MX23RW : Wednesday, November 21 16:45:37
Apr 23, 2017 at 3pm UK at ​Emirates Stadium
Arsenal
2-1
Man CityManchester City
Monreal (71'), Sanchez (101')
FT(HT: 0-0)
Aguero (62')

Result: Alexis Sanchez sends Arsenal into FA Cup final with extra-time winner

Alexis Sanchez scores a 101st-minute winner for Arsenal in their FA Cup semi-final meeting with Manchester City, setting up a showdown with Chelsea at Wembley next month.

Arsenal remain on course for a record 13th FA Cup triumph after battling back from a goal down to beat Manchester City 2-1 after extra time at Wembley Stadium.

The Gunners trailed to a Sergio Aguero goal heading into the final quarter of the game, but Nacho Monreal fired home to take the tight semi-final the distance and Sanchez proved the hero in the 101st minute.

City hit the frame of the goal twice in the latter stages of the contest and had a goal incorrectly ruled out in the first half, but for the first time in nine appearances at this stage of the competition they came out second best in the end.

Arsenal players celebrate Alexis Sanchez's goal against Manchester City in the FA Cup semi-final on April 23, 2017© SilverHub

It was the officials who were more involved in the action in a goalless first half, being made to run the rule over a number of contentious decisions.

The first of those calls saw Gabriel Paulista somehow avoid a caution for a strong challenge on David Silva, which led to the Spaniard limping off the field before the opening quarter was over.

Both sides managed just one shot on target in the opening 45 minutes, coming in the space of 60 seconds as Olivier Giroud aimed a header straight at Claudio Bravo at one end and Silva was denied by Petr Cech at the other - his last involvement in the match.

Aguero blasted into the side-netting from his first real sight of goal, but he felt that he should have been awarded a penalty on the half-hour mark when his heels were clipped by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

Arsenal's Laurent Koscielny and Manchester City's Sergio Aguero during the FA Cup semi-final on April 23, 2017© SilverHub

Arsenal had a strong shout of their own turned down in the dying embers of the half, with Jesus Navas focusing more on dragging Alexis Sanchez to the ground than winning the ball, yet it was City who were more aggrieved to go into the break all square.

The Citizens saw far more of the ball in dangerous areas against an Arsenal side continuing its three-at-the-back experiment, and they should have been rewarded through substitute Raheem Sterling's close-range finish.

Leroy Sane's cross was turned goalwards by Aguero at the back post, only for Cech to parry into the path of Sterling who was waiting to pounce a few yards out, but the officials felt that Sane's initial cross had gone out of play - replays suggesting otherwise.

These sides had netted 207 goals between them in all competitions this season, but clear-cut chances were proving tough to come by at either end.

Nicolas Otamendi nodded into the ground and wide from a corner early in the second period and Sanchez was so nearly in following Bravo's slip, but the breakthrough moment did eventually arrive shortly after the hour.

Arsenal gave away possession through Aaron Ramsey and, a Yaya Toure ball over the top later, Aguero was clean through on goal and dinking it over Cech after his initial first touch tempted the Czech to race out.

A 12th goal in 12 outings for Aguero gave City, who lead the Gunners by seven points in the Premier League after playing one game more, something to hold on to in the remaining 30 minutes.

Hold on they could not, though, as the Gunners - competing at this stage for a 29th time - levelled up soon after when their two wing-backs combined to justify Arsene Wenger's big gamble.

Oxlade-Chamberlain swung in a delightful cross from the right, which was met emphatically by unlikely scorer Monreal at the back post with a right-footed volley past Bravo.

Arsenal's Nacho Monreal celebrates scoring his side's first goal during the FA Cup semi-final against Manchester City on April 23, 2017© SilverHub

There was a late chance for Toure to make himself a Wembley hero once again, sending a volley towards the bottom corner which Cech turned onto the post with his fingertips, while Fernandinho was denied moments later with a thumping header against the bar.

As the minutes ticked towards extra time, substitute Danny Welbeck decided against picking out Ramsey and instead attempted to whip the ball into the far corner, missing by a matter of inches in a thrilling end-to-end conclusion.

Rob Holding missed a good chance to edge his side ahead for the first time six minutes into extra time, but the Gunners did not have to wait much longer for the winning moment.

Sanchez bagged his fourth goal in three appearances at Wembley, prodding home when Ozil's free kick into the box fell into his path to send Arsenal through to an FA Cup final meeting with London rivals Chelsea in five weeks' time.

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Jesus Navas in action during the Champions League game between Manchester City and Celtic on December 6, 2016
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City1210203653132
2Liverpool129302351830
3Chelsea128402781928
4Tottenham HotspurSpurs1290320101027
5Arsenal1273226151124
6Bournemouth126242116520
7Watford126241714320
8Manchester UnitedMan Utd126242021-120
9Everton125431915419
10Leicester CityLeicester125251716117
11Wolverhampton WanderersWolves124441213-116
12Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton124261318-514
13West Ham UnitedWest Ham123361418-412
14Newcastle UnitedNewcastle12237915-69
15Burnley122371225-139
16Crystal Palace12228817-98
17Southampton12156821-138
18Cardiff CityCardiff122281125-148
19Huddersfield TownHuddersfield12147622-167
20Fulham121291131-205

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