Arsenal 2 Manchester City 1 after extra time as Alexis Sanchez scores late FA Cup semi-final winner

Jason Burt
Vital: key man Alexis Sanchez had the composure to win it - EPA

Arsenal are in the FA Cup Final. Manchester City will rail against the injustice of it all and, in particular, a ‘goal’ by Sergio Aguero that was wrongly disallowed while they also struck the woodwork twice and missed a host of chances.

Arsenal dug deep – as so often they have failed to do – and showed immense spirit as they came from behind with goals by Nacho Monreal and, in extra-time, Alexis Sanchez.

They will meet Chelsea in the final with an unlikely chance of another trophy for Arsene Wenger in a season of such frustration and doubt. Maybe now that contract announcement will be made even if he will not qualify for the Champions League.

For Pep Guardiola a first campaign in which so much was expected will end with a fight to stay in the top four and nothing more. No trophy. Not this year. And that has to represent failure just as Wenger is not expected to qualify for the Champions League for the first time.

The last thing everyone expected was a game littered by fouls – some cynical – with chances at a premium. But that is what unfolded until the encounter opened up gloriously, chaotically and end-to-end in the second-half.

Head man: Aguero and Holding Credit: EPA

Before that it had been completely dominated by City. Both sides, nevertheless, had penalty claims. Both sides also had ‘goals’ disallowed – with the refusal of City’s strike the one that should have stood.

It came as assistant referee Steve Child deemed that Leroy Sane’s cross had gone out of play but the whole of the ball had not – how could he be sure? – before Aguero volleyed goalwards. Petr Cech beat it out and substitute Raheem Sterling turned in the rebound but it was chalked off. It should have been given. It should have been Aguero’s goal.

The striker also felt he should have had a penalty when the otherwise impressive Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain tangled with him but that was less defined as Aguero also clipped his own heels and, maybe, the benefit of doubt should have gone to the Arsenal man as he was attempting to get out of the way and the level of contact was not clear.

But it added to City’s sense of frustration and injustice which had been fuelled when David Silva – who had been prominent – was forced off after a clumsy challenge by Gabriel which referee Craig Pawson did not deem worthy of a caution. Having not yellow-carded Gabriel, Pawson then made it difficult for himself as a number of other challenges went unpunished including one by Jesus Navas, attempting to stop Sanchez from reaching a free-kick which Arsenal claimed should have been a penalty and could also have been given.

Target is down: Manchester City's David Silva holds his leg after a challenge from Arsenal's Gabriel Paulista Credit: Reuters

The only one of the four major first-half incidents which was indisputable was that Koscielny was offside when he volleyed past Claudio Bravo in a rare foray forward by Arsenal who were almost overwhelmed by City. The possession ratio was 70:30 but it felt even more as Arsenal were forced deep and failed to get any kind of foot-hold.

They continued with the three at the back but it was effectively five with Oxlade-Chamberlain and Monreal forced ever deeper although, finally, into the second-half Arsenal began to provide a sustained threat of their own and Granit Xhaka was presented with an opportunity when a free-kick was squared to him, unmarked and with City defending deep, only to shoot weakly.

At the other end and Nicolas Otamendi had a free header from a corner, but planted it wastefully wide before he made a vital block City almost gifted Arsenal the lead as Fernandinho carelessly lost the ball inside his own area and it appeared Olivier Giroud would have the chance to shoot. Otamendi covered.

That man again: Cech was not quick enough off his line to deny Aguero Credit: EPA

Finally there was a breakthrough with Arsenal also needlessly losing the ball, on the edge of the City area, through Aaron Ramsey with Yaya Toure intercepting and lifting a pass forward for Aguero who was suddenly in a foot race with Monreal from inside his own half. There was only one winner in that contest although Aguero appeared to then push the ball too far ahead – only for Cech to hesitate and the striker to lift his shot past him for his 12th goal in 12 appearances.

It seemed that would be decisive but there was redemption for Monreal with another poor concession from Arsenal as Oxlade-Chamberlain’s superb deep cross allowed to run to the wing-back, who was not tracked, and he smartly volleyed the ball home from close-range at the far post. It was his first goal in two years.

City responded and it appeared Toure was set to restore their lead but, this time, there was redemption for Cech who tipped his bouncing volley, from outside the area, against the post. City struck the frame of the goal again – this time Fernandinho rising high to meet Kevin De Bruyne’s corner only for his header to cannon back off the cross-bar.

Monreal deal: Nacho scores a rare goal for Arsenal Credit: The FA Collection

Arsenal then went close with substitute Danny Welbeck breaking clear of Otamendi only for his curling shot to flash narrowly past the far post – when maybe he should have squared it to Sanchez or crossed for Ramsey. They both were better options.

Arsenal also claimed the first opportunity of extra-rime with Rob Holding heading onto the roof of the net from a corner. And it was from another corner that they scored with Koscielny heading the ball back across goal, Welbeck taking a swipe at it before Sanchez pounced ahead of Gael Clichy to sweep his shot past Bravo. Welbeck could have settled it but headed wide.

It gave City a chance and they should have taken it when they broke three on two only for substitute Fabian Delph’s shot to be deflected into the side-netting. From the corner another replacement – City’s fourth, permitted in the later rounds of the FA Cup – headed wide when he again should have done better. But Arsenal held on and had their extraordinary win.

 

5:34PM

Our match report will follow shortly

A match that really came alive.

5:34PM

Average touch positions (end of extra time)

Average touch positions (end of extra time) 5:33PM

Full time: Arsenal 2 Manchester City 1

They've done it! A 20th FA Cup Final for Arsenal.

5:32PM

119 mins

Arsenal not exactly digging in. They just cannot help themselves. Pushing forward. Toure with a long range effort.

5:31PM

118 mins

Francis Coquelin on for Mesut Ozil.

5:29PM

115 mins

First hour was a bit forgettable but these two talented, flawed sides have provided excellent entertainment since. Can Arsenal hang on? Sanchez finds Ozil as Arsenal break. Mesut has a little rest on the floor in the penalty area. Nobody is convinced.

5:27PM

Yellow cards flying around at Wembley Stadium

Craig Pawson brandishes his seventh yellow card of the game - Nicolás Otamendi is the latest name in the book for Man City.

5:26PM

114 mins

End to end to end. KDB flashes the ball across goal. Nobody there to follow it in.

5:25PM

113 mins

Welbeck breaks and Arsenal have a chance to settle this. But he donkeys it up.

5:25PM

112 mins

Iheanacho heads just wide from a corner! 

5:24PM

110 mins

Should have scored! Delph! De Bruyne with the run, he plays in Delph. Some of the City fans in the ground think he has scored it. He sure should have. Side netting. Bellerin did well to track back and put him off.

5:22PM

108 mins

Yaya whacks the ball into the wall and appeals for a handball. Why don't concentrate on the football and leave the officiating to the ref, mmmm?

5:21PM

107 mins

De Bruyne smuggles it through to Iheanacho. He loses it. Arsenal should clear this easily but make a pig's ear of it. Bellerin gives away the freekick, he did not have much choice.

5:17PM

HT in ET: Arsenal 2 Man City 1

Can the Gunners hold on?

Sterling withdrawn. Kelechi Iheanacho. Guardiola wants longer to talk to his players. The officials tell him to get on with it.

5:16PM

104 mins

Danny Welbeck has (yet) another chance to wrap this up. He has headed over. Xhaka and Delph both booked for some silly beggars.

5:15PM

Average touch positions (105 + 3 min)

Average touch positions (105 + 3 min) 5:13PM

103 mins

Various bits of housekeeping. Card for Sane for running his mouth. City stroppy. Ox off. Hector Bellerin on.

5:08PM

GOAL!

A goal from Alexis Sánchez for Arsenal makes the score 2-1. Freekick comes in. Welbeck has the chance but fluffs it, he mis-hits the ball and inadvertently tees it up for Sanchez. He shows great composure to control and stab it home.

Arsenal 2 - 1 Man City (Alexis Sánchez, 101 min) 5:07PM

99 mins

But one senses the force might be with Arsenal.

5:07PM

98 mins

Pep plays his hand. Fabian Delph replaced Sergio Aguero. Fernando replaces Fernandinho. Holding gets up for a header from a corner but cannot hit the target.

5:03PM

96 mins

Welbeck has the ball again. Down by the byline. This time, Welbeck dare not shoot, tries to find Sanchez. Cannot. Sanchez gives him a rollocking anyway. Heh.

5:02PM

95 mins

Alex O-C has been Arsenal's best player by a country mile. He burns past Sane now and gets off a good cross. Ramsey fails to connect with it.

5:00PM

94 mins

Missing him.

4:59PM

92 mins

City look the better bet to me. KDB and Yaya driving them on. Sane lurks. Here's a bright move, the latter getting into a good position down the left.

4:58PM

We're back

15 minutes each way

4:52PM

Time on ball (at full time)

Possession: Arsenal vs Man City 4:52PM

Score after 90 minutes: Arsenal 1 Man City 1

Tense stuff! City have seen the ball hit the woodwork twice and had a goal (probably) wrongly but (definitely) understandably ruled out.

4:50PM

90+ mins

With three minutes to be added, it's City who are on the front foot. Arsenal have the whole team back. Ozil, of all people, tackles Aguero in a dangerous position.

4:48PM

Dem barnets

4:46PM

88 mins

End-to-end, exciting stuff. Sanchez breaks, brought down by KDB. Yellow.

4:45PM

87 mins

Yaya rolls back the years with a gallop into the box. Down. No pen.

4:45PM

86 mins

Ramsey is furious! Sanchez is furious! Welbeck gets a bit of luck down the right when the ball bounces kindly for him off Otamendi. He tries an ambitious curler with both Sanchez and Ramsey in the middle. They let him know.

4:43PM

84 mins

Ozil hasnae done much, but here he is down the right... nice ball as he tries to find Welbeck. Oh timely intervention from Navas. Welbz was in.

4:41PM

82 mins

Danny Welbeck replaces Olivier Giroud

4:40PM

81 mins

Arsenal living dangerously here. Corner. Here's Fernandino, rises magnificently. Beefy header. Hits the bar. 

4:37PM

76 mins

Yaya! From nowhere, he hits a volley. Cech dives full length and just manages to get a fingertip to it. Onto the post.

Darren Fletcher: "a size smaller on the gloves and that was in. Lucky he got the extra large!"

4:36PM

75 mins

Martin Keown said after the goal "we have a real game on our hands now." That hasn't actually come to pass.

4:36PM

Time on ball (60 - 75 min)

Possession: Arsenal vs Man City 4:30PM

GOAL!

Arsenal level it up with a goal from Nacho Monreal: it's 1-1.

Arsenal 1 - 1 Man City (Nacho Monreal, 71 min)

And it is all down to the Ox! A really powerful run from him, a brilliant cross from the right. Arriving unmarked, at high speed, is Nacho Nacho man. He meets the ball perfectly with his right foot and volleys it home. Wing-back to wing-back!

4:27PM

67 mins

Fernandinho has the second yellow of the day, for fouling Xhaka. Xhaka himself, surprisingly, has yet to be booked.

4:26PM

66 mins

Gabriel gives Sane a whack in the chops, one assumes accidentally.

4:26PM

64 mins

Great turn and shot from Ozil. Just wide.

4:21PM

GOAL!

Man City break the deadlock thanks to a goal from Sergio Agüero - 0-1.

Arsenal 0 - 1 Man City (Sergio Agüero, 62 min)

That will hurt for Arsenal, in many ways. Firstly, they were having a good spell. Second, they were attacking. But Yaya got it off Ramsey, looked up, and played the route one ball forward. Monreal should surely clear this up, and it looks like he will, but Aguero finds another gear and runs onto it. Now there is a heavy touch from Aguero. Cech comes out but Aguero is too quick, or Cech is too slow. The Argentine slots it home. GOAL CITY! 12 in 12 for Sergio. 

4:18PM

Time on ball (45 - 60 min)

Possession: Arsenal vs Man City 4:16PM

55 mins

Heart in the mouth for Bravo when he has to deal with a regulation back-pass. Slips! An Arsenal forward is bearing down on him, Bravo recovers enough to clear. One has the sense that a howler might be the decisive moment in this high-stakes, medium-quality match between two expensive but ultimately unconvincing sides.

4:14PM

54 mins

Ramsey and Otamendi clash, hard but fair. The former comes off the worst.

Pep Guardiola and Arsene Wenger go head to head Credit: REX FEATURES

4:11PM

50 mins

Arsenal brighter in the second half, Sanchez running powerfully and dangerously. Hauled down. Freekick. Worked short. Shoddy defending from City, Xhaka allowed a free hit in the penalty area. Weak shot.

Neither side at their best.

4:06PM

47 mins

City had lots of the ball but didn't do a massive amount with it. Arsenal for their part were slightly cowed. Sympathies with the linesman, who I think probably got that decision wrong. But almost impossible to see at that speed.

Anyhow. That was then. This is now. here come Arsenal, with Sanchez. Holding involved. More direct. Giroud tries to knock it down for Ramsey. Navas obliged to clear for a corner. Kompany got whacked by Giroud. Corner easily cleared.

4:03PM

46 mins

The second half is underway.

3:48PM

Half time: Arsenal 0 Man City 0

Mainly about these guys, really.

Credit: BT Sport

3:47PM

Time on ball (first half)

Possession: Arsenal vs Man City 3:47PM

Arsenal have barely tested the visitors' goal

Arsenal managed just a single shot on target in the opening 45 minutes

Arsenal vs Man City shots on goal 3:47PM

Average touch positions (half time)

Average touch positions (half time) 3:47PM

44 mins

Officials under huge pressure in this match. Deep freekick into the City area, Navas marking Sanchez. Looks to me like he's given him a wee nudge in the back. Ref says no penalty.

3:44PM

39 mins

Now City have it in the net! But it is ruled out by the linesman.

Credit: BT Sport

Linesman flagged that the ball was over the line as the cross 'bent' into the area. A very tight call!

Credit: BT Sport

This shot above was blocked, Sterling slapped home the rebound but it was not to be... 

3:40PM

38 mins

Giroud and Kompany have a wrestling match under the high ball. As is often the case, it's the loser of the tussle who gets the decision. Freekick Arsenal. Urch, they are offside from the freekick. That's weak.

3:38PM

37 mins

Talking of quality players, here is Aguero. Dancing and wriggling through, shoots, into the side netting.

3:37PM

36 mins

Navas is through... but he is offside. By a country mile. Rather a bitty, scrappy few minutes, neither side's quality players able to get their A-game going.

3:37PM

Man City pinning the hosts back in their own half

The visitors are keeping the Arsenal defence busy so far.

Arsenal vs Man City 3:34PM

31 ins

Vaguely niggly game, for all the silky fancy boys on display. Aguero in agony. Koscielny has given him a whack in the small of the back. 

3:31PM

29 mins

City have a freekick 40 yards out and take it short. Slipped through to Sane. There's Oxlade-Chamderlain, tracking him stride for stride. Denies him, but at the expense of a corner.

3:31PM

Time on ball (15 - 30 min)

Possession: Arsenal vs Man City 3:26PM

25 mins

First yeller of the afternoon and it goes to Sanchez for an honest, but late, challenge on Fernandinho..

The resulting freekick is half cleared, it drops to Raheem Sterling on the edge of the box and he volleys wide.

Aguero down in the box! Wants a pen! Oxlade-Chamberlain the accused. Ref says no.

3:25PM

Man City enjoying plenty of touches of the ball so far

Man City have had 212 touches of the ball compared to 122 by Arsenal.

Arsenal vs Man City 3:25PM

Old Skool

3:23PM

22 mins

Some good news for Arsenal now, though: David Silva is hurt, and coming off. Raheeeeeeeeem Sterling enters the fray.

Silva got a sore kick in the back of the leg from Koscielny, who was not cautioned. That is, as they say, a right result if you are a Gooner.

3:22PM

21 mins

Giroud slots it home as Koscienly heads over the defence, but he's a mile off-side. Cheers die in Arsenal throats.

3:21PM

19 mins

Ozil too quick, too nimble for Vincent Kompany, who fouls him.

3:21PM

18 mins

I fear for the Arsenal back three. Silva buzzing around. 

3:16PM

14 mins

Save! Ball into the Arsenal area, Silva peels away and heads it... cannot really get power. Sane maybe better placed just behind him? Debatable. Worrying for Arsenal either way. Silva's not exactly Duncan Ferguson, is he? Not sure he should be winning corners with a close range header.

3:15PM

Time on ball (0 - 15 min)

Possession: Arsenal vs Man City 3:15PM

Arsenal have their first strike at goal

Arsenal respond to the earlier Man City effort with their first shot of the game.

Arsenal vs Man City shots on goal 3:15PM

Stan not really the Man

3:13PM

11 mins

Arsenal now! Sanchez, bright and busy, slips it out to Monreal. Low cross. Danger! Yaya hacks it clear.

3:10PM

8 mins

Silva with the game's first moment of real quality, given space and time, and he plays a neat ball through for Aguero. Just as he is about to shoot, Kos gets a vital touch to toe it behind for a corner.

The linesman holds up Kevin DB taking the corner, City attempting some elaborate dummy runner thing by the flag. Lino not having it.

3:05PM

4 mins

Otamendi with a reducer on Ozil.

3:04PM

4 mins

And here is KDB again, down the right, to the byline. Cross comfortably cut out by Koscielny.

3:03PM

2 mins

Early chance for the Ox to get a tackle in on Clichy, who is looking to get forward. 

And we have our first shot, as Sane muscles forward, slips it to Kevin De Bruyne. Shoots low, and well wide.

3:02PM

1 mins

Sanchez bustling around that midfield like his life depends on it. He's fouled. City soon get it back though. City look to have time and space in the centre of the park.

3:01PM

Kick off! 

Both sides in the correct kit, which is nice.

2:58PM

Dear me

2:57PM

Flags and shiny foil things the order of the day

at Wembley. A corner of the pitch bathed in sunshine. Great atmosphere. Would be worthy of a Final.

Credit: BT Sport

Great atmosphere. Both of these teams (managers?) badly need a trophy, and this is their sole remaining chance. 

2:48PM

Rattler

2:42PM

Cross

2:40PM

More tube fun

First Mancini, now this.

2:33PM

How they may line up

Credit: BT Sport 1

Big task for the Ox today. Presumably Ozil will do his own thing and thus abandon the right wing-back to the tender mercies of the electric Sane down that flank. If Clichy joins in on the overlap I reckon Arsenal have big problems.

2:23PM

Bobby Manc going underground!

2:21PM

Have they... have they decorated the Wembley dressing room floor?

2:20PM

I wonder if the first part of this will 

continue to be true.

2:09PM

Semi specialists

2:07PM

Both teams unchanged

So Arsenal will, one assumes, be sticking with their new back three model.

2:04PM

And in the widely discredited "words" format

Man City: Bravo, Navas, Kompany (C), Otamendi, Clichy, Fernandinho, Toure, De Bruyne, Silva, Sane, Aguero. Subs: Caballero, Zabaleta, Fernando, Sterling, Kolarov, Delph, Iheanacho.

Arsenal: Cech, Gabriel, Koscielny, Holding, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ramsey, Xhaka, Monreal, Ozil, Alexis, Giroud. Subs

2:03PM

City

2:03PM

Arsenal

2:03PM

Hello! 

Tyers here. We've had a one-sided semi up in Scotland, but there's every reason to hope for a good game at Wembley. Team news incoming...

2:00PM

Arsenal v Man City FA Cup semi-final - all you need to know

What is it?

The FA Cup semi-final between struggling Arsenal and resurgent Manchester City.  

When is it?

Sunday April 23.

Where is it?

At the home of English football Wembley Stadium. 

What time is kick-off?

3pm. 

What TV channel is it on?

BT Sport 1, with coverage starting at 2:30pm. 

Arsenal beat Middlesbrough 2-1 on Monday night

What is the team news?

Arsenal

Shkodran Mustafi, David Ospina and Lucas Perez are all unavailable through injury, while Danny Welbeck is doubtful. Santi Cazorla and Jeff Reine-Adelaide are out for the rest of the season. 

Wenger has hinted that he may stick with the 3-4-2-1 formation that he employed in Monday's 2-1 win at Middlesbrough

Possible XI (3-4-2-1): Cech; Gabriel, Koscielny, Holding; Oxlade-Chamberlain, Xhaka, Ramsey, Monreal; Ozil, Sanchez; Giroud

Pick your Arsenal team to face Man City

Manchester City

Gabriel Jesus could make his much-anticipated return from a metatarsal injury, while John Stones and Bacary Sagna are doubtful. Ilkay Gundogan is out for the season. 

Possible XI (4-1-4-1): Bravo; Navas, Kompany, Stones, Clichy; Fernandinho; Sane, Silva, De Bruyne, Sterling; Aguero

Pick your Man City team to face Arsenal

What are they saying?

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger on his side's chances of beating City. 

“I expect to go to the final. I’ve played 11 semi-finals in the FA Cup so that means it’s a great experience and it’s always special. I remember my first one at Villa Park against Wolves.

“It means a lot to our supporters, it’s a special experience.

“We are focused and highly motivated. Maybe not at maximum confidence but it is a good chance to show we want to to go the final.

“It is our only chance of a trophy this season.”

What are the odds?

  • Man City win (after 90 mins) - 10/11
  • Man City to go through - 4/7
  • Draw (after 90 mins) - 3/1
  • Arsenal win (after 90 mins) - 3/1
  • Arsenal to go through - 6/4

What's our prediction?

City to win 3-1. 

RegisterLog incommenting policy

By using Yahoo you agree that Yahoo and partners may use Cookies for personalisation and other purposes