Thursday, December 1, 2022

Report: Arsenal 2-1 Man City / AET / inc. goals

Starting XI: Cech, Gabriel, Koscielny, Holding, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Xhaka, Ramsey, Monreal, Alexis, Ozil, Giroud

Subs: Martinez, Bellerin, Gibbs, Coquelin, Walcott, Iwobi, Welbeck

Arsenal’s season is not yet over!

The Gunners will face Chelsea in the 2017 FA Cup final after fighting back from behind to beat Manchester City after extra time courtesy of Alexis Sanchez’s winner.

Pep Guardiola’s men took the lead in the second half courtesy of Sergio Aguero’s breakaway goal but a fantastic finish by Nacho Monreal after great work by Oxlade-Chamberlain levelled things.

Alexis then pounced in the box in the 101st minute to seal a much deserved victory that temporarily eases the pressure on boss Arsene Wenger.

First half

Seemingly encouraged by the win against Middlesbrough on Monday night Arsene Wenger opted to stick with the much talked about 3-5-2 formation.

Rob Holding retained his place alongside Gabriel and Laurent Koscielny in the centre of defence charged with placating the threat of Kevin de Bruyne, David Silva, Leroy Sane and Sergio Aguero who were all in Manchester City’s starting line-up.

As you’d expect from a Pep Guardiola side, City were quick to dominate possession. A snap shot from De Bruyne on 2 minutes signalled their attacking intent while a few minutes later Laurent Koscielny had to be alert to steal the ball from Aguero chasing a through ball from Silva.

The Gunners, appearing in an FA Cup semi-final for a record 29th time, took a while to settle. Giroud’s header from Chamberlain’s cross was cause for optimism, however, within seconds Silva tested Cech with a header of his own. The Wembley atmosphere simmered.

Great feet from Mesut Ozil forced a foul from Vincent Kompany out on the right flank. The resulting free-kick was initially cleared but returned into the box by Giroud where Koscielny found the back of the net. Offside. Correct decision.

Silva was forced off with a knee injury following an early collision with Gabriel. Raheem Sterling came on for the Spaniard and volleyed wide from the edge of the box within moments.

City continued to dominate in midfield. The Gunners sat back in numbers. Did Chamberlain foul Aguero in the box? Referee Craig Pawson said no. It was clumsy for sure but looked accidental despite the Argentine’s vigorous calls for a penalty. The Ox was more decisive stopping a break to the byline by Sane.

On the bench, Wenger – sporting sweater, shirt and red tie – sat cross-armed looking pensive. Sanchez, booked for a foul on Fernandinho, beckoned his teammates forward, trying to encourage a higher press from the midfield.

City continued to force the issue. Aguero hit the side netting on 37 minutes then City put the ball in the back of the net. Up went the flag from assistant referee Steve Child who judged Sane’s cross in the build-up to be out of play before Sterling’s effort crossed the line. Replays were inconclusive but it was a let-off for the Gunners all the same. Guardiola looked aggrieved.

The men in black continued to be at the centre of the action. Not long before half time Alexis went down under pressure from Jesus Navas as he chased an Ozil free-kick at the back post. Nothing given. Again.

Second half

The dribbling feet of Oxlade-Chamberlain and Alexis saw Arsenal start the second period on the front foot, encouraging the 35,000 Gooners in the terraces. Chances came and went for Ottamendi -a header from a De Bruyne corner – and Xhaka – a tepid shot from a short free-kick.

Keeper Bravo, with the ball at his feet, teased Giroud and then Alexis. He evaded both men on separate occasions. Just.

Despite Arsenal looking the better side at this point it was City who broke the deadlock with a devastating counter-attack on 62 minutes. Wenger’s men had been building play high up the pitch but when Ramsey lost the ball on the edge of the City box, the Citizens sprung into action. Yaya Toure played a long ball to Aguero who, leaving Monreal for dead, surged goalwards. Cech raced out to narrow the angle but was left stranded as the Argentine coolly dinked the ball over him. (1-0)

Ozil spun on a sixpence and flashed a low effort wide with his left foot as the dejected Gunners tried to find a quick equaliser. With 19 minutes remaining they were rewarded.

Unsurprisingly, the brilliant Oxlade-Chamberlain, thriving as a right wing-back, played a vital role. Careering down the flank, he cut in and delivered a wonderful swinging ball to the back post where Nacho Monreal smashed home on the volley. It was a tremendous finish from the Spaniard – his first goal of the season – and he celebrated with gusto, grabbing the cornrowed substitute Bellerin for a hug on the touchline (1-1)

The game flowed from end to end as both sides sought a winner with tiring legs. Somehow Petr Cech clawed an acrobatic Toure effort onto the post, Ozil looked like he’d sprung the City defence but was slowed, then Fernandinho crashed a header onto the bar. It was gut-wrenching for both sets of fans.

On came Welbeck for Giroud. His fresh legs skipped past Ottamendi, he shaped to pass but curled just wide. Spare for a pass, Alexis and Ramsey were left furious. It was the last serious effort of the 90 minutes. With three minutes of stoppage time signalled, the tempo dropped. Into extra time.

1st half ET

A quick team talk, cramp defying stretches, some high fives, a couple of hugs and, in the blink of an eye, back to the action.

The chances continued to fall to Arsenal. Welbeck and Sanchez had efforts blocked and from the resulting corner Holding headed over. He should have scored. Oh Rob!

Guardiola reacted quickly by removing Fernandinho and Aguero, putting on Fernando and Delph and moving De Bruyne into the centre forward position.

Arsenal had the momentum and when Kompany took out Welbeck, the Gunners finally made a set piece count. Ozil’s ball to the back post came bouncing back into the six-yard box where Alexis Sanchez took at touch and rammed home past Bravo. Ecstasy for everyone wearing red. (2-1)

Back came City. Sterling tried to pick out a man and Holding, making up for his earlier miss, nicked the ball around the post. On came Bellerin with his dodgy barnet. Off went Chamberlain to a deserved standing ovation, On came Bellerin with his dodgy barnet. The Spaniard was straight into the action linking up with Ozil who picked out Welbeck. How did he head wide from there? He was a yard out.

The half ended with Granit Xhaka, booked for a clash with Delph, calling for more noise from the Gooner contingent in the stadium.

2nd half ET

Guardiola made use of the extra substitute allowed in extra time, sending on Kelechi Iheanacho for Sterling. Brilliant defending by Bellerin denied Delph whose shot was deflected into the side netting with Cech beaten. City fans thought it was in.

Desperate to defend their lead Arsenal couldn’t help but fall deeper into their own half. It invited pressure. De Bruyne’s cross shot went inches wide. More gasps from the crowd.

Could Arsenal snatch another goal on the break? Twice Ozil had chances to create opportunities, twice his legs failed him. Nothing for it but to sub him off. On came Francis Coquelin with just 90 seconds on the clock.

Tick, tock. Tick tock. More brave defending. And then victory – sweet, sweet victory!

What a win for the Gunners, a real match to savour. Now we’ve got to repeat the feat against title favourites Chelsea. Can we do it? Who knows with this team, but it’s something to look forward to. That’s for sure.

Over and out. Up the Arsenal!

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TR7 > CR7

… And thus a new golden age of three-at-the-back was ushered in.

Too Drunk To Be Offside

Well done to the players. Fantastic win, the kind that makes you proud… and how did this win come? Did Arsenal suddenly spend 500 mil in the transfer market. This is why I have never felt that the rivals spending more money is a justification for not challenging for the league and the club’s dismal show in the UCL. Money is only a very small part of the dynamics. There is still plenty of room to just outwork and outfight your opponents, regardless of how much each of them cost. Outwork and outfight City was exactly what the Arsenal players… Read more »

uncle D

I actually prayed for Arsene today! That God gives him the grace and favour today to lead the team to a victory. Thank God! I am also very happy for the fans and staff at the club. They should not let the handbrake back in and not believe the media hype from here on. Well done to them! COYG!!!!!


Dennis Bergkamp had nothing to do with it

Lord Bendtner

Not sure why so many ppl disliking your comment. I agree with u, tactically, Wenger got it right today. And it sure as hell made my day 🙂

Clock-End Mike

Easy to answer that one. “Ppl” (whoever he is) felt now was not the time for “too drunk” to pursue his personal vendetta against the Boss (depite his lip-service to “not focussing on it”). The fact is, the manager got it just right today, and his team measured up to the challenge. That’s what we’re all celebrating.

Too Drunk To Be Offside

‘Personal’ !! What are you even on about?


Great team performance. Everyone put in the required shift. Some stand out performances today. Only critique was Giroud. How the fck he gets a start is baffling let alone allowed to remain on for 80 mins.


Bloody hell. Just enjoy the win!!

Arsenal does not exist for amateur wannabe pundits to mouth off after every game.


Makes you wonder why he didnt do this from the beginning.


I didn’t recognise the side in red. Any idea who they are?


Well, last season as I remember we defended quite well generally and were let down by our poor goalscoring. The first few months of this season we were defending a little bit worse than last season but still not like a pack of wankers, which is how it’s been since about January. In the context of dramatically sub-standard defending mixed with the ambient MEGA-CRISIS that surrounds the club, the 3/5 at the back thing is a reactive move to stabilise things a bit. It definitely stabilised things today, moving away as we did from the ‘pack of wankers’ defensive mode.… Read more »


Why complicate things? Literally everyone has pointed out that Arsenal are far too predictable tactically and it loses us close games. He finally adapted tactics to personnel and it won a semifinal against Man City in the middle of an otherwise terrible run of form.

Everyone was right, he was wrong.

When he is right and the fan is wrong (used to happen quite a lot), he was happy to point it out to us and we were happy to hold our hands up. Hasn’t happened for a while, mind.

Romford Pelé

Oh will you lot just f*#k off, I’m trying to enjoy the day


Looking for happiness in the comments are we? Best of luck.

Kampala goober

Pele I think you can say Fuck off blogs has no querel with that. I think going forward any person that abbreviates Fuck should have there post censored


Yees I agree, the new formation is just like a new signing. Injected some new belief in the team. And what a player Rob Holding is.

Ponsonby Gooner



Take a bow, lads, take a bow!


I thought we had a v small chance. SO proud they played so well, especially Holding, the Ox.


OMG this again! another Paul…


I’m Paul too,
No, I’m Paul,me too and so’s my wife!

Lord Bendtner

May I have your attention please?
May I have your attention please?
Will the real Paul please stand up.
I repeat, will the real Paul please stand up.
We’re gonna have a problem here…


Well I thought it was funny Paul.


holding looked class imo . best of the three defenders and ox was the best player on the pitch


My personal thanks goes to Perrie Edwards. Dunno what she’s done to the Ox, but ever since he hooked up with her, the lad has been on fire !

Kampala gooner

Wonder if she has a sister could really use some external MOJO right about now.


That was a gritty Arsenal performance. Honestly one of those performances where if Wenger wasn’t under so much pressure, it would be called a masterful performance. Up against a seemingly superior manager, a higher wages, higher spend almost full strength man city side. An arsenal performance I’m very proud of. Don’t know whether based on this performance you could doubt anything – team spirit, commitment, performance on the very biggest stage. Love you Arsenal and well done Arsene.


Most enjoyable match I’ve watched this calendar year as well. End to end stuff, good quality play from both sides, nothing too cynical and, dare I say it, the referee was fairly ok.


Don’t know which match you watched but it was a pretty frustrating watch up until Monreal’s goal. We had 2 shots to their 10 and we could barely create anything. It was a joyous win, but let’s not get carried away. Really happy and proud for the team, but I wouldn’t want to go through that again.

Bob\'s Mexican Cousin

What? A Cup Semifinal win?

Romford Pelé

So fuck the Wenger under pressure and enjoy the result. Arsene was on the fuckin button today, not bad for an old fucked up has been ay? Wink wink doom mongers


This is why I love Arsenal FC!

Lord Bendtner

*Incoming Arsene’s classic Press Conference wry smile*

but hey, today, I will accept it with huge, open arms


I’ll take it. Well done lads. Especially Ozil, best player on the pitch by far.

Spanish Gooner

Have you ever heard of Gabriel Paulista, champ?


Gabriel was outstanding, thought Xhaka was outstanding as well. Holding considering the occasion brilliant and everyone else high marks, but I think the Ox was rightly awarded the man of the match.


agreed. i thought holding was the best out of the three defenders , such composure , cant believe this was the same 20 year old player who was playing in championship a last year . gabriel put the shift in in last stages , and ox…matchwinner


Gabriel was the best.

Walcott the friendly ghost

Xhaka was bloody awful, our CM as a whole was lackuster and only compensated by good work on the flanks. Defense played well, Holding was magnificent.


The BT sport commentators spent a fair bit of time saying how Ox wasn’t suited to/couldn’t play that role…..but then gave him Man of the Match (puzzled face)

There\'s only one Dennis Bergkamp

Well it was BR Sport, what do you expect?

Q Mantis

Well done lads.great win.


Brilliant performance. If we do that in the final we might actually win it.

More of the same please.


Excellent from the whole team! COYG!

Le Jim

I’m almost crying. I woke up the house with my screams at 2:30am. I fucking love this club.

Neville Neville

Also in Australia then?

Le Jim

That’s correct 🙂

dr Strange

Character, real character.


Very well said!
Congrats to EVERYONE! (and from me: especially to our 4 “genuine” defenders – they were absolutely massive today)


An absolute delight to watch the boys get stuck in. It wasn’t always pretty, but the lads did put up a fight. I don’t care who plays for us – I want them to fight. And they did today. And we won. And we’re in the final. And I absolutely love it!


Well done boys. Now lets win every game til the end of the season, get into the Champions League, beat Chelsea to win the cup, and send Arsene Wenger off in style.


*by that I mean let him retire, or move upstairs rather than kick him out the door. Today has shown that he can still manage when under the most intense pressure and against a full strength City side, and can still give a lot to this team.

Romford Pelé

If you believe what you just stated, then why ask him to fuck off upstairs? Logic maybe?


Football really is a game of fine margins. If the post didn’t save us today it would have been a very different story. But it did. Two times. So cheers, onto the final against the chavs.


Yep, the bar and the post saved us.

But. And there’s a bit but.

We still had to come from a goal down, score two and after we went ahead limit their changes, be disciplined and see the game out.

We did that. So credit to the team and manager and support on the day. Huge win, which hopefully will help give us belief until the end of the season.


Sir Henry Norris\'s Brown Envelope

Not to mention the bit where the ball crossed over the top of the goal didn’t go out of play and the resulting goal was disallowed by our friendly linesman. Who cares? The Arsenal is into another final

Andy Mack

We’ve had plenty of those go against us, so finally some payback. How many games have we hit the post more than one, loads…

Godfrey Twatsloch



I wish we played like that against Bayern. Smart and sensible and a little bit lucky. Hats off to the players and the manager.


3 cup finals in 4 years. that is very impressive. up gunners!

Mein Bergkampf

Very proud. Well done lads! Love being proven wrong!


I said this is the sort of game Arsenal win. Ever so well played chaps! So happy! COYG!


Jeorge Bird why do you thumb down all of my comments?


Because you aren’t the Original Paul




Don’t call yourself an idiot. The Original Paul would never do that.


I don’t know why you lot are fighting over the name Paul, it’s a boring name anyway.


It takes one….

As they say.


Holding and Gabriel really stepped up today, well done lads!


Top effort all round, couldn’t fault anyone. We need to win every game left this season. After this performance no reason why we can’t

George Wang

Hard earned win!

We started off dogey but as the game dragged on I feel our team got more stamina than city. The likes of Ramsey and welbs just keep on going where many of city’s players are running out of steam.

Oh and Gabriel, that’s the best game I’ve seen from him in an Arsenal Shirt.


I just love it dogey style


Great game. Credit to Wenger and the boys for making a record final.

Crash Fistfight

Well done Arsenal. Great fighting spirit on display today. Well done Arsene Wenger as well – you’ve got to give him credit for getting today right (and especially whatever he said to them at half-time).


Today you have to be a happy Gooner. But can’t help but feel why he couldn’t do that before. Even though we got caught out on their goal as usual, everybody forward and not being tight enough to the striker, this system works because we have presence in our box. Well done, enjoyed a football match for the first time in months.



Anyone else jarred by wenger’s celebration at the final whistle? Havent seen that kinf of reaction from in as long as i can remember

Gooner Forever

I noticed the same thing too! Even before the final whistle he was at the sideline giving instructions, haven’t see that for a while. I think he knew his time was near so he wanted to enjoy every bit of it. My prediction is he will sign a 1 year extension after winning the FA Cup & qualify for UCL which should give the transition for the next manager to come (Jardim please let it be him). Maybe with his final season the players will be more motivated to give him the signing off he deserved, and who knows we… Read more »


sorry, but are you saying him celebrating annoyed you?


Not at all.

uncle D

So happy for them! Well done to them all including the management! Well done. It’s not the final but progress is always welcome


Big shout out to Gabriel, I’ve been hugely critical of him but he made a massive impact today and HELPED Koscielny marshall that back line.

Holding was excellent again.

Chamberlain, must be offered a new deal, fantastic player, really beginning to find his confidence and belief.


I would say that was Gabriel’s best game for us, just brilliant.


I agree he was good..but he did get away with about 10 fouls


About time some luck went his way ?


Monreal celebrating like a wild stallion. Passion!!
All 3 at the back were immense, special mention to holding, he’s going to be (is) a very classy player for many a year. John Stones??
The Ox was sensational, sign him up! Not one player bullied all afternoon, no more men against boys.
I can really get behind ‘this’ team showing pride in the shirt.
Nothing will be as satisfying as beating Chelski in the final, forget the spuds.
Very proud Arsenal fan,
Enjoy everyone 🙂


Ox = 58& pass accuracy. If you call it good, then ok…


Sometimes you have to play the man rather than the comment. Alex you are a prick.


100% pass accuracy for the goal. Just saying


58% is fine for a wing back if he doesn’t cost the team, which he didn’t. On top of that he put in a pass that mattered. End of the day he worked his tail off for the badge on his chest.


Another stat for you…..
0% of that comment means shit!


Love how we can discuss with you, guys. Always a pleasure to exchange.


We don’t want to discuss stupid comments thanks Alex, and what’s with the “we” – are you the Queen or just a trolly other team?


English isn’t everyone’s first language.

And the wank everyone has to read from you Paul tossers is too much. Fucking needy cock munchers


He was screaming Vamos!! Very cool.


Loved his celebration. The passion. Not knowing how to celebrate. Great moment


The fact that we came from behind makes it even sweeter, I never gave us a chance & was pleasantly surprised. Love the club so much


Whatever you think about the direction of the club, who should stay, who should go, how many we should play at the back, what the owner thinks he’s doing… having something to play for at the end of may is enough for this season. in june i’ll worry, for now, there’s a final!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wright on the money

Well done lads great win, we fought well all the way to the end of the game.

Chelsea in the final it will be another tough match but we need to just fight again and until the end of the game.

Come on the gunners well done. You have earned a drink boys.


Granit Xhaka at the half way whistle in extra time was great to see.

Clock-End Mike

Loved seeing Le Prof’s delighted celebration at the final whistle. Say what you like, he loves the Cup, and he loves Arsenal to win.


I am loving this new “3 at the back”. The commitment to defending was great, Monreal is on fire, the Ox on 20cylinders, Ozil put in a shift. COYG!!


A special mention to Ox, Holding and Gabs…


Expect news of Wenger’s contract signing tomorrow morning


Man City had four subs. Is that allowed?


Yes. FA cup extra time. one extra sub permitted.


Extra sub allowed in ET for FAC games. New rule this season

Wright on the money

The 2016-17 Emirates FA Cup is set to feature the introduction of a fourth substitute for the quarter finals, semi-finals and Final.


I’m drunk. And happy. Rare enough to mention. Us Gooners had the run of our local pub. Brilliant.


Alexis, just F$&@ing stay and sign da thing!


Some really dodgy officiating in this one… I can’t believe the number of penalty shouts and nothing given (to both sides). Sane lucky to stay on the pitch, imo, after his theatrical diving, constant waving of imaginary cards, and fouling of Mesut ozil and the ox.
Hopefully we can take this momentum and use it to build on for the remainder of the campaign. Anything less than an fa cup victory will be seen as complete failure by the majority of the fan base after this shambles of a campaign.


Four subs for Man City. Is that allowed?


Yes, it’s a new rule for extra time in the cup

Godfrey Twatsloch

Onwards to take on Chelski now.


Paul sloane

The odd thing about today is that whilst it is a fantastic result the standard of performance was very very uneven. Great at the back. Good in midfield. I thought dreadful up front. Makes you wonder whether after all the debate you still have to say that giroud and wellbeck are not good enough. Simple as that. Especially wellbeck who we only still like because he is mostly injured. Go the ox I say!

fuck this for a game of soldiers. I\'m off!!

Iv had a lovely weekend .
hey blogs any chamce of that wemger big head wavey hand happy strut gif?
that would make it peachy.

Gili Prilasnig

“Cech raced out”…I like the sarcasm there.

Gili Prilasnig

“Cech raced out..” I like the sarcasm there


Man, that was a long wait for a performance like that. Exhausting actually. Thank fuck for that!


That was fantastic!


Arsenal have no chance of beating City, Pep and a big team.

Lets give up now. Wenger OUT!



It wasn’t perfect, but my oh my it was good.


Nacho Monreal :0D

Take a bow Gabriel Paulista. Man of the match.

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