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Sheffield United 1-2 Arsenal Player Ratings as Dani Ceballos propels Gunners to FA Cup semi-final with dramatic stoppage-time winner

Dani Ceballos stepped up for Arsenal against Sheffield United
Dani Ceballos stepped up for Arsenal against Sheffield United
ANALYST
Modified 28 Jun 2020, 20:21 IST
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Arsenal defeated a well-drilled Sheffield United outfit to qualify for the semi-finals of the FA Cup earlier today. The Gunners did not have the easiest of games and were troubled by Sheffield United's aerial ability throughout the match.

The victory will serve as a welcome boost of morale for Mikel Arteta's side. Arsenal has managed to put stinging defeats against Manchester City and Brighton to bed with consecutive away victories against Southampton and Sheffield United.

The Gunners host a struggling Norwich side in the EPL in their next fixture and will look to build on their good performances in the last two matches.

Arsenal qualify for next round after late drama against Sheffield United

Sheffield United showed plenty of heart against the Gunners
Sheffield United showed plenty of heart against the Gunners

Arsenal struggled to create any meaningful chances despite monopolising possession in the opening stages of the game. Sheffield United found plenty of joy on Arsenal's flanks and the Gunners' lack of physicality nearly cost them twice in the first 15 minutes.

John Lundstram's goal was correctly ruled out for offside and David McGoldrick nearly got on the scoresheet a few minutes later after yet another Sheffield United set-piece. Arsenal started to grow into the game and some good hold-up play from Alexandre Lacazette won the Gunners a penalty just before the cooling break.

Nicolas Pepe stepped up to open the scoring for Arsenal and continued to link up well with his compatriot in the final third. The Gunners experienced a boost in confidence after the goal and nearly added a second after Pepe latched on to a low cross from Kieran Tierney but was unable to find the target.

Sheffield United upped the ante early in the second half and had yet another goal ruled out for offside. Chris Basham had an excellent opportunity to make amends only minutes later but was inexplicably unable to find the back of the net with his header.

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David McGoldrick equalised for the home side in the 87th minute after a miserable clearance from Rob Holding. With extra-time looming, Dani Ceballos decided to take matters into his own hands and scored a brilliant goal to propel Arsenal to yet another FA Cup semi-final.


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Emiliano Martinez - 7.5/10

Despite Sheffield United's presence in Arsenal's half, Emiliano Martinez did not have much to do in Arsenal's goal. The Argentine goalkeeper made a sharp save from Billy Sharp late in the game and was left stranded by his defence for Sheffield's equaliser.

Shkodran Mustafi - 6.5/10

Shkodran Mustafi was composed with the ball at his feet but struggled to deal with Oliver McBurnie's aerial prowess. The German defender was furious with his teammate Rob Holding for failing to clear his lines in the build-up to David McGoldrick's goal.

David Luiz - 7/10

David Luiz is not particularly a fan favourite at Arsenal at the moment but put in an assured performance at the heart of Arsenal's defence. The Brazilian defender pulled a muscle a few minutes into the second half and was replaced by Rob Holding.

Sead Kolasinac - 7/10

Sead Kolasinac started as the third centre-back for Arsenal and used his pace well to bring the ball out of defence. The Arsenal defender was largely dependable but misplaced a few passes and was taken by surprise in the build-up to Sheffield United's goal.

Kieran Tierney - 8/10

Kieran Tierney was no match for Sheffield United's aerial prowess but wore his heart on his sleeve and was a constant threat in the final third. The Scottish full-back drilled in several low crosses into Sheffield United's penalty area and tracked back brilliantly throughout the game.

Ainsley Maitland-Niles - 7/10

Ainsley Maitland-Niles was a livewire on the right flank and gave his opposite number plenty to deal with in the final third. The Arsenal youngster linked up well with Nicolas Pepe and will have made Mikel Arteta happy with his performance.

Granit Xhaka - 6.5/10

Granit Xhaka was comfortable in possession but struggled to influence the game in the second half. The former Arsenal captain managed the game well and drew several fouls to give Arsenal some much-needed control in the midfield.

Joe Willock - 7/10

Joe Willock had a decent first half-hour for Arsenal and pressed Sheffield United well. The young midfielder was involved in a nasty collision in the first half-hour but recovered well and managed a few good dribbles in the second half.

Bukayo Saka - 7/10

Bukayo Saka was given an opportunity in Arsenal's front line today but had very little impact in the first half as most of Arsenal's play came from the right side of the pitch. The Arsenal youngster drifted into a more central position in the second half and led most of Arsenal's counter-attacking play.

Nicolas Pepe stepped up to take the penalty for Arsenal
Nicolas Pepe stepped up to take the penalty for Arsenal

Nicolas Pepe - 7.5/10

The former Lille winger was Arsenal's chief threat on the right flank and stepped up to score an excellent penalty against Dean Henderson. Nicolas Pepe used his trickery well throughout the match and had a hand in Arsenal's late winner.

Alexandre Lacazette - 7.5/10

Arsenal's French striker was clever with his hold-up play and drew Chris Basham into a rash challenge just inside the penalty area to gift Arsenal a goal in the first half. Lacazette was a persistent threat throughout his time on the pitch and did well to keep possession for Arsenal on several occasions.


Substitutes

Rob Holding - 5.5/10

Rob Holding came on as a substitute and was largely responsible for Sheffield United's equaliser late in the game. The Arsenal defender miserably failed to clear the ball and his resulted lob was slotted into the net by a lurking David McGoldrick.

Dani Ceballos - 8/10

Dani Ceballos was Arsenal's impact substitute today. The creative midfielder did not see much of the ball but displayed wonderful skill and technique to slide the ball past an onrushing Dean Henderson and win the game for Arsenal.

Edward Nketiah - 7.5/10

Eddie Nketiah was brought on for Alexandre Lacazette in the last half-hour and was a lively presence for Arsenal. The young striker did well to find Nicolas Pepe in the build-up to Arsenal's second goal and had a good outing.

Sokratis Papastathopoulos - NA

Arsenal's Greek defender came on in stoppage-time to solidify Arsenal's back-line and did not have enough time to make an impact.


Also Read: Norwich City 1-2 Manchester United (AET): Player Ratings from the game as Maguire's dramatic winner fires Red Devils to FA Cup semi-finals

Published 28 Jun 2020, 20:21 IST
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