Arsenal are through the semi-finals of the FA Cup after an injury time goal from Dani Ceballos secured a 2-1 win over Sheffield United at Bramall Lane.

David McGoldrick’s 87th minute equaliser had cancelled out Nicolas Pepe’s first half penalty, and it looked is if the home side were in the ascendency, but the Arsenal sub slid the ball home from a tight angle to give Mikel Arteta’s men a second successive away win.

Read the Sheffield United 1-2 Arsenal report and see the goals here

Here’s how the players rated this afternoon.

Ratings

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Kolasinac

As you said there ´´second successive away win´´ it seems like a long time since that happened.

Mentally Drained Gooner

We had 3 left backs playing for us today ?
And was kolasinac as bad as now when we got him on a free transfer?? We’ve had some terrible transfers in recent history

Kolasinac

Yea, yea he look clumsy. I would rather have talented youngster from academy as a LB back up.

Martin

He has been an excellent signing and has generally played very well for us. Even today he was heavily involved but the mistake he made for the goal was terrible

Some Bloke

It was Holding’s missed header that cost the goal, watch it again. Holding jumps to make the header and completely whiffs, Kolasinac is caught flat footed because he’s expecting a Holding yo make the header.

gooner

If Mustafi or Luiz had comically missed that header everyone would be going to town. Similarly if Holding was in Kolasinac shoes then we would read about how he couldn’t have done much about it. Simple and plain

AFL

nailed it!
is there really huge difference in performances, stats or impact between Bellerin and Kolašinac in.past 2 seasons? I don’t think so but if you’re to follow the narative of Arseblog one is world best RB and the other is shite.

Unnecessarilystupid

While there is a degree of truth to what your saying. It’s Kola’s job to anticipate that and prepare for it. He’s doesn’t just get a pass becuase holding missed his header. That’s an example of switching off mentally.

David Hilliers Arm Cast

Sorry Martin I have to disagree. He is clumsy and offers nothing for the team. He should be towards the last option of playing behind basically everyone else. Our third highest paid player and barely in squad rotation.

Riku

Kola did not have much time to react. Holding missed the header .

A Different George

I thought Martinez was at fault for not coming out–but Holding should then have headed it away instead of letting it drop. And Kolasinac, though surprised, should have done much better than his awful clearance.

heihaci

another Arsene bargain bucket player!

Greg in Seattle

As is Holding.

Sachin

Zinger!

Reality check

Kola had no sight of the ball so absolutely no time to react to that corner let alone clearing it properly. Unfair to blame him for their goal

Artetsenal_Rising

Saka is not a left back, it’s his talent and physicality that makes him handy in diferent positions.

Safe Hands

A solid enough performance in a game that lacked quality. There is definitely something there for Arteta to work with. Nice to see some players like Tierney and Pepe coming to the fore. I actually thought Xhaka did pretty well apart from their goal. He gets a lot of criticism but we are definitely a better team with him in it. I think a back 3 (5 if you include the wing backs) is the way to go until we get more dynamism and height in midfield. I’m so delighted I’ve gone and got myself a semi!

Martin

Giving away a throw in wasn’t the main reason for their goal. It was down to Kolasinac

Ska

Yep quite a few things happened between that slack Xhaka pass and the goal, including Dani getting turned and Rob missing his header. Yes the pass was bas but the result was a throw in, not a penalty.

Lack of Perspective

I think its a massive stretch to blame the goal on xhaka. He had a solid unremarkeable game. Even when he fluffed receiving a pass and it went to the opposition, he immediately got back in formation won his tackle and played a great ball to pepe on the counter.

Not a perfect player, but he is on the recieving end of a lot of exaggerated negativity at times. Also by blogs.

Safe Hands

Yeah for sure. I’m not solely blaming him for the goal at all, or even saying he was mostly to blame, just commenting that it was a slight mistake that ultimately led to the shambles that was their goal. I thought his passing was really important to us today and he picked up the ball really well from the defence. I think with a tall and mobile midfield partner alongside xhaka, we’ll suddenly have a midfield to really progress with. Playing xhaka, Torreira, and that new signing will be great for those difficult away games next season. No easy task… Read more »

Frank Bascombe

Dam straight.

David Hilliers Arm Cast

We had a great opportunity right outside their box and he inexplicably threw himself on the ground. Just when he starts to make me think “he’s coming around”, something like that occurs and I lose faith in him.

Crash Fistfight

Was it definitely a dive? I didn’t see a replay. Stupid if it was.

SB Still

I actually thought Xhaka was part of the problem. Not that he is a bad player, he after all wears the armband for the Swiss national team, its just that we need a MF more like Cazorla, who can receive the ball under pressure and turn. Arteta was using him interestingly by playing more on the left and Saka moving up, prior to the pandemic pause.

I hope Arteta and Edu are seriously looking for options to improve there.

goonshow

Just bring Santi back for his swansong season – give Mik time to find his successor. Here’s a wild thought – given Saka’s versatility, growing physical strength and quick feet – let Santi mentor him into that position? The lad proved he could adapt to LB in a crisis and stranger things have happened!

Lula

two away wins in a row.
and united are a scalp. we did well.
nice to feel positive again.

AlexNuggz

Thought AMN link up play and overlapping was good today, much missed with Belerin still getting up to speed. Question is, can Arteta convince the lad he has a future there? Hope so. I did like what I saw of Holding once he got up to speed, he seems like a unit in the air. Surely he’s played himself ahead of Luiz and Sokratis in the pecking order now? We definitely had more threat going forward today, like Arteta says though, it’s a process, it’ll take time, just hope the fans can get on board.

Luka Dragicevic

I really like Holding, he is one of my favorite players but i am baffled at how nobody is mentioning his part in the equalizer and blaming Kolasinac and Xhaka. He jumped so early, badly missed the ball and made it hard to Kolasinac. And it was such an easy ball to head, slow, long time in the air. Sead made a terrible mistake but it was one of those situations when a player is not expecting the ball to get to him

AlexNuggz

True, hopefully that’s just rust, luckily the error was cancelled out by our goal

Greg in Seattle

It is baffling that Holding is not being called out. He was very meh at times when he played prior to his injury. I have hopes for him but he seems to not get the rage and scrutiny that the others do when he bumbles.

A Different George

I like Holding too, but I am consistently surprised by how often supporters ignore his mistakes, with the obvious missed header a perfect example. I thought he was very poor today, his clearances seemed very tentative. He needs match time for sharpness.

JJs Bender

If kola had a right foot this wouldn’t be an issue

Stig

Their goal was more holdings fault than kola

Clockendrider

Personally I thought Kolasinac is incorrectly given the blame for the rugby teams goal, when in fact Holding performed a bizarre leap under the ball which caused Kolasinac to miscue.

gus

second that, i have said this many times holding as an english centre half is given the benefit of the doubt as we all wank over him becoming the next tony adams when he is not good enough at this level,
my god if that had been mustafi or xhaka theydv had him hung drawn and quartered,
a shocking misjudgement but oh well bring on the excuses

Lack of Perspective

It looked to me an unlucky goal. Holding was more to blame than kolasinac in my view. He seemed to miscue his jump or duck his head. In real time that ball pops over the top of holding and into the path of kolasinac in under half a second. He did well to not score an own goal. Could have cleared it better, but also was unlucky that it hit mustafi and sat up awkwardly for the attacker. Who did well to adjust his position and score. Martinez was almost saving that. Its a series of small unlucky events and… Read more »

A Different George

Blogs, don’t you also think Martinez should have come out? It’s a long throw, not a hard corner–in the air a long time, easy to judge, and close to the goal.

Dave

“A very Xhaka game, pretty solid throughout but late on his slack pass in midfield led to their throw which resulted in their goal.”

We’re blaming goals on giving away throws now?!

Bizarre.

I thought he had a great game. He really helped with passing out of the back and barely seemed to miss a pass the whole game.

Lack of Perspective

Yeah its a bit of a wierd one that analysis.

David Hilliers Arm Cast

I thought his passing was poor and his decision to dive and try to win a free kick in a promising position are testament to his inconsistency.

Frank Bascombe

Nice one Dave. Surprised Ramsey wasn’t MOM.

Frank Bascombe

Still crying yourself to sleep over it?

goonshow

have to agree with Blogs… under Emery, there was a creeping decline in the ‘small stuff’: winning the 50/50 aerials and tackles, closing down the half-yard of space at a vital moment, making runs a split second too soon for offsides, picking the wrong out-pass from the back, too often defaulting to the negative back-pass as the easy option, giving away cheap FKs at the wrong times, etc etc… All of these seemingly insignificant moments, cumulatively, take pressure off our opponents, lose us dozens of meters during the game, and were in no small part why so-called ‘lesser’ teams would… Read more »

Meh

I did scream at my telly when he passed directly to their player, it was that run of play that led to their goal, I blamed him to my mate at the time. To characterise it as just from giving them a throw in isn’t correct.

AbsolutelyMarvellous

Xhaka is never going to be everyone’s cup of tea, but the reality is our midfield looks far more secure with him in it.

Compare the game today and at Southampton with the first two games since the restart – the two wins might not have been vintage stuff, but the midfield at least looked somewhat effective with Xhaka there. Like him or not, he’s been our best central midfielder since Arteta took over.

Artetsenal_Rising

He has good passing, we all know and expect that of him, but since when is that enough for a defensive midfielder? without the ball he is so lacking, and for all the cryout for defenders I think our main issue is lack ouf mobility and bite in midfield, at times it look’s like we have cb’s in midfield just holding position with no running. No wonder Saka is being used there, he is the solution to problems in three areas of the pitch!! so If Martinez get’s injured you know who’s covering there.

db10s

It’s also our off the ball positioning of our midfielders. Xhaka is decent here but without him and Torreira in the team, our other midfielders is equivalent to a wet tissue when it comes to protecting our backline.

Goodebemeyang

We’re a Europa league team, but the ability to hit ourselves in the foot through certain individuals affects us every other game so we end up being 9th/10th. Not looking at you, Kolasinac.
A key part of the rebuild would be to get rid of the individuals highly prone to errors.

WengersNoseHair

Are they error-prone or under immense pressure all the time because the team is so shit? Bit of an egg-and-chicken problem there. It’s like the stats about Luiz, he’s always been flaky, but he’s become much worse at Arsenal.

Tonyadamsnose

I was proud that we kept on going and eventually won out but our defending against set pieces is (and has been for a long time) dire. We need a leader at the back, someone who can organize and would give everything to win the ball. We haven’t had that for many years and we all saw what that did for Liverpool we they got Van Dyke.
We look dangerous going forward but concede silly goals and will always suffer from this until we have our Colossus at the back.

Crash Fistfight

We didn’t concede a goal from a corner until January, last season. I think our inability to defend set pieces is overstated at times. I’m not saying we’re good at it, by the way. Just that we’re not as horrible as it seems.

Sean Juba

There were negatives of course but we actually looked like we wanted it today, and showed some balls against a very physical side. And didn’t disintegrate when conceding late. Tierney looked up for it. And Mustafi looked like a defender! Early days but I can’t remember the last time I thought we had some stones playing away. Or at home for that matter….

Alan Buckley

We don’t look confident defensively at all, every time they sent a ball into the box, I held my breath. I think we can actually really hurt teams on the break, as we have real pace, but I feel that while we are sitting back waiting for the other team to over commit, we are not fully switched on to our defensive responsibilities
Nonetheless, a win, through to the semis and yellow ribbons for all!.

Arseteta

Another win away from home which is encouraging. It’s nice to see that goals are coming from other areas, moving away from the over reliance on Aubameyang to bail us out. I hope this continues!

Sandes

It was not Kolasinac’s fault but Holding’s. Holding comically jumped and did not even touch the ball. How could Kolasinac react in time.

Yasar B.

We want a see Mesut as a player.. How come he is sitting n a bench One of the best player in PL. Even in the world.

DaDude

In case you follow Mesut on Instagram or something, could you write him that he should join a club where they let him play? As soon as possible, maybe already next season. I don’t have Instagram, but I wish I did, so I could view all new Mesut holiday pics. I would do that in the half time break of Arsenal games.
Last time at the Southhampton game I was so sad to see Mesut sitting there alone, holding his parasol. He must really miss beach holidays alot.

Dave

He doesn’t train properly so he doesn’t play. Simple.

Riku

Arseblog you bit harsh
Thought kola was unlucky Holding missed his header . Have been in that position. Not much time for Kola to get power in his clearance. I liked him in that position and would be up for a back three all the time . To help Luiz and the midfield.

Alex lac. There is no coincidence that he has no away goals when he don’t play with ozil away from home. Or play to his strengths but I thought he worked hard. His Gamevus not back to goal .

heihaci

lacazette needs to be sold.

Tombo

Decent performance if not spectacular. Pepe getting more involved was good to see, you could also see him trying to make a point that he was tracking and tackling more, seemed to have a switched on energy when pressing. Interestingly he seemed to link well with AMN. He’s not gelling with Bellerin although it’s probably more down to the latter’s dismal form. We’ve got a real player in Tierney, another impressive display. Mom for me. Struggling to see what Willock offers at the moment, this is a big chance for him and I don’t think he’s grabbing it. Eddie is… Read more »

Alex Davis

Willock was very good tactical when we didn’t have the ball. I was quite impressed with him defensively. The kid will run for days. Forward driving runs.
In possession he really need to improve and overall from an attacking sense. There is a solid player in there. His attitude seem spot on as well. He will need time and patience to develop.

Martinouzi

I thought Lacazette was lively and decent! His first touch is way better than Nketiah who will never be top player as his first touch his piss poor. Overall we defended well , live a bit of Rob Holding !

Nilaroulettes

I would happily sell Aubameyang (well maybe not happily) if it allows us to get Thomas Partey. He is exactly what we need, solid defender, high work rate, good with the ball and good passer.

It’s probably an unpopular opinion but I have faith in Lacazette, I think he can be really good, even if he’s not in form right now.

Greg in Seattle

I don’t know what Auba’s valuation is, but I feels we essentially must sell him to generate funds for a big midfield purchase. He’s better than Laca and maybe Laca goes also for wage relief (because I can’t imagine he will fetch much of a fee) but Auba for sure won’t be a part of the next great Arsenal team. He won’t fetch Coutinho money but that’s the sell/reinvest model I think we need to look to for anyone with significant value over a certain age.

db10s

I think we could do without selling Auba IF we manage to sell the other deadwood in the team. Mikhi, Elneny and 1 of our many centerbacks (maybe even Ozil if we’re lucky). It might not generate alot in terms of actual transfer fees but it’ll free up alot of wages.

Arsenalnut

I thought it was interesting that Sheffield United have tried to play football all year but when they went behind today it was a “Long Ball-All the Time” bombardment, even the throw ins. I put it down to our lack of height. This year’s squad isn’t 100% Smurf but compared to SHU its a bunch of little (and often skinny) people.
 
I think we need two tall and talented physical types who will inspire their teammates to fight despite their size. It will also dissuade teams from throwing the Blitz at us.

Clockendrider

good observation about Sheffield’s style of play. Essentially they looked like this years Stoke.

Cool Papa Bellerin

I thought Martinez could have been a bit more aggressive on a few of the crosses and throw ins, especially on their goal and the one that VAR disallowed. Those are difficult for a keeper, but I think if he commits right away he can catch or punch those himself and maybe that would have forced SHU to direct their crosses a little further away from goal. Otherwise he was very good–made some nice saves and looked confident distributing the ball.

Nh

Finally Pepe is receiving the ball in space, higher up the pitch. AMN had a lot to do with this. He could bang in 20 goals a season if we can play to his strengths.

Barry

Good performance

NMArsenal

Since AMN and Arteta seems to clear some air it will be good to see him have a run of games. I do think AMN can be quite good if he can limit his mistakes but considering this Arsenal team it’s going to be a while. Seems like everyone makes a big mistake every now then which are too many too frequently.

Santori

Disjointed performance, lucky IMO for the penalty (would have been livid if it was the other way round)   Midfield again bereft, too much playiing around at the back asking for trouble, not enough control of the game. Attacking impetus OK in bief patches but lack general coherence.   Luckily it was Sheffield and as is just by skin of the teeth. City would not so generous.   1) Martinez – Thought he needed to come out for the goal eventually we conceded. A couple of risky passes at the back as well IMO. Almost misjudged other keepers very long… Read more »

Santori

Think Sokratis also came on to waste some time. He always looks like he is about to jail rape one of the opponent’s striker.

Samgunz

Whilst I haven’t watched the game yet, based on lineup, highlights etc I’m liking that Arteta is still rotating a lot as it creates the feel that everyone is till on trial, and the youngsters and new signings actually seem to be thriving the most, very positive. On that note I think Saka deserves a mention for his quick feet, awareness and passing leading to the winner, at such a late point in the game he was super sharp and ultimately helped us get that double overlap. Next season he and Pepe are gonna run shit.

Samgunz

And note on the youth squad players in that match squad, 9 all up, 4 started, I’ve been dreaming this day will come ever since the likes of Wilshere, Afobe, JET, Akpom, Aneke didn’t live upto promise (especially latter 4).. Finally they’re all shining bright at the same time, a new era is upon us and Mikel is loving it!

Martinell's belly

Blogs, I think your Laca opinion is too negative. That’s now 2 consecutive away games with assists, the free kick rebound and winning the penalty. He’s a striker who’s better in a system where there are people close to him who he can link with and when we have possession in opponents half. He would also therefore suffer from Ozil not being picked. Nketiah on the other hand is better at pressing and covering large distance so better on the counter which is also more likely away from home. This could be part of the reason for his worse away… Read more »

Gervinho

Bonus rating: 10/10 Referee awarding us a penalty and not dishing out yellow cards left and right

Mathew Lionnet

This may seem silly, but all game, long throws and set pieces were a problem, but no one seemed to take control of the siutation – like a captain would. Why was Ceballos marking the biggest threat on the pitch – he’s small and scrawny. Not his fault, but surely someone is organising things. Holding let the ball drop a few times, and I think Martinez could have been a little more comanding! Defended very well and calmly from open play, but looked terrified of long balls etc.   This team needs someone to calm things down, make decisions and… Read more »