.
Yet Arsenal tended to do things the hard way in the last few years of Wenger’s tenure, so in hindsight it’s not too much of a surprise that they went 2-0 down inside eight minutes.
First, James Chester diverted Tom Huddlestone’s speculative shot into the far corner, before Curtis Davies doubled Hull’s advantage to leave the red-and-white half of Wembley with heads in hands.
Santi Cazorla pulled one back with an excellent free-kick in the 17th minute, but Hull still held the lead after three-quarters of the game had elapsed.
Arsenal finally restored parity through Laurent Koscielny with 19 minutes remaining, before Aaron Ramsey made himself a hero by netting the all-important fifth goal in extra time.
Wigan Athletic 1-0 Manchester City, 2013
One top-flight team beating another might not ordinarily qualify as a historic upset, but given the disparity in resources, Wigan’s 1-0 triumph over Manchester City in 2013 was one of the great FA Cup final stories in modern time.
The Latics were on their way to relegation to the Championship but had battled their way through to the Wembley showpiece courtesy of a semi-final defeat of Millwall.
City had endured an underwhelming season in the Premier League but were still heavy favourites to emerge victorious in what proved to be Roberto Mancini’s final game in charge.
Wigan had their defensive deficiencies but were a good footballing side under Roberto Martinez, and they showed plenty of bravery by getting on the ball and looking to make things happen.
Shaun Maloney and Callum McManaman were constant thorns in the side of their more illustrious opponents, as Wigan registered a higher-than-expected 48% of possession.
The final looked to be heading for an additional 30 minutes when Martinez’s men won a corner in second-half stoppage time. Maloney swung the ball into the box and Ben Watson rose highest to nod home at the front post, sending Wigan fans delirious.
Arsenal 0-0 Manchester United (5-4 on pens), 2005
This wasn’t the most entertaining match by any means, but no FA Cup final of the Premier League era has featured two finalists as strong as Arsenal and Manchester United United in 2005.
Both teams had been outclassed by Chelsea in that season’s title race, and in hindsight this was the final instalment of one of the most iconic club rivalries in English football history.
Arsenal finished ahead of United in the league that year but Alex Ferguson’s side were far superior on the day.
They didn’t take their chances, though, and Arsenal dug deep to keep the scores level after 120 minutes of hard-fought action.
Paul Scholes failed to convert his penalty in the shoot-out, but the other eight efforts were all perfect before Patrick Vieira stepped up with spot-kick number 10.
In front of the United fans, the Frenchman found the top corner with what turned out to be his last kick in an Arsenal shirt.