Former Arsenal defender, Martin Keown, was full of praise for Per Mertesacker following his ‘magnificent’ performance in the Gunners’ 2-1 FA Cup final win over Chelsea on Saturday.

  • Keown and Mertesacker have won three FA Cups with Arsenal
  • Mertesacker attempted nine defensive headers against Chelsea
  • Former Gunner claims final was Wenger’s ‘finest hour’

Despite only playing 37 minutes in total this season due to injury, Per was fantastic in arguably Arsenal’s most important match of the season and served a reminder of how useful experience can be in big games.

The BFG had a pass completion rate of 93%, won five aerial duels out of the NINE he attempted, and made seven clearances, as well as two tackles.

Per, combined with superb work at the back from Rob Holding and Nacho Monreal, was a big part of why Arsenal won that match.

Speaking after the victory, Keown was over the moon with Per’s performance.

“They should name this after Per Mertesacker,” he said.
“This should be called The Mertesacker Final, because I can’t believe the performance he put in. 
“The pressure he must have been under. He’s been out, he’s played one game this season and it’s the biggest game of the season. To perform as he did, the three seemed to suit him actually. 
“We’ve not seen him in a three really because he’s been almost last in line. He was magnificent, as all the players were.  
“Perhaps it was Arsène Wenger’s finest hour.”

As you can hear Per telling Keown post-match in the FA’s tunnelcam video: never write him off.