Goals from Christian Benteke and Fabian Delph sealed a famous win for Aston Villa and sent them into their first FA Cup final since 2000. Aston Villa will meet Arsenal in the FA Cup final after a win over a disappointing Liverpool at Wembley.

Liverpool were the favourites and despite taking the lead through Philippe Coutinho’s goal in the first half, they rarely looked comfortable and they got what their performance deserved. As a consequence there will be no dream finale to his Liverpool career for Gerrard. The Reds skipper, who will join Major League Soccer side LA Galaxy in the summer, was hoping to make a final appearance for the club in an FA Cup final scheduled to take place on 30 May, his 35th birthday.

Philippe Coutinho clipped Liverpool into the lead but the dangerous Christian Benteke levelled before half-time and Villa scored the winner their display fully merited through Fabian Delph’s finish nine minutes after the break.

A lethargic Liverpool mounted a rally of sorts late on when Kieran Richardson cleared off the line from Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard and half-time substitute Mario Balotelli was ruled offside when he had the ball in the net.

Villa, however, were not to be denied and the final whistle sparked scenes of joy among players and supporters alike. Gerrard left Wembley for the final time with sporting handshakes and congratulations to the better team throughout.