Arsene Wenger has a habit of confounding his critics as his Arsenal team beat Manchester City to reach yet another FA Cup final, in a season, when he has seen fans protest and had to put up with a lot of abuse. The top four might yet be a step too far for him this season but he gave his fans a day to remember at Wembley as they found a way to beat a star studded City side who were expected to take their place in the final against Chelsea. Arsenal had other ideas as they tried to salvage something from a disappointing season.
With 19 minutes of the game left Oxlade-Chamberlain crossed from the right and the ball fell to Nacho Monreal who was running in and he slotted the ball past Claudio Bravo to level the scores. In the 78th minute Yaya Toure hit a belter, which clipped the inside of the upright and bounced back into play. Arsenal had a lucky escape.
Arsenal’s goal lived a charmed life again minutes later as Fernandino’s powerful header hit the crossbar and the ball came back into play yet again. Arsene Wenger responded by replacing Olivier Giroud with Danny Welbeck. Welbeck had a chance to win the game from a tight angle but his shot went wide. The game ended 1-1 in normal time and moved into extra time.
Rob Holding had the first chance from a corner but his header was just wide of the post. That would have been some story.
From an Arsenal free kick the ball fell to Welbeck in the City area but he scoffed his shot. However it fell to Alexis Sanchez who stabbed the ball home from close range to give the Gunners the lead. With 6 minutes left Kevin De Bruyne hit a shot, which whizzed past the goal. Arsenal held on in extra time to reach yet another FA Cup final with a chance of regaining their record of the team who has won this trophy the most.
Pep Guardiola first season in England has been a rude awakening as he finishes trophy less for the first time in his coaching career. He said: “We will be stronger next season.”
Wenger said: ”I felt we had a great response today. We had a cautious start. We got better in the second half. I felt it was a big test for us. We were dangerous in the second half. I am very proud of the players they showed a united response. We have gone through a very difficult period and we faced some adversity.”