Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger celebrates the FA Cup semi-final win over Manchester City.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger celebrates the FA Cup semi-final win over Manchester City. DOMENIC AQUILINA

Gunners shoot down City to reach FA Cup final

UNDER-FIRE Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said his team stayed "strong and united" in its 2-1 extra-time FA Cup semi-final win over Manchester City at Wembley.

Alexis Sanchez scored the winner as the Gunners came from behind to reach a third FA Cup final in four years.

Arsenal will play Chelsea after reaching a record 20th final, an eight under Wenger, who has won the FA Cup six times.

"People questioned us, we went through tough times," Wenger said.

"You can be divided or united and we have shown the right response."

Wenger, 67, is out of contract at the end of the season and has been offered a new two-year deal, although he is yet to announce whether he will continue.

Some sections of Arsenal fans have protested against the Frenchman in recent months, but the manager was pleased to see his side fight back after falling behind to Sergio Aguero's opener.

Nacho Monreal equalised to set up extra time with Sanchez bundling the ball home after City failed to clear a Mezut Ozil free-kick.

"You know I feel the club is in a very strong shape, and that we have a very strong overall situation and a very strong team," Wenger said.

"One day I will leave anyway so the most important thing is that Arsenal will always be a great club that everybody admires.

"I felt it was a big test for us today, a mental test because many people question if we can turn up on an occasion like this.

"It was a very tight game but overall I think we deserved to win the game. The players showed great togetherness."

Sanchez and Mesut Ozil have been linked with moves away from Arsenal but after the Sanchez scored his 24th goal of the season, Wenger said he expected the Chilean to stay.

"Alexis Sanchez was like the team. He had problems at the start and became stronger and stronger," he said.

"He is an animal, always ready to kill the opponent. He will never give up.

"He will be here next year because he has a contract and hopefully we will manage to extend him."

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola said he was happy with how his team played despite the defeat meaning he would end a season without a trophy for the first time in his coaching career.

"We performed like we would want to in a final," he said.

"We did absolutely everything. Congratulations to Arsenal. We'll improve next season.

"We competed here, we had more chances but the finishing was like it has been throughout the season."

News Corp Australia


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