FA Cup semi-final Reviews; Arsenal 2 Man City 0; Chelsea 3 Man United 1

Aubameyang Scores for Arsenal
  • FA Cup semi-final round-up reviews for the 18th and 19th July 2020.
  • UK online bookmakers update their FA Cup odds and bonuses. 

Arsenal 2, Manchester City 0 – Wembley stadium – 18 July, 2020

Arsenal storm into FA Cup finals   

Mikel Arteta's Arsenal on a high from beating Liverpool in the Premier League ousted Manchester City in the semi-finals of the FA Cup at the Wembley on Saturday.

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City, who just survived a two-year ban from European competitions, played in their customary dominant fashion of not letting go off ball possession and looked to take the game away from their rivals when it started.

But it was the Gunners who took the lead in the 19th minute. It was a brilliant move that brought about the opener for the North London side.

Granit Xhaka carrying the ball from the midfield essayed a pass to Nicolas Pepe in the far right wing, which the Frenchman delivered to Pierre Aubameyang just outside the box.

The ace Gabonese striker shook off Kyle Walker and slotted the ball into the back of the net with an exquisite finish.

City adopted their high-pressing game in search of an equalizer and almost got one when after a little interchange between Raheem Sterling and David Silva, the former shot wide with a clear sight of goal.

David de Bruyne, Riyad Mahrez and Gabriel Jesus seemed to combine well after the interval and created chances, one of which Sterling missed again.

The Arsenal defense of Shkodran Mustafi, David Luiz, Kieran Tierney and Hector Bellerín who were under fire most of the time for their ineptness in some recent games were stoic and resolute at the Wembley.

Luiz whose errors were behind some of Gunners' defeats in the recent past was especially stellar. Not only was he the spearhead at the back on Saturday but his stunning straight pass through the center of City’s midfield to Aubameyang help build the foundations of his side's second goal.

The Brazilian  pulled a Aymeric Laporte clearance out of the air and executed a diagonal cross to an unmarked Aubameyang absolutely out of the blue and run of play for the Gabonese to run away unchallenged and shoot the ball between Ederson's legs.

2-0 to Arsenal in the 71st minute with the match wrapped up. City despite their 71 per cent ball-possession always looked vulnerable with the rival front-three of Pepe, Alexandre Lacazette and Aubameyang hitting them on the breaks and creating chances whichever way they came.

It was a day when Arteta outmanoeuvred his mentor Pep Guardiola as he humbled the five-time FA Cup champions with a brilliant offense-cum-defense masterclass and got his team in sight of an elusive silverware to mark his first season in charge.

Chelsea 3, Manchester United 1 – Wembley stadium – 19 July, 2020

Howlers from De Gea help Chelsea sail through to finals

Two major errors by goalkeeper David De Gea and an own goal by Harry Maguire helped Chelsea romp through to the FA Cup finals.

This does not take away the fact that Chelsea was very much the superior side at Wembley on Sunday and that Ole Solskjaer's side hardly showed any of the dynamism that led to so many successes in recent games.

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Bruno Fernandes looked jaded in the midfield without the support of Paul Pogba, Mason Greenwood and Anthony Martial who were all benched for inexplicable reasons.

With a below par United attack on show, Frank Lampard's Blues had a field day as they took control of the match.

Some inept defensive work from Victor Lindelof and Maguire helped Olivier Giroud get the first goal when the Frenchman's close-range finish was spilled over the line by De Gea.

The goal came in the 11th minute of stoppage time of the first-half – frequent interruptions for treatment of on-field injuries took the extra-time to an absurd 12 minutes.

Solskjaer eventually introduced Martial only when defender Eric Bailly sustained a first-half head injury while Greenwood and Pogba were only introduced in desperation when the game was almost lost.

This tactical move happened only after De Gea's second blemish of the match.

With a minute into the second-half, the United custodian made a hash of a very tame 20-yard shot from Mason Mount, fumbling over the ball before it rolled into the net.

The United substitutions had no salutary effect on the proceedings as their misery was compounded when Harry Maguire diverted Marcos Alonso's cross into his own net at the near post with 16 minutes of play left.

The Red Devils' consolation goal came of a Bruno Fernandes spot-kick in the 85th minute after Callum Hudson-Odoi fouled Anthony Martial inside the box.

Chelsea ended United's 19-match unbeaten run across all competitions and were by far the deserving candidates for a final date.
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