Sanchez fires Arsenal into FA Cup final

Arsenal claimed their place in the final of the FA Cup with a hard-fought 2-1 extra-time win over Manchester City at Wembley Stadium on Sunday.

  • Arsenal 2 Manchester City 1
  • Aguero scores on 62 minutes
  • Monreal equalises on 71 minutes
  • Sanchez wins the tie with 101 minutes played

Match summary

In an enthralling, end-to-end encounter, it was Sergio Aguero who broke the deadlock with a fine finish on 62 minutes.

Nacho Monreal responded when he tapped home on the volley, and after the game went into extra-time, Arsenal goal-machine Alexis Sanchez popped up with a vital strike with 100 minutes played.

Full report

City were the first to threaten with Kevin De Bruyne trying his luck early on with a shot from wide right that he failed to place on target.

Laurent Koscielny then had to be quick to nick the ball off the toe of Aguero just as he was about to shoot, having expertly been played in by David Silva.

Claudio Bravo made a simple save from an Olivier Giroud header as he connected to an Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain cross before Petr Cech had to tip over a looping Silva header at the other end.

Koscielny was offside as he poked home on 22 minutes ahead  of an enforced City substitution as Raheem Sterling replaced Silva, who picked up a hamstring injury following a rough challenge from Gabriel Paulista.

Aguero had a decent shout for a penalty waved away after being tripped in the box by Oxlade-Chamberlain, before stepping past Monreal and smashing a 38th minute shot into the side-netting.

City, though should have been a goal up when Sterling fired in from close range. De Bruyne's cross from the left was missed by Cech, and fell to Aguero at the back post who saw his shot rebound out of the goal by Monreal before the substitute hit the back of the net.

The officials ruled that De Bruyne's cross had crossed the line, but replays show the ball stayed in play.

And with the half winding down, Sanchez was pulled over by Jesus Navas, but referee Craig Pawson saw nothing wrong with the off-the-ball challenge.

The second half started with as much energy as the first had ended, with Nicolas Otamendi heading wide early on 

Bravo then had to react quickly, on 53 minutes, under pressure from Giroud, to make a hasty clearance.

The match became increasingly open with both sides creating a number of half chances, before Aguero broke the deadlock on 62 minutes.

Fernandinho conceded possession to Yaya Toure, who played a superbly-weighted pass to the Argentine, who raced forward, with Monreal in pursuit, before dinking the ball over the outstretched leg of the onrushing Cech.

Mesut Ozil fired just wide of the target as Arsenal looked for an immediate response, and respond they did as Monreal found a 71st minutes leveller.

The Spaniard latched onto a good cross from Oxlade-Chamberlain from the right, and tapped home on the volley.

With their tails up, the Gunners went in search of a second, but so nearly conceded, with 78 minutes played, as a blocked Sterling shot came back to Toure, who saw his effort tipped onto a post by Cech.

Fernandinho then smashed an 81st minute header onto the Arsenal crossbar from a De Bruyne corner – after Gabriel had denied Leroy Sane from squaring the ball for an easy finish.

Danny Welbeck replaced Giroud and almost had an immediate impact as he beat Otamendi before curling a good shot just wide.

Arsenal kept up their attacking impetus going into the first half of extra-time, and Sanchez may well have scored had Fernandinho not cleared a Welbeck cross – before Rob Holding headed over the resultant Ozil corner.

But Sachez netted the goal Arsenal were searching for, as he poked home from close range after an Ozil free-kick wasn't cleared by the City defence.

Holding cleared ahead of Sane before Welbeck headed wide ahead of the second-half of extra time, where City had a chance to level the scores in the 109th minute. But after being fed by De Bruyne, late substitute Fabian Delph saw his shot deflected wide by Hector Bellerin.

De Bruyne was next to miss the target as the referee waved away penalty appeals from Bellerin, ahead of a skewed effort from Toure.

City continued to press but were ultimately unable to break down the Gunners' defence a second time, who after a long day of football, secured their place in the FA Cup final, against Chelsea on May 27.

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