Alexis Sanchez ensured Arsenal’s stormy season will end with an FA Cup final after securing a 2-1 victory over Manchester City in extra time at Wembley Stadium on Sunday.
Arsenal will play Chelsea on May 27 in its third FA Cup final in four seasons. The competition has provided a comfort blanket for Arsene Wenger as he has failed to deliver the Premier League trophy since 2004.
But with Arsenal languishing in seventh place in the Premier League, and set to miss out on the Champions League, the heat remains on the manager whose contract expires at the end of the season.
Pep Guardiola’s first season in charge of City will end without silverware. That’s not what City was expecting when it hired the serial winner who had won titles in every campaign with Barcelona and Bayern Munich.
City had led against Arsenal in north London, with Sergio Aguero completing a second-half counterattack after Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey gave the ball away in the opposition half. But Arsenal displayed the resolve lacking so often this year to turn the semifinal around, with defender Nacho Monreal producing a rare goal.
And Sanchez came through for Arsenal in extra time, just as he did for the joint-record 12-time FA Cup winners in the 2015 semifinal, producing a winner in the 101st minute. Mesut Ozil’s free kick was headed down by Rob Holding, Danny Welbeck missed his attempt but Sanchez demonstrated his poacher’s instinct to nudge the ball over the line.
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