Josep Guardiola’s Manchester City Football Club have been stunned by an organised, daring piece of rollercoaster attack and defence show from Mikel Arteta coached Arsenal Football Club this evening, 18th July 2020 in the first semifinal fixture of this season’s FA Cup tournament, tagged the Emirates FA Cup, at the historic Wembley Stadium in London. The victory has ensured that Arsenal qualified for the final of the tournament an unprecedented 21st FA Cup final. Arsenal, who are also the record winners of the FA Cup with 13, came into the match on the back of their 2-1 victory against League leaders and champions Liverpool FC in a Premier League match at the Emirates Stadium on Wednesday. The Gunners will on 1st August 2020 square it out against any of Manchester United FC or Chelsea FC in the grand finale of the FA Cup this season.
Mikel Arteta was assistant under Manchester City Football Club’s Pep Guardiola. He had been keen to coach Arsenal when two years ago he had the highest points after assessment and interview, but Unai Emery, the erstwhile manager, was picked in his stead. But barely a month after Arsenal lost confidence in Emery and relieved him of his duties, the Spanish tactician became the favourite to be appointed. It is only his seventh month in charge of the Gunners.
There is no doubt about the class of striker and captain Pierre Emerick Aubameyang who struck twice to hand the victory. The first was a half volley off the inviting cross from pacy winger Nicolas Pepe. The second, a brilliant finish past City goalkeeper after blazing through the City defence. This is why the Arsenal Board have been exploring ways to have Aubameyang sign a contract extension and put speculators to silence.
Despite dominating possession after the break the City team could not find a way through the Gunners’ defence which had new signing Kieran Tierney, the error-prone duo of David Luiz and Shkodran Mustafi, and the swift Hector Bellerin in defence. These defenders were disciplined and did not lose concentration throughout the match.
BBC had this to say about the performance of Aubameyang:
“The spearhead, however, was the 31-year-old Gabon striker Aubameyang, who was a huge threat throughout and illustrated exactly why he is among the game’s elite group of strikers. An ever-present menace, his two finishes were of the highest quality and demonstrated his big-match temperament.”
The BBC continued, “As against Liverpool, Arsenal were well-organised and resilient at the back, willing to throw bodies on the line to repel the wave of City attacks in the second half as the holders tried to hold on to the FA Cup.
“David Luiz had the sort of nightmare many believed would end his Arsenal career when they played City in their first post-lockdown game at Etihad Stadium, making a mistake leading to a goal then being sent off after conceding a penalty. This was the other side of the maverick Brazilian defender, a rock at the heart of Arsenal’s defence and a central figure in this victory.””