RETURNING TO WEMBLEY
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger betrays his emotions at the final whistle at Wembley yesterday after seeing his side come from behind to beat Manchester City 2-1 in the second FA Cup semi-final, setting up a showdown with Chelsea on May 27.
MANAGER Arsene Wenger insists Arsenal’s FA Cup semi-final triumph over Manchester City proved doubters wrong over their big-game credentials.
Despite a rugged first-half display, the Gunners fell behind thanks to Sergio Aguero’s secondhalf strike, but showed resilience and responded through Nacho Monreal’s equaliser before Alexis Sanchez booked their place in next month’s final in extra-time.
In arguably Arsenal’s biggest game of the season, Wenger’s men dug deep and fought for the victory, something the Frenchman applauded.
The Gunners boss said: “I felt it was a big test for us, a mental test because many people question if we can turn up on an occasion like this and that’s why I’m very proud of the players because they stayed united and determined.
“We had a strong response; we had a little bit of a cautious start, hesitant sometimes, but we didn’t give chances away and we grew into the game and slowly we became better and better.
“In the second half we were very strong and in extra-time very strong. We always looked solid and dangerous because we played more in the second half.
“I want them (the players) to enjoy playing together and to play for the club. That is, for me, the most important thing and to reach the targets we set together.
City boss Pep Guardiola failed to understand how Raheem Sterling’s first-half ‘goal’ was ruled out, but insists his side will become a stronger team next season.
Sterling smashed home a rebound off Petr Cech, but the ball was ruled to have drifted out of play beforehand from Leroy Sane’s cross. Replays suggested the linesman made the wrong call.
“The linesman could not see that situation,” Guardiola said. “And to see that ball you have to be in line and when you are four or five metres away you cannot see it.”