|Hello and welcome to Sportstar’s LIVE coverage of the FA Cup semifinal between Arsenal and Manchester City at the Wembley.|
46′ We are underway in the second half.
HALF-TIME: ARSENAL 1-0 MANCHESTER CITY
45+2′ City’s final third passing has been mediocre at best. The defending champion has tried crossing into the box which has not resulted in clear cut chances. Sterling tries to cross at far post for Mahrez but it finds no takers and the referee brings the half to an end.
45′ Arsenal goes on a counter as Bellerin crosses at the far post for Pepe. The winger’s hits a poor cross which is straight at Ederson. Mendy bombs forward and wins a corner. Mahrez’s delivery is cleared by Luiz but falls for De Bruyne who clatters a shot into the Arsenal cluster inside the box.
43′ David Silva, De Bruyne and Mendy exchange passes on the left side with results in the Belgian in space but Mustafi does well to block out the shot.
41′ SAVE! Lacazette’s work rate has been first rate. The Frenchman helps Bellerin win a corner which is delivered flat by Aubameyang. Maitland-Niles glances it towards the roof of the net which is palmed away by Ederson.
39′ Jesus gets away with a warning for a stamp on Ceballos. City wins a corner Mahrez whips in a good ball, but Luiz manages to head it clear.
36′ Tierney sends a dangerous cross into the box with City pinned back in its own half. Garcia clears it easily but loses it to Pepe who bends a cross at the far post which is too far for his teammates.
34′ Arsenal counter press is working wonders as City clearly looks uncomfortable. Ceballos wins the ball from Sterling in the centre and plays Pepe into the space on the left. The winger crosses it for Lacazette lurking in the centre but is beaten to it by Garcia.
31′ More mistakes! This times its City’s defence that coughs up possession inside the box. Aubameyang wins the ball after Ederson’s pass it straight at Lacazette. He lays it for Pepe to take a shot but is blocked out Laporte.
29′ Poor passing! Arsenal is living on the edge. A terrible back pass from Bellerin is straight at Sterling who rolls it in the path of De Bruyne who forces a block out of Xhaka. City claims a handball but the referee is not interested.
28′ Good play from City! Meny and Jesus combine on the left as the full-back crosses into the box. Tierney is in place to head it away to safety.
25′ The referee calls for a drinks break as Arteta turns into a clone of Guardiola with his animated gestures directed towards Mustafi who went for an unnecessary tackle on Silva.
23′ David Silva goes down after Mustafi catches him from behind. The German gets away with just a warning from the referee. Sterling floats the free kick at the far post which Laporte manages to head it over the goal post.
19′ GOAL ARSENAL! What a brilliant move that was from the Gunners. Xhaka carries the ball from the midfield and passes it to Pepe who gets on his stronger left foot to find Aubameyang at the far post who shakes off Walker to put it into the back of the net with an exquisite finish.
16′ SAVE! Arsenal is slowly warming up in the match. Its forwards press the back two which results an error in the middle. A brilliant through ball from Luiz from the centre finds Aubameyang clear for a shot. The striker unleashes a rasping shot which is straight at Ederson.
14′ Mustafi hits a long pass over the City defence as Lacazette reaches it and runs at the goal keeper. Had he scored, it would not have counted as the linesman had his flag up.
12′ Walker’s poor pass in the centre is intercepted by Lacazette. Gundogan fouls the Frenchman to break Arsenal’s momentum.
9′ Close shave! Mustafi and David Luiz fail to pass the ball out of their own box as Sterling wins the ball from Mustafi and gets the shot away. The Gunners’ defence looks even more vulnerable as the clearance falls for De Bruyne who crosses at the far post which Mahrez thumps down only to be blocked by Ceballos.
7′ Silva frees up Mahrez on the right side as the winger cuts into the box but is blocked by Maitland-Niles.
5′ Arsenal clears the corner comfortably. Martinez goes for a long punt trying to find Aubameyang upfront but the Gabon striker is unable to hold on to it.
3′ Almost an own goal! Sterling hauls the ball off Ceballos just outside the box and tees up Jesus at the near post who flashes it across the goalmouth. Tierney dives at the ball to head it away which catches goalkeeper Martinez off guard. Luckily for Arsenal the ball goes wide.
1′ OFF WE GO! Man City gets things underway. Walker tries to pass towards De Bruyne in the centre but Xhaka intercepts it and Ceballos clears.
The players walk out of the tunnel at the Wembley Stadium.
Line-ups are out:
Arsenal (3-4-3): Martinez; Mustafi, David Luiz, Tierney; Belllerin, Ceballos, Xhaka, Maitland-Niles; Pepe, Lacazette, Aubameyang
Manchester City(4-3-3): Ederson; Walker, Garcia, Laporte, Mendy; Gundogan, De Bruyne, David Silva; Mahrez, Jesus, Sterling
- Manchester City has not won all of its past seven matches against Arsenal. Pep Guardiola’s team has 20 goals and conceded just 2 in this process. The Cityzens have won 10 of their last 12 FA semifinals with both the defeats coming against Arsenal (1932 and 2017).
- Arsenal is the only team in FA Cup history to play 30 semifinals. The Gunners have been successful in reaching the final 20 times – a joint highest final appearances in the tournament.
- Match Preview: It is another meeting between Pep Guardiola and his former assistant at Manchester City, Arteta, who joined Arsenal in December for his first senior coaching job and is already starting to make an impact.
The FA Cup offers the first-time manager Arteta a chance to win the first silverware of his coaching career but the biggest problem is the other manager involved at Wembley Stadium this weekend just cannot stop winning trophies.
Pep Guardiola has led Manchester City to eight of the last 10 domestic trophies on offer, including Community Shields, in one of the most dominant periods by any English team.
The Premier League may have been relinquished to Liverpool this season but City still has designs on a rare cup treble, having already captured the English League Cup and holding a 2-1 lead going into the second leg of its Champions League last-16 matchup with Real Madrid next month.
Arteta’s Arsenal is up against as the teams head to English football’s empty national stadium for the right to play in an August 1 final that will round off the country’s longest-ever season, lasting nearly 12 months.
City takes on Arsenal in the first semifinal match on Saturday, followed by United vs. Chelsea on Sunday in the first top-level games held at Wembley since football’s restart last month.
While Guardiola has had the luxury of rotating his team for league matches every three or four days since the restart, and Arsenal has been involved in a furious race for European qualification and won’t be arriving at Wembley as fresh as City, the defending FA Cup champion.
Arsenal has lost its last seven matches against City, conceding three goals on six of those occasions. However, the London team did beat City in the FA Cup semifinals in April 2017 near the end of Guardiola’s first season in charge of the holder, which wasn’t the trophy-winning machine then that it is now.
A 2-1 win over Liverpool on Wednesday showed Arsenal is on the right path under Arteta, who has been widely tipped as a potential successor to Guardiola at Etihad Stadium.
“I expect a terribly tough, tough, tough game, because they have something special already,” Guardiola said.
- FA Cup history: Arsenal and Manchester City have had many encounters in the Premier League and the League Cup but have locked horns only in 4 FA Cup matches until now with all the results going Arsenal’s way. The latest match-up was in 2017 in the semifinal when Arsenal beat Guardiola’s side 2-1.
- Team News: Pep Guardiola will not be able to field goalkeeper Claudio Bravo after Chilean was ruled out due to a muscle injury. Joao Cancelo could be back in the starting XI after starting from bench in the Premeir League win against Bournemouth. Mikel Arteta, who has a fully fit squad at his disposal, might give Mesut Ozil some game time after the German sat out of every match since the season restart.
Sony LIV will live stream the FA Semifinal of Arsenal vs Man City from 12.15 am (IST) on Sunday.