Arsenal scrape through to the semi-final with smash-and-grab winner

Our boys have secured their passage into the semi-final of the FA cup, leaving it late to put Sheffield United to the sword with an injury-time winner.

Arsenal started the game very much on the back-foot, and even looked to have fallen behind as the hosts put the ball into the back of the net, only for the goal to correctly be ruled out for offside.

We continued to be up against it until we broke forward into midway through the half, when Lacazette was tackled from behind on the inside edge of the box, and Nicolas Pepe dispatched coolly from the spot.

The hosts continued to prove difficult to break down, and kept their organisation to go into the break without our side having notched up a single shot on target according to the stats, with penalties clearly not accounted for.

We started the second half marginally better, and were at least giving as good as we got, but as the half drew on, it was the Blades who were once again piling the pressure on.

It was almost looking inevitable that the home side were going to score eventually, and then they did very late on, which looked set to send the game into extra time.

David McGoldrick ran into a loose cross to powerfully head home past the Argentine keeper, but the fun was yet to be over.

Once the officials showed five minutes of player left to run after the 90, the game came to life, and an unlikely source in Dani Ceballos was the player to break in behind the defence as he took the ball off Nketiah who was running away from goal, and slots home.

This was not a match for the feint-hearted, and despite being ahead for more than 60 minutes of the match, I’m still a little shocked that we got the result.

This team can take credit in winning against an extremely organised opponent, but our problems are really beginning to show by the bucket-load.

Will our team get things organised before the end of the season? Were Sheffield United that good today that they made us look bad, or are we simply playing below-standard?

Patrick

49 Comments

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  1. gotanidea says:

    The players seemed unfamiliar with the 3-4-2-1 formation, but that formation was highly effective to counter Sheffield’s 3-5-2. Fortunately one of the Blades made a mistake inside their box

    Pepe still can’t get past any opponent, but his was quite good in the air. Winning air duels frequently is a rare trait for a winger and he has been doing it against Soton/ Sheffield

    Kolasinac made a bad decision, luckily Ceballos made a great shot to win the game

    1. Best says:

      Completely agree with you but I believe saka will do better in pepe’s current position and drift pepe to play behind the main striker. Saka is direct and dribble past players more effectively than pepe. Pepe is too predictable and slow most times even though he had an above average game today. Wilock has to be in our central midfield. He is comfortable on the ball and can dribble past players as well. Another wrong decision by the coach replacing lacazette with nketiah. Laca gives the team more balance upfront and has a better hold up on the ball. Overall, good win today and hopefully we’ll bring the cup home. COYG💪🏻💪🏻💪🏻

      1. gotanidea says:

        I don’t think Saka could be a good inverted RW like Salah and Messi, but it’s worth to try. I’d prefer Nelson there though

        Lacazette’s hold-up play, unfortunately, is much worse than Giroud’s. I hope Arsenal’d look for another CF who do hold-up play well or a tall target man who is willing to be plan B

  2. Uzi Ozil says:

    Delighted for the win as we progress to the semi final….. but have arsenal forgot how to play football? Are the players mind already away from the season?

    After the lock down the injuries are just too many.

  3. Driy65 says:

    If we continue with performances like this…we might end up playing in the championship in 2021/2022. During the fabregas /vanpersie/ cazorla era, at least we had some level of creativity, we were found wanting defensively. Buh this set of players no creativity, no steel. I have never seen an arsenal team so bland

  4. Towny254 says:

    Pepe well done put a shift today and played well well-done Arsenal good win

  5. Trudeau says:

    Pleased with the win but not a lot to get excited about. I did think AMN put in a very good shift. MOTM for me. Hopefully will get a response from Bellerin.

    1. gotanidea says:

      He did look better than Bellerin. He should play against Norwich

  6. Gily says:

    This is a very important win.
    We missed the clean sheet on goals but got it on yellow cards. I feel the referee had a very soft spot for Arsenal today.

    1. Sue says:

      That’s unheard of, Gily 😆

      1. Gily says:

        Yeah Sue. Very much unheard of.

  7. Ken1945 says:

    Considering that most on here were running down MA’s choice of players, that we had no chance of winning and he had no idea what he was doing, some humble pie wouldn’t go amiss.
    We had Six players out through injury, playing a side above us in the league and at their place, could we please have some positivity?
    Yet another fa cup semi final… well done to the players and Mikel, brilliant result, Wembley here we come!!!!!!!!!!

    1. Adajim says:

      Well said, I commented on how this is a rebuilding phase and we must be ready to take any tactic/formation the coach put forward, and only be concerned with the results.
      From my observation, Ozil seems not to be in MA plans any longer (either it’s from management part or his personal decision, is unclear to most of us,) however, in his absence we have to change tactic and play through wings not middle since we don’t have creative mf anymore. Hopefully we will get 1 by summer, am not sure about Salzburg 19 we are reportedly chasing but Willock isn’t the answer, am sure MA has realize that, that’s why he is using Saka as the trump card from the mf

    2. Darthballz says:

      I think we did great exactly what we needed in a win . We have a lot of defensive work to do before we can become an attacking side again . But I see progress be positive

      1. Adajim says:

        Yes I am. The result is my concern am so happy for the result, it will help the team real time, 2loss and 2wins in 2 weeks, with semifinals, that’s good enough from the south called ‘rookie ‘ manager and a ‘deformed ‘ team

    3. Angus says:

      Exactly I knew damn well as soon as I’d come on here people would be moaning about progressing to an FA cup semi-final (same way no one thinks our record FA Cup wins is a achievement both personally for Wenger and courtesy of that us as a club, the only time we have EVER frankly come close to topping a trophy count of any kind at any point in our history.) Honestly sometimes if I didn’t love the club id wish a lot of our fanbase gets exactly what it deserves which is the Charlton treatment.

  8. sk says:

    We support a garbage team guys. its difficult to derive any joy (even from a win) from football played by these guys. I’m wondering whether the cancer, high blood pressure and other such ailments my body will suffer due to these performances are worth it. It’s really that bad.

    1. Declan says:

      It sounds like you’re not happy 🤔
      Yes we want to see beautiful flowing football but a win is a win is a win.

  9. ozziegunner says:

    Not a game for the faint-hearted. Thank goodness for VAR and Danny Ceballos earned his extension to the end of the season.
    AMN has earned his spot in the starting eleven.

    1. Adajim says:

      AMN? As RB or in the middle, remember we now have Cedric, am sure on that note, MA doesn’t want to use him as RB anymore, had Cedric been available today, AMN may have started from mf or not in the starting 11

      1. ozziegunner says:

        AMN was close to Arsenal’s best player. He should play wherever Arteta believes he best suits and currently that isn’t on the bench before Bellerin.

  10. Sue says:

    Que sera sera!!!

    Thank you, Dani…. that is 2 away wins on the spin… and we’re off to Wembley!

    Ooh to
    Ooh to be
    Ooh to be a gooner 👍

      1. Ken1945 says:

        😄😅🤣😂🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆(🏆) Well said Sue.

        1. ken1945 says:

          That’s the 30th semi final our club will have appeared in, equalling manures record, some record!!!!

          1. Sue says:

            Beautiful, Ken 👌

  11. Best says:

    I believe saka will do better in pepe’s current position and drift pepe to play behind the main striker. Saka is direct and dribble past players more effectively than pepe. Pepe is too predictable and slow most times even though he had an above average game today. Wilock has to be in our central midfield. He is comfortable on the ball and can dribble past players as well. Another wrong decision by the coach replacing lacazette with nketiah. Laca gives the team more balance upfront and has a better hold up on the ball. Overall, good win today and hopefully we’ll bring the cup home. COYG💪🏻💪🏻💪🏻

    1. Adajim says:

      May I remind how fans criticized MA for playing Saka though the right wing against city, ? When was the last time lacca played Full match? Or are you suggesting he remain there regardless of the risk?

  12. Godswill says:

    At the beginning “we are not going to win”.
    At the end ” scrappy win. It wasn’t a game for the feint hearted”.
    Michael Owen gave the match against us but we got it on the field of play.
    For once, let us encourage our “bad” team. Am happy for the win.
    My positive:- we can win if we want to win. 1-1 and all of a sudden we wanted to win and we won.

  13. Shakir says:

    Great result but am still not happy with the performance cuz its not solid still.The energy is massive though and i hope we will keep on improving.And a win is a win.Saka was quiet today must be exhausted.Trust MA….
    COYG

    1. Shakir says:

      And VAR back to normal,thanx livarpool

  14. blue17 says:

    The second half was worse, I was nervy all through… we couldn’t comfortably keep the ball in UTDs half for more than 7 secs… They were onto us right from the restart but boy did they frustrate the back line with those aerial passes.
    Honestly I didn’t see us winning this match and I’m glad we did but we can’t keep playing through the wings like this, we need to be creative from the middle as well…
    Not the greatest performance but let’s encourage them on getting to the semis… onward

    1. Adajim says:

      With who? We don’t have a reliable creative midfielder, it will be suicidal to create from the middle. Today team doesn’t have a proper DM and CAM, playing through the middle would have put lots of pressure on the the CM and on the CB

    2. gotanidea says:

      Klopp sold Coutinho, ditched his no 10 formation and played with lethal wingers in 4-3-3 formation

      Guardiola/ Barcelona/ Real Madrid also use 4-3-3 without no 10 and I believe Arteta plans to do the same next season

      1. Jabawoki says:

        All those teams bar Liverpool have creative juggernauts in the midfield and a proper DM. We have neither.

  15. Sue says:

    The draw is at 7.15pm…..

  16. Mogunna says:

    A win good to take home for semis.

  17. Reggie says:

    Great to be in the semis, even if it was a bit fortunate. Until we learn to control the midfield or actually get players capable too, we will always struggle. Second best to Sheffield utd in the second half and was treading water a little. I thought, while he was on Luiz did well, Pepe was dangerous, Tierney was my MOM, hardly put a foot wrong. Kolasinac and AMN struggled to stop attacks. 2 wins albeit against lesser teams and an home game coming up, lets hope we improve a bit more.

    1. RW1 says:

      We can’t control the midfield with this squad … we have too many mediocre players so selling a bunch and buying a top quality option is critical along with a quality RB

      Bellerin mustafi xhaka willock Nelson guendhuzi should all be sold … my guess is that auba will go for the money somewhere not sure whether Madrid will want ceballos back

  18. Wenger91 says:

    Happy for the win, more happy for Ceballos who wasn’t doing good in the last 2-3 games.

    Overall, we played well but no creativity in midfield. That’s fine for FA cup.

    Well done

  19. Sean M says:

    Just watched the Chelsea Leicester game. It was interesting to see Chelsea struggle to defend their lead after an awful start. In the end, it was Leicester’s game to take with both teams making mistake after mistake.

    It’s good to know teams higher up in the table are given their own fans their fair share of heart attacks!

    1. Sue says:

      City>Mendy!!

  20. Sue says:

    After we’d won, someone on Twitter said “Always nice to see a giant-killing” 🤪😂

    OT.. Ings has scored twice… one behind Vardy now…

    1. ken1945 says:

      Probably one of our own fans Sue… the usual suspects spring to mind.

      1. Sue says:

        Good one, Ken 👍

  21. Sid says:

    Good article but I think the writer may have made a mistake. Ceballos took the ball from Pepe, not Nketiah because Nketiah was the one who supplied the through ball to Pepe. And I also think that McGoldrick volleyed in their equalizer, but I am not sure. Anyways good win today. COYG!

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