Arsenal 2-1 Man City: Gunners reach FA Cup final
Arsenal beat Manchester City 2-1 after extra time at Wembley on Sunday as Arsene Wenger got the better of Pep Guardiola to set up an FA Cup final against Chelsea.
Sergio Aguero put City ahead in the second half but Nacho Monreal equalized in normal time and then Alexis Sanchez scored the winning goal in extra time to seal the Gunners spot in the FA Cup final on May 27 at Wembley.
It will be an all-London affair in the FA Cup final and it could perhaps be Wenger’s final game in charge.
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Aguero went close early but made a mess of a patient build up play and David Silva’s header was pushed over by Petr Cech, while Arsenal had the ball in the net at the other end but Laurent Koscielny was offside as he flicked the ball past Claudio Bravo.
City were forced into an early change as Silva limped off after a collision and Raheem Sterling came on and soon after Aguero went down in the box under a challenge from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain but referee Craig Pawson waved away the appeals.
Aguero slammed a shot into the side-netting as half time approached with City controlling the possession but failing to break through. A huge moment of controversy arrived five minutes before half time as Leroy Sane’s cross was flagged to have gone out of play as Aguero and then Sterling both finished but replays showed it had stayed in.
A huge let-off for Arsenal and right on half time they could’ve had a penalty kick as Jesus Navas bundled over Sanchez in the box.
In the second half it was Arsenal who put City under pressure as Fernandinho gave the ball away on the edge of the box and Olivier Giroud’s effort was blocked by Nicolas Otamendi.
Moments later City were 1-0 up as Aaron Ramsey was robbed by Yaya Toure and Aguero raced free from Monreal and dinked home to put City ahead. The goal was Aguero’s fifth in as many FA Cup appearances this season and with 12 goals in his last 12 games he now has 166 for City, taking him to tied second on their all-time list of scorers.
Mesut Ozil flashed an effort just wide of the post after City went ahead as the Gunners continued to push forward in pursuit of an equalizer.
The leveler arrived with less than 20 minutes to go as Oxlade-Chamberlain’s fine cross from the right found Monreal at the back post and the Spanish left back nonchalantly smashed home with the outside of his right foot. 1-1. Game on.
Moments later Toure’s stunning volley was superbly saved by the fingertips of Cech as the ball hit the post and came out and soon after Fernandinho’s header cannoned off the bar as City pushed hard for a late winner.
Substitute Danny Welbeck went so close to snatching the win for Arsenal in normal time but the former Manchester United striker lashed an effort inches wide of the far post after breaking free.
In extra time it was Arsenal who could’ve gone 2-1 up as Rob Holding headed over the bar from close range. Soon after Sanchez did put Arsenal ahead as Welbeck missed his kick but Sanchez controlled and finished clinically to make it 2-1.
At the other end Sterling’s cross was cleared by Holding and the sub was subbed at the half time of extra time with Kelechi Iheanacho coming on as City’s fourth substitute as the new FA rules were used.
Fabian Delph, another sub, was put in by Kevin de Bruyne in the 110th minute but Hector Bellerin deflected his effort wide at the crucial moment then De Bruyne flashed an effort just wide as City poured forward for an equalizer.
In the end Arsenal held on to seal a third FA Cup final appearance in the last four seasons.