Many were quick to write off Arsenal as soon as the FA Cup semi-final draws took place. The Gunners were drawn with the cup holders Manchester City and given their lacklustre performances in the league, the odds were stacked heavily against Mikel Arteta’s men.
Yet, with Chelsea’s win against Manchester United yesterday, it’ll be the London clubs who will feature in the final next month.
Arteta got the better of his former boss Pep Guardiola, for whom he worked as an assistant manager at Manchester City. Carrying on the confidence from last week’s win against Liverpool, Arsenal came well prepared against one of the most polished teams in the league.
The Gunners sat deep in their halves and pressed forward for a counter-attack at every opportunity. Captain, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang played a crucial role in Arteta’s tactical gameplan.
Arsenal broke the deadlock 19 minutes into the game in a move which started with goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez, and featured 18 passes and included 10 of Arsenal’s 11 players.
It’s worthy to point out that 8 of those 11 passes came in Arsenal’s own penalty box as they absorbed the City press before springing forward in attack. That’s where Aubameyang’s role in the game paid dividends.
The Gabonese striker rushed right into the box and made space for himself at the back post to tuck home from a dangerous cross from Nicolas Pepe.
The second goal on the night followed the same idea as the Gunners came blazing out of their box before Kieran Tierney tied up the Gabon international from the halfway line who made no mistakes to finish past Ederson.
When asked about Aubameyang’s role in the game in a post-match interview, Kieran Tierney was in full praise of Arsenal striker.
Arsenal’s Scottish left-back stated, “That ball from me was not a goal-scoring ball, he makes it a goal.”
Aubameyang, however, wasn’t going to take all the credit for himself as the Gabon international tweeted out, “Come on, that’s a f*cking assist bro, and thank u for That.”