What a day, what a game, but most importantly what a result for Arsenal, as we managed to come from behind and beat Man City in extra time to go to another FA Cup final at Wembley.
It will be our third final in four years, but similar to the semi finals in the other years, this will definitely be a lot tougher than the other two. No disrespect to Hull or Aston Villa but we should be beating them in the final really, but Chelsea on the other hand, are top of the league and have looked very strong this season. Their win against Spurs in their semi shows they don’t even have to be at their best to win and their squad depth is very strong as well.
So we are going to have to be at our very best, hope they have an off day and maybe get some luck as well (not asking for much!) I think we have a chance though especially if we stick with our new formation (3/5 at the back) which is actually Chelsea’s formation as well. It has really worked for us so far with wing backs Ox and Monreal in particular thriving.
Our three centre backs have also been solid in Gabriel, Koscielny and youngster Holding. The latter in particular has really impressed me for his age and I think he will become a great player for us if he carries on how he’s going now.
Wenger named an unchanged team from the one that beat Middlesbrough as he knew it worked and it’s good to see him sticking with something different.
Before the match started I met Ty from Arsenal Fan TV and got a photo with him. He might be deluded at times but he is a nice bloke and a true Arsenal fan! I agree with him saying Wenger deserves better and ultimately should decide when he leaves.
So the match was as expected very tense and close as both teams knew it was their only chance of winning silverware this season. The first half lacked many chances but City were the better team and looked more likely to score.
Although we didn’t concede we looked like we would on numerous occasions and we weren’t really offering much going forward so the formation wasn’t working at all. We let City put pressure on us and tried to hit them on the counter attack but it didn’t work in the first half.
We were fortunate that Silva had to be taken off due to injury as he has been one of their best performers this season but he was replaced by arguably even more dangerous Sterling. Star striker Aguero then came close for them as he hit the side netting.
We were then fortunate again as the officials disallowed a goal for them after the linesman said Sane’s cross had just gone out for a goal kick but some people said after the game that it was just in and so should have counted. Who knows but I wasn’t complaining at all and you need some luck sometimes. We were also denied a penalty when Sanchez went down but it was stalemate at half time.
The second half was a much more exciting game as it opened up a lot and both teams really went for it. We had a lot more of the ball and we’re definitely having our best spell of the game before we got hit on the counter by City.
It was Ramsey who gave it away for us following a corner just after the hour mark and Yaya Toure brilliantly picked out Aguero who was off with only Monreal chasing him. He coolly chipped it over Cech and it was a bit too easy for them really. We can’t concede goals like that again especially against Chelsea!
This did wake us up though as we looked for an equaliser straight away. Özil came close before we got our reward just 9 minutes after City had scored. It came from a surprising goal scorer as well as Monreal managed to brilliantly volley in from a great cross by the Ox (motm). A perfect example of the formation working.
I have to give credit to Wenger for staying with the formation for as long as he did as I thought he should have changed things before he did and I think he was about to before the goal.
This is when the game really opened up and City should have took the lead again through Toure had it not been for Cech making a sensational save onto the post. City then hit the woodwork again through Fernandinho’s header smashed the bar and it was at this moment where my step dad and I thought we were going to win!
We could have even won it in normal time ourselves when substitute Welbeck (who did more than Giroud did in the whole game) came close right at the end. The score stayed level though as it went into extra time once again for us in a semi final. It’s never easy getting to a final!
Holding came very close to putting us ahead in the first half of extra time as his header went just over the bar from a corner. But we did eventually go ahead soon after in the 102nd minute through Alexis Sanchez. What a player he is for us. Surely we have to try everything to hold onto him this summer!
The crowd went absolutely wild and the atmosphere throughout the game was one of the best I have ever experienced at a football match. City then tried everything to get an equaliser to take it to dreaded penalties but we managed to hold on and go to yet another FA Cup final.
You could see how much it meant to Wenger especially as seen by his celebration and the players looked really happy after a gruelling game to say the least. I was knackered after it so I can’t imagine how they must been feeling!
So we are in the final against league leaders Chelsea and I think it will be another game that could go either way and maybe the whole distance this time. I hate penalties but if we win it then I’ll be happy to go through all the emotions! It will be great to win it for the players, Wenger and the fans who have had a tough season.
Will we beat Chelsea? Will we still play 3/5 at the back? Will winning the FA Cup be enough for us this season especially if we don’t finish in the top four?