Report: Arsenal 2-0 Manchester City (inc. goals)

171

Result: Arsenal 2-0 Manchester City
Competition: FA Cup
Date: 18 July 2020
Venue: Wembley

Starting lineup: Martinez; Mustafi, Luiz, Tierney; Bellerin, Ceballos, Xhaka, Maitland-Niles; Pepe, Lacazette, Aubameyang

Subs: Macey, Sokratis, Torreira, Holding, Nelson, Willock, Kolasinac, Smith, Saka


Arsenal will contest the 2020 FA Cup final after defying the odds to beat Manchester City 2-0 at an empty Wembley Stadium. 

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang did the damage for the Gunners with a terrific brace scored either side of the break but it was the way we defended that will have most pleased Mikel Arteta. City dominated the game from the off but as was the case on Wednesday against Liverpool, the Gunners masterfully coped with the waves of attack. 

At the tail-end of a traumatic season, this was a truly brilliant performance and one that bodes well for the future. We now wait to find out who we’ll play in the final. Whether it’s Manchester United or Chelsea, we may well fancy our chances. Who would have thought?

Pre-game

Having rotated his squad for the Liverpool match on Wednesday, Mikel Arteta restored a number of his stalwarts to the starting lineup. Rob Holding, Reiss Nelson, Cedric Soares, Lucas Torreira and Bukayo Saka all made way. Shkodran Mustafi, David Luiz, Dani Ceballos, Hector Bellerin and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang came in. The surprise name on the teamsheet was Ainsley Maitland-Niles. With Kolasinac benched and Tierney part of a three-man backline, he was handed the left wing-back slot.

First half

Would you believe it? Manchester City dominated possession from the off. Pass, pass, pass, pass, pass, pass, pass, pass, pass, pass. I could go on. We did the opposite. As summed up by Shkodran Mustafi getting tackled inside his own six-yard box after dallying on a pass back to him from David Luiz. 

It wasn’t hugely surprising. We know Pep’s side are masters with the ball at their feet, but it was somewhat worrying that we couldn’t get out of our half. It’s like we had a massive complex about keeping the ball for more than 5 seconds. We kept panicking and hacking towards space that nobody occupied. 

To be clear, City didn’t create that much. Aside from a dangerous cross the Tierney cleared for a corner inside three minutes, we marshalled things pretty well. 

Around the 15 minute mark, we woke up. It started with Lacazette rounding Ederson and putting the ball in the net after he’d been flagged offside. VAR backed up the decision, but the fact we’d done something positive seemed to flick a switch. 

What happened over the next half an hour was genuinely quite impressive from Arsenal. It started with a very solid performance by the backline and really determined, energetic play, both on and off the ball, from Ceballos and Xhaka. Those two snapped into challenges and started to find passes between the lines that allowed us to break forward. 

Luiz followed suit. On 16 minutes he won the ball in midfield, played a straight ball through the City defence to Aubameyang who found himself in space on the edge of the City box. You’d have backed him to curl it around Ederson but his effort went straight at the Brazilian. An annoying miss, but a promising development. 

Our captain made amends two minutes later. At the back post, he improvised a finish to clip home off the post after Pepe had played a delicious cross from the right to the back post. The goal, his 24th of the season, capped a fascinatingly patient move that saw us work the ball from Martinez, through the backline and from left flank to right flank. Honestly, it was worthy of City and that’s probably the biggest compliment I can pay it. (1-0)

There were a couple of scares on the way to half time. A suicidal pass by Bellerin on 28 minutes ended up with Xhaka making a terrific block to deny a De Bruyne shot but by and large we looked like we were concentrating. 

We might even have extended our lead. Aubameyang should have done better teeing up Pepe after Xhaka won the ball on the edge of the City box after a loose pass out by Ederson. The keeper also denied Mutafi after he made solid contact with an inswinging Xhaka corner. The Swiss really did have a storming 45 minutes. Credit to him. 

Second half

City came at us immediately. Moving the ball quicker, they really worked our legs. Worryingly, unlike in the first half, they found space behind our defenders. Sterling had two efforts inside three minutes, first curling over and then dragging wide. 

Mendy tried to catch out Martinez at the near post. He claimed it tidily. Mahrez from the other wing did the same with a low drive. The Argentine got down brilliantly with a strong hand to claim. 

15 minutes of unbearable pressure was capped by a De Bruyne free-kick that caressed the outside netting as Martinez dived full stretch. To add to the tension, VAR spent an age checking whether Mustafi had felled Sterling, sliding in to tackle him in the box. He’d just got the ball. From the resulting corner, Sterling looked destined to score but didn’t. 

It was starting to feel like Wednesday’s game with Liverpool. True back-to-the-walls stuff. Just before the drinks break, David Silva went tapped wide as De Bruyne fizzed in another dangerous cross. 

To say, it seemed unlikely we’d score a second was an understatement. But, unbelievably, that’s what we did. Again it was our talismanic captain who did the damage. Pepe did brilliantly holding the ball up on the halfway line,  he gave it back to Tierney who clipped it down the line. Our striker, played onside by Mendy, was free. He bound forward, took a couple of touches and passed between Ederson’s legs. (2-0)

Back came City. A brilliant block by Luiz denied Sterling who’d cut inside Mustafi. The high-fives that greeted every bit of defending were great to see. Could we keep it up for 15 more minutes? Torreira came on for Lacazette. 

We made it to 80 minutes. Could we last for 10 more minutes? Laporte arrowed one that flew past the post. 

We made it to 85 minutes. Could we last 5 more minutes? Holding came on for Mustafi, who went down holding his hamstring, and Kolasinac replaced Ceballos. Maitland-Niles went down with cramp after tenaciously denying De Bruyne any space. 

We made it to 90 minutes. Up went seven minutes of stoppage time. It wasn’t pretty. We resorted to hacking the ball forward and didn’t even bother chasing after it. But it worked. It bloody worked!

Guardiola arms crossed on the touchline, looked bewildered. As the whistle went, he just about managed a congratulatory hug for Arteta.

The apprentice beat the master. We did it! 

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Jules

fuck it David Luiz for president

Arteta's Secret Lover

Up the Arse

nikoniko

Nope, He can deputize Maintland Niles. Martinez being the Chief of Staff

ArseCLE

He was lights out

Anonymarse

Arteta first

Twatsloch

Whatever position he has in a government he MUST be the guy who gives all the interviews and press conferences. No one does it better than him.

Tomaury Bischfeld

Watching his interview – we’ve all criticised him before, questioned his place in a team-building strategy but what’s undeniable is he’s shown massive heart and character to hold his head up and prevail through that with some great recent performances. I’ve got a new found respect for him.

Ordnance Dave

Never. In. Doubt. Not even joking

Nobody important

I was smiling the whole time after the second goal. Couldn’t stop!

UGooner

Started out smiling too, but I was full on laughing with every clearance. They certainly fought for us. We need fo do the same. COYG

The Kolkata Gooner

We beat Liverpool and Man City in the space of a week. That must be some kind of world record, surely!

Mcheza

That record is like a new signing 🤣

lessthanthesumoftheirparts

Beautiful. Put those ffp-cheating up starts in their place
They’ll never have our history. Never. The sky blue pricks belong in division two

All Eye Raven

I was going to like this, but it’s at 49.. They’ll never have our history..

Qwaliteee

Come on then, Dave, what’s your incredible intuition telling you for the final? A Mustafi hatrick? 🤣

goonshow

And this from the pundit who ‘intuited’ that Citeh would scored double figures against us if Ozil and Holding didn’t play.

Maniac

Take a bow lads, take a bow!

BillyKrystal

Damn, i started tearing up at the end there. Maybe the 6 beers I had to calm my nerves. So proud to be an Arsenal fan today

Comedian

that was fucking excellent

Tomaury Bischfeld

What…just…happened..?

Mick Malthouse

Fucking heroes, the lot of them!!

SuperTom

What is this strange feeling? Get in!!!

Pep Arteta

And that’s precisely how to beat Mancity and liverpool

Anonymarse

I think this is the only way

kaius

Next season stick Partey in that midfield alongside Xhaka and Ceballos and we’re rolling

lorenzo

Ah, the old 3-5-3. Brilliant.

kaius

Was thinking more of 1-3-1 formation with Emi Martinez in defence and Auba goalhanging?

Trust me, it’ll be fine

h2k

She wore, She wore,
She wore a yellow ribbon in the merry month of…. August….
And when, I asked, Oh why she wore her ribbon? She said it’s for The Arsenal and we’re going to Wembley!
Wembley, Wembley, We’re the famous Arsenal and we’re going to Wembley

UGooner

We’ve been infiltrated. Who downvotes this? Must be a misclick…

Gooners, She wore… She wore…

COYG

Gunner comment

What a cringe song

Jack

We’ve just beaten Liverpool and Man City in the space of four days. Tears in my eyes

The Arsenal

and only conceded once.

Arsenalista

And scored four, we should also have scored more in both games. Things are starting to look up.

PGunner

Arteta masterclass. Loved that performance so very much!

Swifty

That’s our Arsenal!

backsakacrack

This is our stadium!
Back to front, to a man, absolute commitment. That’s what it takes. I am proud to be a gunner tonight

Thierry Bergkamp (non negotiable)

The boys summoned the spirit of Ramsey today

Frank Bascombe

Really? I didn’t see anyone playing for their showreel.

Corona XY

We’re not West Ham mate! 🙂

Original Big Dave

BUILD THE STATUE!

TeddyT

WHAT DID SHE WEAR??

Dave

In the merry month of August

Adrian

Wow. Everything was perfect. Defense, attack, tactics, team game, unity. Great job. Everyone deserves credit today. There were few individual errors but as a team we played well and never looked nervous even with such less possession.

Chuffy

My word, that was an absolutely brilliant performance. Every player out there deserves a 10 out 10. Hats off in particular to David Luiz and AMN, they defended brilliantly. We can win the FA Cup. Come on Arsenal!!!!

God is a Gooner

Getttttinnnnn there
Ainsley maitland Niles – what a fucking performance son. Keep him at all costs

Fuzz

great defensively but passing could do with a bit of work!

kaius

Yeah he left a couple assists out there but defensively? 10/10

Flash

Yeah, but don’t forget that he tried basically all of those crosses with his week foot.

goonerrah

Defended really well but not every match is about sitting back with a job to do. He is not great going forward.

Grumbleduke

So proud to be an Arsenal fan after this performance. Hard to pick one man of the match.

Walmart Heiress

Arteta

azurelas

AND IT’S AAAARSENAL. ARSENAL FC. BY FAR THE GREATEST TEAM THE WORLD HAS EVER SEEN

Jimmy Morocco

Tierney is my new favorite player. It’s official. I love this man so much. So, so much.

loose_cannon

Amazing performance, especially first half, better than against City. We have to back Arteta FFS!

karl

Martinez was commanding and it could have been even more goals.

G-Man

Sorry but Martinez is officially my new number 1. Outstanding. Just needs to work on distribution.

Gooneron

This coach(Arteta) is really good

Nwankwo Kanu Yajenga Nchi

I think so too.

Fatgooner

Fucking brilliant!!!
Rope-a-dope or what???!!!
DAVID LUIS WAS AWESOME!!! (Never thought I’d ever write that!!!)
I want the Chavs in the final so we can stuff them again!!!

G-Man

Saaame. I want Europa League revenge!!!

A Different George

Maybe they can get Diego Costa on loan for that match.

Unnecessarilystupid

Do you actually like what you see fats?

Fatgooner

Yes!

As I’ve said before, the FA Cup is our season now. I couldn’t give a shit about what happens in the Premier League now. Winning trophies is what football is all about. And I’ve been waiting for ages to see a team with real guts and fight: that’s what was so great about this result.

Let’s just hope we can go one step further and win it.

myrtle

This team and this club are going places

goonero

So happy I’m lost for words, slightly misty eyed, I love you Mikel Arteta.

Adams9802

Splendid win. Lacazette worked his sack off in the middle, we Played counter attacking football to perfection. 21st final!

Sank

This was fucking mad.

Please Auba sign it.

Luiz was absolutely brilliant.
Tierney has been exceptional

goonshow

Tierney looks like the PL buy of the season!

Gunner J

Wow, just wow!
Brilliant performance, brilliant result!!

Paul Roberts

“Pepe, your boys took one hell of a beating”…I am so happy! 🙂

Duno

I love this club. I love Arteta! Come on you beautiful gooners!!! Get Auba to sign da tang!

The Kolkata Gooner

Get FUCKING IN!!!

Man Manny

Liverpool on Wednesday was deemed a fluke by many, and now this.
Great job all round.
Auba got the goals but how good were Tierney, Niles and Luiz.

charvakan

The Liverpool mistakes made that game look flukey. But the pressure had to be applied, the mistake pounced on, and the move had to be finished. And then defending like demons, just like today. This semi win was not built on City mistakes. The threat from us was there for long stretches, and we could have had more. And again with the demonic defending! Great great game, even better than the one three days ago, which was fantastic. Two more wins, I hope with lots of goals for the GD tiebreaker, then a Cup final. Imagine Guendouzi and Ozil as… Read more »

Randy

This had my heart pumping more than any other game this whole season. Tonight was equivalent to Mikel Arteta fighting a trophy-hunting kung fu master with my 4 year old daughters magic wand…… Call me crazy but I think this guy can and will find glory managing this Club. (with proper backing) Genuinely hopeful for the first time in a long time that we will challenge the top levels of this league in the next few seasons. I dont think Arteta wants this performance just for FA Cup semi finals, he will want this every single minute of every single… Read more »

Evaristus

Damn!
Damn!
Damn!
Damn!
Damn!
Sorry for that, it’s just that…DAMN! #COYG

Pakgooner

MY TEAM

Tommy Gunner

Wow! Pick a man of the match from that!! Emi, Tierney, AMN, Luiz, Mustafi, Ceballos, Xhaka, Auba and Laca all superb! And I’ve just named 9/11 starting players (sorry Hector and Pepe)

Justno

Even Pepe though, integral in both goals. But fully agree

goonshow

He was – still waiting to see him put in a tackle in anger though!

Nicholas Hattersley

Those guys are only 10/10. Auba goes up to 11 !

A Different George

I thought Emi had little to do (yes, a great save, but only one). Played well, but nothing special otherwise–and isn’t that a wonderful thing to say when you play Man City!

Qwaliteee

Mustafi..?! 🤣

John

She wore…

weebgooner

Amazing win tonight!
I think Martinez’ save to Mahrez shot in the near post deserve some applaud too. Amazing save for that one too.

Pearson

Fabulous performance all round. Mustaffi too.

Qwaliteee

Aside from that horrendous challenge that could have cost him a red card from a less switched-on ref and the penalty he nearly gave away. He has got to make way for Rob Holding in the Cup Final.

Justno

Mad props to Xhaka. For me easily the best player in the first half.

Qwaliteee

Good post. He has quietly knuckled down and produced his best form for Arsenal. More kudos to Arteta.

Rocastle7

A great team perfomance and the first time in ages i have felt Proud of The Arsenal! Backs to the wall performances, but have managed to beat Liverpool and City in the same week.There is a long way to go, but the Arteta revolution is starting to take shape

Hi-brid

Yeeeeeeessssssss!!!!!!!!!!!! 😁

Kolasinac

Super team effort, that´s all that needs to be said. Good defending can be also very satisfying even if it was a draining experience today. And we are still only at the beginning of the Arteta era and there´s so much room for improvement. Auba deserves to win this cup so much along with the rest of the team for efforts like this, let´s just repeat this in the final and lift the trophy to end this extraordinary season.

Chippy87

I’ve forgiven you for Spurs Kola.

Qwaliteee

What a ridiculously crass thing to say. I, for one, haven’t forgiven him for what happened against Spurs and the sooner we’re rid of him the better. Airheads like you are an embarrassment to this club’s fan base.

arseblog

Dude, you need to stop with the personal attacks on other people for comments you disagree with. By all means take issue with what he’s saying, but the name calling is juvenile.

Qwaliteee

Cool. I’m assuming that posts containing the word ‘Qwalitawldry’, references to my son and accusations that I was abused as a child will be dealt with in a similar fashion. 👍

arseblog

I didn’t see those. But clearly that’s unacceptable also and I will deal with them.

goonshow

go Blogs

goonshow

Mate – it’s self-evident that there’s one real embarassment to our fan base here.

Lord Bendnter

Arteta absolutely nailed it with the lineup and tactics, i.e. park the bus. But without the 110% from each player, we would certainly have been battered by City, regardless of our defensive strategies.
Mad respect to every one of those players today! What a performance

kaius

We’ve just beaten a team of androids. Seriously, Laporte, Gundogan and De Bruyne are not human.

Love it. Looooove it

Fuzz

what a defensive performance! credit to all. one thing I wonder, when Leno is back, will Martinez now be happy to go back to being a non-playing keeper?

Goonerrific

Should he be?

Don Cazorleone

I’d keep Martinez in for now

Goonerink

Yep my only worry pre tonight was if he could ONLY catch balls but he can punch and Parry shots well too

Idiopathic

I don’t think it’d be fair to him tbh so I hope he gets an extended run. We are blessed to have 2 class keepers 🙌🏻

Vaibhav Pandey

Don’t agree that it was a defensive performance. It was a tactical masterclass which stopped city from playing to their strengths and pushed them wide to send in crosses which our defensive dealt with easily. Also AMN was king maker today. He provided huge formation flexibility to Arsenal team that we moved around from 3-5-2, 3-6-1, 4-4-2 and what not. Loved the way game game was setup by Arteta.

Goonerrific

Sign da ting Auba – become a legend!

Moviegooner

What a match. Over the moon!!!,
Masterclass from everybody. Of to beer drinking. Cheers fellow Gooners!