Wenger Condemns Guardiola to Trophyless Debut Season

Satish Sekar
By Satish Sekar May 14, 2017 21:04

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Wenger Condemns Guardiola to Trophyless Debut Season

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By Satish Sekar © Satish Sekar (April 23rd 2017)

Making History?

Arsène Wenger may be on his farewell tour, but if so the Frenchman could yet defy the nay-sayers. Lacking heart on occasion this season, no such accusation could be levelled against the Gunners this afternoon. Arsenal came from behind to beat Manchester City 2-1 after extra time.

Alexis Sánchez Sánchez scored the scrappy winner ten minutes into the first period of extra time. The Chilean double Copa América winner’s close range goal gave the ‘beleaguered’ Wenger the chance to rescue an unusually bad season by his high standards by making history. No manager has won the FA Cup seven times.

Turning Points

After the thrills of yesterday’s semi-final this was likely to pale in comparison – it did. Kevin de Bruyne was not at his best and the turning point was David Silva being forced off less than half way through the first half after failing to recover from an awful foul by Gabriel. Referee, Craig Pawson, only gave Gabriel a talking to for a foul that deserved a card – only the colour should have been an issue. Midway through the second half Gabriel caught Leroy Sané in the face and was booked –the earlier foul on Silva loomed large now.

But City were harshly treated again after 38 minutes as Pawson and his assistant referee Stephen Childs got a crucial decision wrong – exactly what VAR would put right. Sané’s cross from the left was wrongly deemed to have gone out and curled back in before Sergio Agüero shot was cleared after crossing the goal-line and Raheem Sterling made sure anyway. The goal should have stood. Adding insult to injury Laurent Koscielny went largely unpunished when he went into Agüero’s back after half an hour. Less than five minutes earlier Agüero was aggrieved that Pawson brushed aside his claims for a penalty after a challenge by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

But Agüero, determined to make an impact, pounced early in the second half. Yaya Touré dispossessed Aaron Ramsey. Touré’s long pass was latched on to by Kun who outpaced Nacho Monreal and dinked it over Petr Čech after the former Czech international committed himself. A few minutes later Monreal made amends as he bundled Oxlade-Chamberlain’s free-kick in at the far post.

Extra

Čech did well to tip Yaya Touré’s fierce shot onto the post and Danny Welbeck’s late effort curled just wide, but with less than 10 minutes remaining de Bruyne’s corner was thudded onto the wordwork by Fernadinho’s header.

The decisive goal was a scrappy one, begun by Vincent Kompany’s foul on Welbeck. Mesut Özil’s free-kick was headed back by Ramsey. Welbeck miscued it and Sánchez bundled in the winner. A brawl ensued shortly afterwards involving Fabian Delph, who was booked. Delph went close in the second period after being put through by de Bruyne, but his shot deflected off Monreal into the side-netting. Arsenal held on to reach the final and bring Wenger a step closer to history.

Satish Sekar
By Satish Sekar May 14, 2017 21:04