The match paired the winners of the two previous FA Cups, with Arsenal beating Liverpool in 1950 and Newcastle besting Blackpool in 1951. Newcastle had already gotten the better of the Gunners on the league, with one win and a draw in their two meetings that season.
Playing before a capacity crowd of 100,000 at Wembley, Arsenal suffered a first-half blow when they lost right back Wally Barnes to a 35th-minute knee injury. The rules at the time did not allow substitutes, so they had to play on with ten men, but still managed to remain level through the break, 0-0.
In the second half, three more Arsenal players--center forward Cliff Holton, outside left Don Roper, and center half Ray Daniel--picked up injuries. They remained on the pitch, but with limited effectiveness. Newcastle took advantage of the opportunity and took the lead with an 84th-minute goal from their Chilean inside-left George Robledo. It ended up being the match-winner, as Newcastle claimed their second consecutive FA Cup and their fifth overall.