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Gunners Shoot Down Blades in Extra Time

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Dani Ceballos’ injury time strike see Arsenal through to The semi-final of the FA Cup

 

Gunners Shoot Down Blades in Extra Time

Arsenal reached their 30th FA Cup Semi Final after a hard fought victory against Sheffield United at Bramall Lane on Sunday. The Gunners snatched victory in injury time from a Dani Ceballos strike into the bottom corner.

First Half

Sheffield United started the game very well and were putting the Gunners under some early pressure. The Blades could have been a goal up in the first 10 minutes after John Lundstrom put the ball into the net however replays show that he was at least a yard offside and VAR rightly ruled the goal out. Arsenal began to enjoy some possession and were awarded a penalty in the 22nd minute after Chris Basham went through the back of Alexandre Lacazette.

It was a soft one but anywhere on the pitch it is a foul so the referee had no choice but to award the spot kick, which was cooly dispatched by Nicolas Pepe into the bottom right hand corner. Arsenal had a chance to double their lead when Lacazette and Pepe linked superbly, forcing Dean Henderson into a very good save just before the half hour mark. Joe Willock and Oliver McBurnie clashed and there was a substantial break in play which lasted a couple of minutes. There was one final chance for Arsenal to make it two when Kieran Tierney volleyed just wide before 7 minutes of added time.

 

Second Half

Sheffield United had a big chance to make it level just 3 minutes after the break when McBurnie headed goalwards, however it was well saved by Martinez. The Blades had another goal chalked off for offside in the 58th minute when John Egan put the ball in but it was David McGoldrick in an offside position. United were ramping up the pressure and they finally got their reward in the 87th minute, thanks to some woeful defending from Arsenal. A long throw in which seemed to be the order of the day for United, came into the box with Kolasinac hitting the ball onto Mustafi which in turn fell to McGoldrick, who reacted quickly and hit the ball passed the Argentine Martinez for the equaliser.

The game looked like it was destined for extra time but Arsenal hit on the counter with Eddie Nketiah finding Pepe in the box. The winger ran a slightly wide but luckily Dani Ceballos was there, taking control of the ball and firing passed Henderson in the 91st minute, to put the Gunners back in front and only moments away from Wembley. It was far from vintage Arsenal but Mikel Arteta will be very happy with the way his side showed grit and determination to get the victory. Sheffield United’s dip in form since the restart continued and Chris Wilder will be looking to Thursday night when they host Tottenham. Arsenal are at home to relegation strugglers Norwich on Wednesday night, in what is their first home game since the restart.

 

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Massive football fan, recently started my own podcast which is mainly about football but I love all sports. I also do a bit of commentary at Maidstone United.

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