Arsenal 2-0 Manchester City: Auba and co clinically cut Apart Toothless "Shark Team"
Updated: Jul 19
By Daniel Finton (Deputy Editor)
Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal have now successfully completed two smash and grabs within the span of just three days. The opponents in which the robberies were committed against make said feat all the more smile-inducing for gooners around the globe. Against all odds, Arsenal defeated this year's champions and last year's domestic quadruple winners in the same week.
The defeat of last year's out and out, Kings of England, was far more satisfying than the Liverpool win, however. While it was luck that saw the reds of London scrape past Liverpool, it was a Mikel masterclass that earned us a spot in the FA Cup final against the Sky Blues of Manchester.
It is fair to say that City really should have made more of the game, but with that being said, it honestly seemed like the occasion got to Pep Guardiola’s men a bit. The side Benjamin Mendy once labeled “the shark team” smelled blood on a number of occasions, but they opted for the Hector Bellerin, vegan diet instead of their normal carnivorous one. City did not finish off the gunners to make a bloody mess like many, including myself, thought they would have done. The reigning FA cup champions had 16 shots and only 1 of which was on target.
On the contrary, Arsenal boast a 100% shot on target ratio from the match. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang showed he is indubitably world class once again, and with only three chances, he buried two. Admittedly, he should have scored the first one early on after David Luiz tremendously won possession and pulled off a sensational, long, grounded pass to put him in, but given Auba's clinicality for the other two, all is forgiven. It is worth noting that we did only take a quarter of the shots City did, but when you consider the fact that City’s shot accuracy lies at a depressing 6% on target, it shows how clinical we were.
In the end, the former pupil taught he who used to be his professor a lesson in the basics of football. It’s all fine and dandy ending a match with 71% possession and registering 16 shots, but when only one of them is on target, it is a bit embarrassing to be honest.
Prior to the game, City had 10 wins in their previous 12 FA cup semi-final draws and the gunners had not beaten them since 2017, when Nacho Monreal and Alexis Sanchez sent us through to an FA Cup Final.
But today, the gunners game plan was full proof. Set up a low block with a 3-4-3 formation and hit them on the counter attack. While the counter charging abilities of the forwards will get all the praise, the Arsenal back line deserves credit as well. The controversial defence protected the goal in such an organized and compact manner that City had to adjust their typical tactics and opt for a more “Liverpool-esque” one.
“Cross and Mashallah” was forced upon them and given their lack of presence in the air, the defence, with Luiz especially, made it look no threat at all. Luiz won 4 out of 4 aerial duels and Mustafi won 2 out of 3 battles in the air. Kevin De Bruyne and Mendy were the players that crossed the most often with the ginger trying 15 and pulling off 9 and the shark enthusiast attempting 9 and pulling off a meager 2.
Arsenal now await the result of the Manchester United Chelsea game to see who they will face in the final. Whichever way it goes, a progressive, young manager will win their first trophy for their respective team.
But all in all, today, Arsenal upset City and showed that when the pressure is on and everyone expects Pep’s men to prevail, the corrupt, oil-run side is more of a harmless nurse shark than a great white, bull or tiger. Step aside, shark fin soup, the big boys are in the final. See you next year. And to all the readers,