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Arsenal vs Manchester City at Wembley Stadium

FT
Wembley Stadium Referee : Jonathan Moss
18th July 2020 7:45 PM (BST)
  • 2 Arsenal

    • ‘19' Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
    • ‘71' Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
  • 0 Manchester City

#mancity

Commentary By Caroline Oatway

22:30

Farewell and goodnight ๐Ÿ‘‹

That's all from me, folks.

A disappointing evening but hopefully, an important learning curve.

A huge wrench to have surrendered the FA Cup but looking at the bigger picture, our first defeat in more than two years in domestic cup competition is some achievement.

Of course, there is still plenty to play for with the Champions League last 16 second leg clash with Real Madrid on the horizon.

Pep Guardiola and the players certainly won't need any more motivation to learn from today's setback.

See you again on Tuesday night for the Premier League trip to Watford. Take care.

22:17

Ilkay Gundogan ๐Ÿ’ฌ

"It was not good enough today to go to the Final.

"The energy we had in the second half was ... the one we needed in the beginning.

"Sometimes, things like that happen.

"One very bad half is enough to lose the game. We looked like Arsenal wanted it more, which is the most frustrating thing.

"We were frustrated and disappointed with the first half result. We had two good chances in the beginning when we won the ball in front of their goal but after that, we stopped playing.

"We were sloppy and slow with a lack of energy.

"At half-time, the manager and also the team said to each other that it was not enough - we needed more energy and rhythm to create chances.

"The energy was good. Still, maybe we struggled a little bit to create clear chances.

"Although we had good shots, the second goal killed the game and made the result today."

22:10

Guardiola ๐Ÿ’ฌ

"I don't have to tell them. They have to know it. They feel it, I think.

"We know the standards we need at this stage of competitions.

"Maybe we are learning, maybe now. We will see.

"In the first half, it was not good and we struggled to play at our level.

"It doesn't take a genius to know we have to increase the standard for Real Madrid."

22:04

Pep Guardiola ๐Ÿ’ฌ

"We didn't make a good performance - we were not ready enough.

"In semi-finals, against a team of that level, if you don't play 90 minutes with a good performance, these kind of things happen.

"We didn't play good. We are human beings - sometimes, we don't play good.

"The only regret is that we didn't play in the first half like we played the second half. You can't play the second half and not the first - that can't happen.

"We changed a little bit the set up but we could not do it.

"The opponent played good. Sometimes, it happens.

"We have time (to fix things before Real Madrid). We can do it. We changed something and we did it. Mentally, we must be more aggressive and try to go forward."

22:01
21:45

Rob Pollard ๐Ÿ’ฌ

"Bitterly disappointing. I feel weโ€™re a far better side than Arsenal, but we didnโ€™t show it today. We dominated the ball, as we so often do, but we were too slow and predictable in possession, which is most unlike us. 

"Pep remained as animated as ever right up until the final whistle, willing his players on. This will hurt him, but he will also know he needs to work out what went wrong. He will leave no stone unturned in the next few days, working with his staff to analyse the footage and find solutions. 

"The Real Madrid game on 7 August now takes on increased significance."

FT

FULL-TIME โฑ

Arsenal 2-0 City.

A tough one to take - plenty of possession but no end product, as we came up against a defensively solid Gunners outfit.

Congratulations to Mikel Arteta and his side, who were clinical on the counter-attack, whereas we struggled to create anything clear-cut.

In truth, the second goal killed us, but it was one of those games in which we wouldn't have scored had we played all night.

92'

Frustrating ๐Ÿ˜–

Taking too long to get the ball in the box and when it's delivered, it's too high for everyone.

Final product severely lacking tonight.

90'

Rob Pollard ๐Ÿ’ฌ

"We just donโ€™t have an answer to the conundrum Arsenal have posed. 

"They are packed in, almost the entire team behind the ball, and then breaking on the occasions they win it back. Weโ€™ve been too predictable and moved the ball too slowly. 

"Have we got one final push in us?"

Open
88'

Changes for both sides ๐Ÿ”„

Holding replaces the injured Mustafi, while Ceballos is replaced by Kolasinac.

Silva is also brought off in place of Fernandinho for City.

85'

๐Ÿ˜•

Stoppage in play here, as Mustafi is down.

Tussled with Sterling in the corner and our forward landed awkwardly on top of him.

He's going to have to go off...

75'

Credit where it's due

Arsenal have defended excellently today.

Bodies everywhere behind the ball, minimising the space we've tried to exploit, closing down.

We need a moment of magic from someone but at the moment, it feels like one of those days.

Open
74'

Another chance goes begging ๐Ÿ˜ง

Sterling cuts inside and fires goalward but Luiz is there to block and divert the ball over the bar.

73'

Rob Pollard ๐Ÿ’ฌ

"This is very frustrating. Arsenal have been happy to be less adventurous in this half, sitting in and making life hard for us. So far, we havenโ€™t found a way of picking the lock and Arsenal have now doubled their lead after catching us on the break. 

"Weโ€™ve, largely, been excellent since football returned, but weโ€™ve been nowhere near our best so far today. 

"Twenty minutes left to change things."

Open
65'

It won't go in! ๐Ÿ˜ฉ

Sterling so unlucky!

The ball actually hit him in the face two yards out, bouncing into Martรญnez's arms!

(Not as well-taken as his header against Brighton!)

61'

Come on! ๐Ÿ™

Free-kick in a very promisiing position.

De Bruyne to take - it's suitable for a right-footer: to the left of the goal less than ten yards outside the box...

60'

One-way traffic ๐Ÿšฆ

City pressing and pressing.

VAR called into action to check a potential handball against Xhaka but nothing doing.

Need to keep this pressure on.

Open
54'

Good save ๐Ÿงค

Mahrez cuts inside and drills to the near post but Martรญnez is down well to gather.

This is much, much better. Keep it up!

Open
52'

Almost! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

Mendy with an attempted volleyed cross, which almost catches Martรญnez out at the near post.

Wasn't the intention, I'm sure, but it nearly paid off.

52'

Rob Pollard ๐Ÿ’ฌ

"More intensity needed this half after a somewhat pedestrian first โ€“ and the early signs are good. 

"Sterling has had two efforts on goal: the first a curling effort that sailed over the bar, the second went inches wide as he tried to sweep home from De Bruyneโ€™s ball across the area. 

"Walker shouting โ€œKEEP GOING! KEEP GOING!โ€ after every attack. Letโ€™s hope the lads listen to him."

Open
49'

What a chance! ๐Ÿ˜ซ

Agonising!

De Bruyne cuts back for Sterling, who side-foots towards the far corner but it drags wide!

Great chance. Very encouraging. We've looked lively.

45'

Big 45 ahead ๐Ÿ’ช

Here we go. City back out very early onto the pitch, raring to go.

We're back under way with a HUGE performance needed to turn this around.

I'm feeling more confident after a half-time brew. Everything seems better after a cup of tea, right?

COME ON, CITY!

HT

Rob Pollard ๐Ÿ’ฌ

"What an odd game. City dominated the first 10 minutes while Arsenal sat back and at that stage we had enjoyed more than 80 percent of the possession (weโ€™ve ended the first half with around 62 percent) โ€“ yet Arsenal lead and could be further ahead. 

"When they have attacked, theyโ€™ve done so with more incision and purpose. Aubameyangโ€™s goal means they lead, but he himself could have had another, Lacazette had one marginally ruled out for offside and Mustafiโ€™s header brought a fine save from Ederson.

"Big half coming up."

HT

HALF-TIME โฑ

Arsenal 1-0 City.

Aubameyang's poked effort separates the sides at the break.

Work to do for City with 45 minutes to salvage our defence of the FA Cup.

In truth, we're fortunate to just be the one goal behind. Arsenal have created plenty while we've struggled, despite a very strong start.

Big teamtalk needed...

43'

Safe hands ๐Ÿงค

Maitland-Niles looks to carve another chance for Arsenal but his cross is too close to Ederson... fortunately.

We were outnumbered there as Arsenal countered!

36'

Ten minutes to half-time โฑ

Arsenal on the hunt for a second, which would of course be a real suckerpunch and give us a mountain to climb.

In fairness, they could be two or three up already and we haven't created much at all in response - nothing clear-cut anyway.

Definitely need to keep them at bay until the break. We need some inspiration from somewhere - really struggling to retain possession.

31'

What a let-off! ๐Ÿ˜ฑ

City with a defensive mistake of our own to almost gift Arsenal a second, as the Gunners pounce on a poor Ederson pass.

Thankfully, they're unable to capitalise and we're able to clear in the nick of time.

22'

Rob Pollard ๐Ÿ’ฌ

"For all Cityโ€™s possession early on, Arsenal have had the clearest sights of goal. 

"One straight ball from David Luiz beat our backline and Aubameyangโ€™s effort was saved when clean through on goal. He should have done better and would have had he put more finesse on the finish. 

"Warning shot fired - but minutes later, City were undone. Pepeโ€™s ball to the back post found Aubameyang and this time he finished with aplomb. 

"Pep immediately walked back to his bench, gulped some water and consulted his backroom staff. The inquest has begun. 

"Game on now."

21'

โœ‹

No need to panic.

Plenty of time to get back into this one of course... but the ease of which Arsenal have created those chances is a concern.

It had been all City up until that Lacazette opening.

We jut need to regain control, keep calm and do what we do best - create.

Open
19'

Goal for Arsenal ๐Ÿ‘Ž

And there's the opener.

I said they've grown into the game in the last few minutes and they've broken the deadlock.

Pepe crosses to the backpost where Aubameyang stabs in off the far post.

Disappointing.

16'

A warning โš 

Having weathered the early pressure, Arsenal have enjoyed the best of the recent minutes with the best chances of the game so far.

Open
16'

What a save! ๐Ÿ™Œ

Ederson with a super stop to deny Aubameyang, who gets in between the centre-halves and smashes goalward.

Fantastic save.

14'

Offside ๐Ÿณ

Lacazette has the ball in the back of the net for Arsenal, rounding Ederson, who had stopped after the Arsenal man was called offside.

Of course, with VAR, the Gunners striker is entitled to continue just in case the decision is incorrect but the linesman's call was spot on.

11'

Rob Pollard ๐Ÿ’ฌ

"Decent start from City. Attack v defence, with Arsenal packing men behind the ball while we try and find a way through. 

"Pep is pumped up, too. Heโ€™s already been out of his technical area to retrieve the ball and get it back to his players quickly, urging City on and demanding we take the game to Arsenal."

9'

Argh! ๐Ÿ˜‘

De Bruyne floats the ball to the backpost where Mahrez is lurking but his header across goal is hacked away before anyone can pounce.

City so on top. Keep it up!

9'

Chance! ๐Ÿ˜ซ

Sterling almost capitalises from a defensive mistake, pickpocketing Mustafi but he opts to pass rather than shoot and the eventual effort is blocked.

Perhaps should have taken it himself!

8'

Promising ๐Ÿ‘

Mahrez has the chance to show his pace and trickery and wins a corner but again, it's cleared.

City definitely the better of the two sides, settling into this one much quicker.

4'

Oooh! ๐Ÿ˜ฏ

Good early chance for City, as Sterling is released down the left inside the box.

He looks to pick out Silva in the middle but the ball is hacked away for a corner, which comes to nothing.

Really bright start.

2'

๐Ÿ”ต๐Ÿ”ด

Donning our new mosaic PUMA 2020/21 home kit, City begin proceedings at the national stadium.

Arsenal of course in their traditional red and white.

It's been a decent, fast-paced start by the holders, who have dominated the early exchanges, looking to press forward immediately.

KO

KICK-OFF โšฝ

The players take the knee once more in support of the Black Lives Matter movement...

And we are under way at Wembley.

COME ON, CITY!!!

19:43

Here we go ๐Ÿ™Œ

Sporting our smart new PUMA walk-out jackets, out step the FA Cup holders onto the hallowed Wembley turf.

Arsenal follow and we are almost ready for kick-off...

19:41

Rob Pollard ๐Ÿ’ฌ

"Thereโ€™s no doubt Arsenal have looked vastly improved in recent weeks. Mikel Arteta, clearly, is having an impact, and we need to be at our best today to make it to the final. 

"Going forward, Arsenal rarely have any problems. Their downfall in recent years have been issues at the back. The work Arteta has done appears to be addressing that, with their collective pressing and determination to win the ball back quickly much improved from the Unai Emery days. 

"This is a special trophy. Itโ€™s ours and we want to keep it. Big 90 minutes coming up."

19:34

The magic of the FA Cup ๐Ÿ†

โ€œ35 years, weโ€™re still here!โ€

That self-deprecating chant, those years of heartache, that despised banner across the cityโ€ฆ

Three-and-a-half decades of hurt: broken dreams, constant disappointments and a life in the shadow of our neighboursโ€ฆ

It all came to a joyful end with one solitary kick of a football in May 2011: the day City lifted silverware once again.

It was the day โ€“ according to some โ€“ that the footballing tide shifted to coincide with the rise of the Blue Moon, and itโ€™s hard to disagree.

Since then, City have secured ten major trophies: four Premier League titles, five League Cups and another FA Cup, plus three Community Shields โ€“ and thatโ€™s just on the menโ€™s sideโ€ฆ Our womenโ€™s team (launched as a professional outfit in 2014) have enjoyed similar success, clinching the FA Womenโ€™s Cup twice, the Continental Cup three times and the Super League title in 2016.

Having had just one opportunity to visit Wembley in the previous 30 years โ€“ the Division Two Play-Off Final, which will go down in history as one of our most important games for its own wonderful reasons โ€“ City fans have enjoyed more trips to North London in the last ten years than we had ever previously thought possible.

The FA Cup was the one that started it all...

19:18

New training gear ๐Ÿ˜

A new kit and new training wear!

Modelled below by our very own El Mago, who will be hoping to add a third FA Cup (and first Champions League!) to his collection before his depature at the end of the season.

Since the lockdown break, he's been at his unplayable best and I know his teammates are equally keen to send him off on a high.

That new warm-up gear is also now available to buy on ManCity.com.

19:12

More from Rob Pollard ๐Ÿ’ฌ

"If the behind-closed-doors games at the Etihad have been strange, this at Wembley, in a near-empty 90,000-seater stadium, is even more bizarre. 

"These occasions are meant for fans but the current situation means that isnโ€™t possible. They are sadly missed, as both Kyle Walker and Gabriel Jesus told CityTV earlier this week. 

"But our objective remains: play with intensity and on the front foot. When we are out of possession, press high and hard, and when we have the ball, move it quickly and with purpose. If we do that, I fancy us to qualify for the Final.  

"Arsenalโ€™s forward line offers plenty but we possess a wealth of quality all over the pitch. 

"It should be a fine game."

19:07

Guardiola (on Arsenal) ๐Ÿ’ฌ

"I don't know the system they will play today but they changed their set-up after one or two games.

"They have been solid and consistent and conceded few chances and the quality is there upfront.

"It's been a tough calendar and in general, the games have been tight.

"What I've been impressed with the most is their good team spirit. Everybody has followed the manager and committed to what they do.

"You see it - the results were really good."

19:04

Pep Guardiola ๐Ÿ’ฌ

"The FA Cup is nice - it's a beautiful competition and tradition.

"Unfortunately, we don't have people here but we are here.

"After we won our first two games after lockdown - Arsenal and Burnley - and we had a gap over fifth, we prioritised.

"We play every game to win."

18:58

Rob Pollard ๐Ÿ’ฌ

"The challenge for the players this evening is clear: book your place in the FA Cup Final and prove youโ€™re ready to play against Real Madrid. 

"That was the message from Pep on Friday during his pre-match press conference. Progressing to the Final for the second-consecutive season is vitally important but he also wants evidence his squad are ready for the challenge of making it into the last-eight of the Champions League. 

"The game against Real Madrid is huge. 2-1 up from the first leg, a positive result at the Etihad on 7 August will see us book a place in the tournament to be played in Portugal, out of which the 2020 winners will emerge. 

"Madrid have just secured their 34th La Liga title after winning all 10 matches since the restart. They are in fine form and Pep knows we will have to be at full pelt to ensure we go to Lisbon with a chance of winning the Champions League."

"He said: 'These games are about the mentality - not the tactics," he said. It will be a good test to see if we are ready to play against Madrid. But itโ€™s now a semi final and there are a lot of factors: concentration, set pieces, throw-ins, the minimal details, how strong you are in your head, how you are in the bad moments. How you overcome the bad situations that are going to happen, how you never give up.'

"Today is a huge semi-final. But itโ€™s also an audition."

18:55

โญโญโญโญโญ

18:47

Club Journalist Neil Leigh ๐Ÿ“

"Kevin De Bruyne and Raheem Sterling both return to the starting lineup as City make five changes.

"De Bruyne and Sterling were both rested for our 2-1 Premier League home win over Bournemouth in midweek but are restored to Pep Guardiolaโ€™s side to face the Gunners with a place in the final at stake.

"The City boss has selected a powerful looking starting XI with centre-halves Aymeric Laporte and Eric Garcia and attacking winger Riyad Mahrez also recalled.

"Goalkeeper Claudio Bravo was ruled out with a muscular injury with Ederson starting while former England stopper Scott Carson is named among the substitutes.

"John Stones, Nicolas Otamendi, Fernandinho, Bernardo Silva and Phil Foden โ€“ who all started against the Cherries โ€“ also figure on the bench this evening along with Rodrigo, Joao Cancelo and Oleks Zinchenko."

18:40

Gabriel Jesus ๐Ÿ’ฌ

"Of course, if you see the last games against Arsenal, we won a lot but the reality is different.

"The next game is always the most difficult - anything can happen.

"We have to focus and prepare for this game.

"Always when I play, I try to score. I hope I can play and score again!"

18:30

Your 15-minute countdown โฑ

Settle down on the sofa and get ready for team news and our special FA Cup semi-final edition of We're Not Really Here - both at 6:45pm BST!

Tonight's guests on the show are Shaun Wright-Phillips, Michael Brown and Paul Dickov with SWP joining presenter Kyle Walker at Wembley, while Brown and Dickov are stationed back at our Etihad studio with anchor Cel Spellman.

Don't forget to share your thoughts with #WNRH!

18:25

Pieces of history ๐Ÿ”ท๐Ÿ”ท๐Ÿ”ท

Our new 2020/21 PUMA home kit makes its debut tonight ๐Ÿ˜

Paying homage to Manchester - our beloved city, brimming with football and creativity.- the pattern has been inspired by the famous mosaics located in the creative hub of Manchesterโ€™s Northern Quarter.

The new home shirt features the mosaic pattern in classic City blue and white, with navy trim. The kit is completed with white shorts and light blue socks.

Mosaics have also been an important part of Manchester Cityโ€™s proud history, stretching back almost 100 years to when the original City mosaic first adorned the gates of our former Maine Road home.

The new City kit is available to buy now at PUMA.com, ManCity.com and in stores around the world, including the CityStore at the Etihad Stadium which is open today from 10am to 6pm. 

18:19

Did you know...? ๐Ÿค”

๐Ÿ”น Holders City are looking to reach the FA Cup Final in consecutive years for the third time, also doing so in 1933/1934 and 1955/1956.

๐Ÿ”น We are unbeaten in our past nine matches at Wembley Stadium - last losing against Arsenal in the 2017 FA Cup semi-final, which was our last defeat against the Gunners in all competitions.

๐Ÿ”น We have won our last seven meetings with the Gunners by an aggregate score of 20-2. Only against Leeds have Arsenal ever lost more consecutive matches in their history (eight).

๐Ÿ”น City have won 10 of our past 12 FA Cup semi-final matches, with our two defeats in that time coming against Arsenal (1932 and 2017).

๐Ÿ”น This is just the fifth FA Cup meeting between the two sides, with City victorious in the first in February 1904, and Arsenal claiming the next three (March 1932, February 1971 and April 2017).

18:07

One of our own ๐ŸŒŸ

Phil Foden has had a part in seven goals in just six FA Cup appearances (4 goals, 3 assists), averaging a goal involvement every 57 minutes in the competition.

And he bagged a goal against the Gunners in the first game back after the restart!

17:57

Walker (on playing behind-closed-doors) ๐Ÿ’ฌ

"Of course, it's going to be a little bit different because the fans give the atmosphere when you've got all the blue shirts behind you - whether you're attacking and they're in front of you or defending and they're behind.

"It gives you extra motivation, knowing they've made the effort to travel in their thousands from Manchester to London.

"It's still a special moment. It's the last English game of the year.

"It's definitely important to keep that. It's a massive game for us if we get to the Final at the end of the season."

17:51

Kyle Walker ๐Ÿ’ฌ

"This, for me, is a massive competition in the English game.

"For us to go and do this again back-to-back would be fantastic and then if we could get the Champions League as well, that would be a fantastic season.

"Winning the FA Cup would dampen the pain of surrendering the Premier League, definitely.

"What we did for the last two seasons, I don't think we got the praise we deserve.

"To do that year in, year out, playing 50+ games - almost winning every one - and reaching that number of Finals in one year... That's a lot of games.

"It's not just the 11 competing week in, week out - it's up to 20, playing their part in the season.

"We've already won the Carabao Cup and we're in the semi-finals of the FA Cup.

"Both the FA Cup and Champions League are massive."

17:44

Early team news ๐Ÿ“‹

Ederson will be in goal today, after Pep Guardiola confirmed Claudio Bravo will miss the game with an injury.

Bravo, who usually deputises for Ederson in domestic cup competitions, has not recovered from the muscular problem which prevented him from being involved against Brighton and Hove Albion and Bournemouth.

There is better news for Joao Cancelo, however, who has returned to full fitness in time for Saturdayโ€™s trip to Wembley, whilst Guardiola has no new injury concerns.

Our full starting XI will be revealed at 6:45pm BST...

17:32

FA Cup fever ๐Ÿ†

A very good evening from W...ythenshawe, South Manchester ๐Ÿ‘‹

Yep, like you lovely lot, I'll be watching our beloved City in action from the comfort of my sofa, as we lock horns with Arsenal in the semi-finals of the FA Cup.

Of course, we'd all love to have been travelling down the fantastically familiar route to Wembley today (perhaps frequenting the infamous Green Man upon arrival!) but as you know, that's sadly not an option at the moment due to the COVID-19 restrictions.

However, our roving reporter Rob Pollard (Head of Written Content) has made the trip down south and will be providing behind-the-scenes updates so this is the best place to be for fly-on-the-wall coverage.

And although there may be no snaps at the service station, donning the super sky blue, or the flying of flags out of car windows, we'd still love to hear how you're tuning in tonight - and where from - and your thoughts on the game!

As ever, get in touch using #WNRH... Come on, City!

10:10

Opposition view ๐Ÿ’ฌ

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta knows City well, of course, from his time here as our assistant coach working under Pep.

And he was in upbeat mood at his pre-match press conference.

"What I need now is energy to transmit to my players, belief and it's the FA Cup - we have a lot of experience here and we have a history related to that. Let's go for it.

"I want to focus on what we want to do. If I worry too much about them, it's not the message that I want to send to the players."

10:01

We're Not Really Here ๐Ÿ“บ

There is a exciting new look to our We're Not Really here format this evening.

Shaun Wright-Phillips, Michael Brown and Paul Dickov will all be joining us for our extra special FA Cup semi-final WNRH live show. 

SWP will join presenter Kyle Walker (the presenter, not the player!) at Wembley, while Brown and Dickov will be back at our Etihad studio with anchor Cel Spellman.

Tune in to see what they have to see before and after the game!

09:56

Time check โŒš

With the match itself, as well as our unmissable live matchday show, We're Not Really Here, there is plenty going on this evening to keep you entertained.

Here are all the key (UK) times you need to be aware of!

๐Ÿ”น 17:45 - Live coverage starts here in our Matchday Centre
๐Ÿ”น 18.40 - Our live pre-match show - We're Not Really Here - begins.
๐Ÿ”น 18.45 - Team news
๐Ÿ”น 19.45 - Kick-off
๐Ÿ”น 21:30 (approx) - Our live post-match show begins.

09:49

Up for the Cup!! ๐Ÿ†

A very good morning Blues!

It's FA Cup day for Manchester City, and a big one at that, as we travel to Wembley to tackle Arsenal in the 2020 semi-final.

A place in the final and a return trip to Wembley Stadium is at stake for Pep Guardiola's men, who will be aiming to go within one game of defending the famous piece of silverware we won last year. 

The action gets under way at 19:45 (UK) and, as always, we will be here to provide live coverage from around 17.45.

Until then, we'll be posting a few things to keep you entertained and informed ahead of kick-off.

COME ON, CITY! ๐Ÿ’ช

Other games that day

  • Manchester United0
    Chelsea0
    KO