Category Archives: FA Cup

Arsenal wins record seventh FA Cup under Wenger

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Arsenal won 2-1 against Premier League Champions Chelsea for Arsene Wenger to secure a record seventh FA Cup title in his 21st season as manager of the club.

The Gunners began with all guns blazing at Wembley as Alexis Sanchez scored the opening goal after only four minutes, when referee Anthony Taylor overruled his assistant after he had been flagged for offside against Aaron Ramsey, although Chelsea also complained that Sanchez had handled in the process.

While they had some right to rue that particular decision, they would have none as Victor Moses was correctly sent off by Taylor in the second half after receiving a second yellow card for diving.

As Arsenal dominated the game for long periods, they remained unable to capitalise on their chances as Danny Welbeck and Ramsey both found the woodwork, with Blues defender Gary Cahill also contributing perfect clearances that helped Chelsea stay in the game.

Chelsea striker Diego Costa then equalized as Arsenal keeper David Ospina failed to keep out his deflected shot with 14 minutes left to keep a domestic double in sight for the Premier League winners.

However, Arsenal were not one to be denied as Ramsey — who had scored the FA Cup final winner against Hull City back in 2014 — did it again with a header as Olivier Giroud’s cross found him free.

And as the final whistle sounded, Arsene Wenger would decorate a season of heavy criticism with a record 13th FA Cup win for Arsenal— and a record seventh for the Frenchman.

His team had not been favourites against Manchester City in the semi-final as well as here in Wembley — a point Wenger used to pay further tribute to his team.

“You cannot get two tougher opponents, but we produced two outstanding performances,” he said. “That is what makes me particularly proud, because no one gave us a chance at Wembley and we responded with attitude and class.”

“We had an outstanding performance from the first minute onwards. This team has suffered, but they’ve united and responded. They showed strength and unity and played spectacular football.”

Arsenal wards off major interest to sign Sead Kolasinac

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Schalke 04’s Sead Kolasinac will be the first to join Arsenal in the transfer window this summer after agreeing personal term and a medical at the Emirates.

Kolasinac has made near to 130 senior appearances for Schalke since joining from Stuttgart in 2011 and is likely to become a regular in the Arsenal defence next season.

Although a defensive player, Kolasinac, 23, has been involved in eight goals this season — twice as many as in his first four Bundesliga seasons combined.

His move will represent something of a coup for Arsenal as major clubs such as AC Milan, Chelsea, Everton, Juventus and Manchester City have all expressed interest in Kolasinac.

Arsene Wenger has been looking to reinforce the Gunners defense after frequent exposures of a lacking back line this season. The importing of Kolasinac into the fold of the Premier League would is a sign of his first step in doing so.

The Bosnia & Herzegovina international will move to London on a free transfer his contract at Schalke expires on June 30. He was in England two weeks ago for a sponsorship event and underwent medical tests during his short trip.

While Wenger insisted in his pre-match press conference ahead of Sunday’s FA Cup semi-final clash against Manchester City that no deal had been agreed for Kolasinac, other reports claimed that the defender will become an Arsenal player once his contract with Schalke expires this summer.

FA Cup: United charged but Marcos Rojo in the clear

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The Football Association (FA) charged Manchester United with failing to control their players although it appears that Marcos Rojo will escape any retrospective action after his stamp on Eden Hazard.

Both incidents occurred in United’s 1-0 defeat in the FA Cup quarter final by Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

“Manchester United have been charged for failing to control its players. It follows an incident in the 35th minute of the FA Cup quarter-final against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge,” a statement from the FA read. “The club have until 6pm on Friday to respond to the charge.”

This happened after referee Michael Oliver’s sending off of Ander Herrera, which prompted several United players to surround the official and argue with him. It was Herrera’s second yellow for tripping Hazard after drawing an earlier booking from Oliver for a body check on the Belgian.

Herrera’s dismissal also came after the referee’s warning to United captain Chris Smalling that United, being engaged in systematic fouling of Chelsea’s players, would have their next indiscretion answered with the issuing of a yellow card.

In a separate incident, Rojo appeared to make contact with Hazard’s chest towards the end of the tie, but Oliver did not appear to see this. He did not warn Rojo or censure the defender with a booking.

Rojo’s escape would come as a irony as not two weeks ago, Bournemouth’s Tyrone Mings was handed a five-match suspension for stamping on Zlatan Ibrahimovic during United’s 1-1 draw with Bournemouth.

Nonetheless, Herrera will miss the Premier League matches against West Bromwich Albion and Middlesbrough along with Ibrahimovic. For the latter player they are the second and third matches of a three-game ban he received for elbowing Mings in the game with Bournemouth.

FA Cup: Man United to play Chelsea without forwards

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Manchester United will face Chelsea in the FA Cup quarter-finals without any of their forwards.

Red Devils captain Wayne Rooney was ruled out with injury after a collision with Phil Jones in training, while top scorer Zlatan Ibrahimovic begins a three-game ban for elbowing Bournemouth’s Tyrone Mings.

With forwards Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford (illness) also both missing for the holders, United coach Jose Mourinho has no recognised striker available for selection.

Their busy schedule also saw them play Rostov in Russia in the Europa League, which sets them far apart from Chelsea’s more relaxed schedule — the Blues do not feature in Europe this season.

But Mourinho is yet to throw in the towel.

“We cannot go with Nicky Butt’s team [players from the under-23 team, managed by former United midfielder Butt],” the Portuguese said at the pre-match conference.

“Manchester United is too big. Manchester United is the winner of the competition. It is not Chelsea’s fault fault that we were given this Monday match, so we have to make changes for sure… but we cannot go to Stamford Bridge with a Nicky Butt team.”

On the other hand, his Chelsea counterpart Antonio Conte has a fully-fit squad at his disposal, and will host the Manchester club at Stamford Bridge, where the Blues managed 12 consecutive home wins in all competitions.

Match facts:

  • Both teams have met on 11 occasions in the FA Cup. United won 8, while Chelsea won 3.
  • Only two of those games were after 2000, and Chelsea won both.
  • Under Conte, the Blues are also unbeaten in their last 11 league and cup games against United (W6, D5), and have only conceded three times in their last nine encounters.
  • United won only two of their last 19 league and cup games at Stamford Bridge (D6, L11).

Prediction:

Chelsea 2 — 0 Manchester United