Arsenal surprised the football world with an impressive 2-0 win against Manchester City in the FA Cup semi-final. The win takes the Gunners to their 19th FA Cup final, where they will be looking to engrave their names for the 14th time on the historic piece of silverware.
Both clubs named strong line-ups with neither manager messing about with the team-sheet. Arsenal, in particular, headed into this match-up feeling good about themselves, having put in a monumental shift just a few days before to defeat Premier League champions Liverpool.
Although Manchester City took the inititaitve to try and score the opener, it was Arsenal who edged ahead in the 19th minute, courtesy of a smart Aubameyang finish. City tried their best to get back to level terms, but were far from their best, as a defensively resolute Arsenal kept their attackers at bay. The lead was doubled in the 71st minute by the Gabonese striker again, and the rest of the match was seen out comfortably by the Londoners.
Here are the hits and flops from yet another exhilarating FA Cup encounter at Wembley.
#5 Hit - Ainsley Maitland-Niles
Perhaps the only surprise inclusion in the Arsenal starting line-up today, Maintland-Niles more than repaid the faith bestowed upon him by Mikel Arteta at full-time. The versatile 22 year-old played as a left wing-back against City and was tasked with keeping Riyad Mahrez and Kevin de Bruyne in check. The Englishman did his job perfectly, whilst also bursting down the left wing to join attacks when Arsenal had the ball.
It was a very encouring performance from Maitland-Niles who will be hoping that his manager would be starting him more often after this stellar performance.
#4 Flop - Gabriel Jesus
Having regained his goalscoring touch in the Premier League, Jesus headed into this game with new-found confidence. Unfortunately for the Cityzens, none of it was on display on Saturday evening. The Brazilian had some good touches and held up the ball well, but there was absolutely nothing else to add to his performance. He was nowhere to be seen when City desperately searched for a goal, and his playing style was far too passive for what the game required.
He lacked directness and a real desire to get on the scoresheet. One cannot help but think how the Guardiola's men would've fared with Sergio Aguero in the team instead, as City ended up having only one shot on target the entire evening.