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What a match!

Arsenal defeat Manchester City 2-1 in the FA Cup Semis and will face Chelsea in the final next month. This is the 20th time Arsenal have reached the FA Cup final, which leads all clubs. Sergio Aguero had put Manchester City head after a furious counter attack with 20 minutes left. Arsenal responded with a right-footed goal from Nacho Monreal just minutes later, and both teams traded half-chances for the remainder of regulation.

The deciding goal came after a Mesut Ozil FK which saw Danny Welbeck fluff a chance only for Alexis Sanchez to tidy things up and put Arsenal ahead in the first frame of extra time. City hit the bar and Petr Cech had to make a spectacular save from Yaya Toure to keep the shot form only hitting the post. The final whistle saw a jubilant Arsene Wenger relieve some of the pressures of recent weeks, as Arsenal players and coaches celebrated another return to Wembley.

Poor domestic form and an embarrassing exit from the Champions League at the hands of Bayern Munich have left Arsenal targeting the FA Cup as the avenue of reprieve. Having faced two non-league sides and an under-strength Southampton had the Gunners credentials being questioned ahead of the clash with City at Wembley. The recent league encounter at the Emirates between the two sides had yielded a point a piece, with both parties relatively content with a draw in an atmosphere tantamount to a friendly. This game, however, was far from it. Gabriel’s hard challenge on Silva had forced Man City into an early sub, and the physical play continued throughout the tense 120 minutes.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was the clear Man of the Match winner as his play, with his play down the right posing a consistent and forceful threat for Arsenal. His pace, guile, and crossing ability had City on the back foot and constantly under pressure. The “back three”, this time formed by Nacho Monreal, Laurent Koscielny, and Rob Holding paid dividends yet again, as Arsenal waters remained calm under City’s surges. In the end, it was Arsenal’s set-piece execution, traditionally a point of weakness on both ends of the pitch, which caused City the most problems.