Arsene Wenger's side ran out 2-1 winners in a controversial FA Cup semi-final clash against Manchester City on Sunday. The Gunners showed a resilience that has been missing from their game of late, overcoming huge City pressure throughout to set up a mouthwatering final against Chelsea on the 27th of May. Here are five things that we learned from Sunday's Wembley semi-final: Against Middlesborough in their last Premier League game, Arsene Wenger opted to play a back three of Gabriel, Holding...
Against Middlesborough in their last Premier League game, Arsene Wenger opted to play a back three of Gabriel, Holding and Koscielny, with Monreal and Oxlade-Chamberlain on the wings.
The Frenchman took a risk and stuck with the same formation against Man City – and it paid off. The whole defensive unit looked impressive throughout, with Oxlade-Chamberlain putting in a man of the match performance on the right.
He may not have been able to help City to avoid defeat, but Sergio Aguero showed Pep Guardiola why he is still the main man at the Etihad.
After feeding on scraps for most of the game, he took his chance when called upon - dinking a delicate chip over Petr Cech to put the Citizens ahead in the second half.
Playing in what could be considered an unfamiliar position for the pacy winger, Oxlade-Chamberlain excelled himself. His work-rate and final ball were a joy to behold - none more so than for his pinpoint assist for Arsenal's first goal through Nacho Monreal.
Chances have been few and far between for the Englishman, but if Wenger sticks with this new attacking formation, Chamberlain may finally get his chance to prove his worth.
Many fans and pundits alike have speculated that the FA Cup is just not what it used to be. With top clubs focusing on the Premier League and Champions League titles, the importance of this historic cup appears to have diminished.
However, people forgot to tell the Arsenal and Manchester City fans, who attended in their droves as passionate as ever.
The fact that both sides played arguably their strongest sides – and the contrasting emotions from both teams at the final whistle – suggests that the magic of the FA Cup is not dead and buried (yet).