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Arsenal 2-0 Man City: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang guides Gunners into FA Cup final

Aubameyang’s brilliant breakaway goal doubles Gunners lead

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta outmanoeuvred his mentor Pep Guardiola as the Gunners reached the FA Cup final with victory at Wembley.

Arteta, who left his job as Manchester City assistant manager to succeed Unai Emery at Arsenal in December, now has a chance to mark his first season in charge with major silverware when they face Chelsea or Manchester United in the final on 1 August.

The match-winner was Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, the world-class striker Arsenal are desperate to secure on a new long-term contract, as he ruthlessly exposed City’s defensive deficiencies.

Aubameyang had already shot straight at Ederson with one clear chance but there was no escape for City after 19 minutes when he showed great technique to steer home Nicolas Pepe’s cross with the outside of his foot at the far post.

City dominated possession after the break but squandered their opportunities and Aubameyang made them pay once more in the 71st minute when he raced away on the angle to slide a composed finish under the keeper.

Aubameyang shows importance to Gunners

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang gives Arsenal FA Cup lead

This was a personal triumph for Arteta and completes a superb week after the victory over Premier League champions Liverpool at Emirates Stadium on Wednesday.

And there was so much to admire about Arsenal’s willingness to adopt a courageous gameplan, happy to patiently keep possession – often in their own area – with one such passage of play leading to Aubameyang’s opener.

As against Liverpool, Arsenal were well-organised and resilient at the back, willing to throw bodies on the line to repel the wave of City attacks in the second half as the holders tried to hold on to the FA Cup.

David Luiz had the sort of nightmare many believed would end his Arsenal career when they played City in their first post-lockdown game at Etihad Stadium, making a mistake leading to a goal then being sent off after conceding a penalty.

This was the other side of the maverick Brazilian defender, a rock at the heart of Arsenal’s defence and a central figure in this victory.

The spearhead, however, was the 31-year-old Gabon striker Aubameyang, who was a huge threat throughout and illustrated exactly why he is among the game’s elite group of strikers.

An ever-present menace, his two finishes were of the highest quality and demonstrated his big-match temperament.

This is why Arsenal are so keen to get his signature on a lucrative new deal – and why they will have a chance of winning the FA Cup no matter who they face in the final.

Man City’s flaws exposed

Manchester City rightly receive plaudits for their classic purist style – but there is a faultline running through this team that manager Guardiola simply must address.

This is a side that can defeat anyone but also has a soft centre that makes them eminently beatable – there is a reason why they have lost nine times in the Premier League this season.

Guardiola’s side can be cut and carved open, as they were twice by Aubameyang here, and this must surely be central to their summer transfer activity.

As at Southampton recently, they had plenty of the ball after going behind but could not find a cutting edge. This is where master finisher Sergio Aguero is missed, especially as this was one of those rare occasions when Kevin de Bruyne’s radar was faulty.

City romped to a 6-0 victory in last season’s final against Watford, but there will be no repeat this year and that is because there are faults in this team that Arsenal – led by Arteta – were able to exploit.

Man of the match – Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Arsenal)

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has now scored 66 goals for Arsenal in all competitions. Since his debut for the club, only Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah (68) has scored more among Premier League players.

‘An incredible week’ – what they said

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta to BBC Sport: “We’ve had an incredible week to beat the best two teams in Europe, it doesn’t happen every day.

“I don’t care who plays, I can trust them – we made changes and everyone was ready.

“We had to suffer in many moments. We had to be really well-organised and minimise the spaces.”

On seeing Pep Guardiola after the game: “I high-fived him after the game and wished him luck. I love him like yesterday or this morning the same way.”

On Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s contract talks: “Hopefully it will help him to be more convinced we are going in the right direction.”

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola to MOTD: “We didn’t make a good performance, we were not ready enough. If you don’t play for 90 minutes in a semi-final this can happen. We didn’t play good, we are human beings. The opponent played good, sometimes it happens.

“The only regret is that we didn’t play the first half like we played the second one. We had to change the set-up but we couldn’t do it.”

City’s cup run comes to an end – the stats

  • Arsenal have reached the FA Cup final a record 21 times, with the Gunners also winning the competition more than any other side (13).
  • Manchester City have been eliminated from a domestic cup tie (League Cup and FA Cup) for the first time since February 2018 (FA Cup 5th Round v Wigan), with this their 22nd such tie since that game.
  • Arsenal have eliminated the holders of the FA Cup on each of the last six occasions they’ve faced them.
  • All four of Arsenal’s shots in this match were on target – indeed they had more shots on target in this match than they’d had in their previous three meetings with Manchester City combined (3).
  • Manchester City had just one shot on target in this match, their fewest in a game since April 2018 in the Champions League against Liverpool (0).
  • Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang became the fourth Arsenal player to score a competitive brace at Wembley Stadium, after Reg Lewis (1950 FA Cup final), Charlie Nicholas (1987 League Cup final) and Alexis Sanchez (2015 FA Cup semi-final).
  • Nicolas Pepe has been involved in 17 goals in all competitions for Arsenal this season (8 goals, 9 assists) – only Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (27) has been involved in more.

What’s next?

Both sides return to Premier League action as City face Watford at Vicarage Road on Tuesday, 21 July (18:00 BST), before Arsenal travel to Aston Villa later that evening (20:15).

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Castleknock see off Belvedere in dramatic Leinster Senior Cup clash to book place in last four

Courageous Castleknock held on in a dramatic endgame to make it to the Leinster Senior Cup semi-final at bitterly cold Energia Park today.

elvedere had to deal with a number of late changes, chief among them the loss of influential flanker Eoghan Rutledge and centre Patrick O’Farrell to add to that of full-back Dylan O’Grady.

Castleknock were not in the mood to show any sympathy, their scrum-half Conor Duggan going close from a lineout and prop Ben Griffin finishing the job in the fourth minute.

Then, Ian Birmingham burst from the front of another lineout, only to have his try called back for a crooked throw.

No matter, they were soon back in position for tight-head Griffin to double-up from a similar crash-ball carry, out-half Louis McDonagh adding the conversion for 12-0 in the 15th minute.

By this time, Belvedere knew they were in a battle for survival, wing Eoin MacAdaimh shooting through a gap, prop Jonathan Sargent testing Conor Delaney’s tackle and MacAdaimh bundled into touch by the combined efforts of Alex Watson and Duggan to preserve the status quo at the close of the half.

Belvedere had to have the next points, lock Darrah Coan carrying hard and centre Peter O’Farrell outstripping the cover for Jed Tormey to convert in the 43rd minute.

Now, Belvo had the front-foot ball and Duggan was asked to find relief with his right boot too often.

It looked ominous when Griffin was binned and the disadvantage was just too much, prop Sargent crashing over, Tormey converting from the left for the lead for the first time in the 59th minute.

Castleknock remained clear-headed, benefiting from a penalty decision for McDonagh to regain the lead in the 64th minute, holding on to the final whistle.

BELVEDERE: D Hawkshaw; J Dillon (J Maher 67), Peter O’Farrell, J Tormey, E MacAdaimh (W Finegan 47); F McCarrick, J McNiece (capt, Patrick O’Farrell 67)); J Sargent, C Marrey, H Flood, E Murphy, D Coan, J Ross, Z Hayden (D O’Driscoll ht), H McPeake (B McCabe 47).

CASTLEKNOCK: C Delaney; A Watson, F Gibbons, C Dunne (W Hennessy 37), J Rooney; L McDonagh (capt), C Duggan (C Mahon 62); B Bislin (G Quinn 65), A Creedon, B Griffin, L Callinan (J Duffy 64), S Callinan, F Stanley, C McCarrick, I Birmingham (E Keogh, 61 temp).

Referee: M Casey, Leinster Branch.

Online Editors

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Early goal sinks Brentford as Leicester advance to FA Cup fifth round

Soccer Football - FA Cup Fourth Round - Brentford v Leicester City - Griffin Park, Brentford, Britain - January 25, 2020 Leicester City's Kelechi Iheanacho celebrates scoring their first goal with teammate Demarai Gray REUTERS/Dylan Martinez
Soccer Football – FA Cup Fourth Round – Brentford v Leicester City – Griffin Park, Brentford, Britain – January 25, 2020 Leicester City’s Kelechi Iheanacho celebrates scoring their first goal with teammate Demarai Gray REUTERS/Dylan Martinez

A much-changed Leicester side progressed into the fifth round of the FA Cup thanks to an early strike by Kelechi Iheanacho at Brentford.

Brendan Rodgers called upon the former Manchester City striker with Jamie Vardy injured and he delivered to keep them on course for silverware in two competitions this season.

Next up for the Foxes is a Carabao Cup semi-final second leg against Aston Villa and they go into it after this 1-0 win where most of their regulars were rested.

Thomas Frank also made various changes with Brentford in Championship action against play-off rivals Nottingham Forest on Tuesday and saw his young XI struggle early on before pushing the Premier League outfit all the way.

In total 18 changes were made by both clubs – nine each – but it did not dampen the spirits of the home fans, who belted out a rendition of Hey Jude by the Beatles prior to kick-off.

Vardy was absent with a glute injury so Iheanacho replaced him up front and he put Ayoze Perez through on goal inside 20 seconds, but a superb clearance from Luka Racic stopped a certain opener with Luke Daniels rounded by Leicester’s number 17.

This was brief respite for Brentford because in the fourth minute the breakthrough occurred following a slick move.

Dennis Praet was afforded too much space in midfield and produced an exquisite crossfield ball across the floor out to James Justin and he crossed in for Iheanacho to open the scoring with his seventh goal of the season.

It could have been two for Vardy’s deputy with quarter of an hour gone, but Daniels was able to block well before Brentford created an opportunity of their own a minute later.

Jan Zamburek found Emiliano Marcondes inside the area and yet the hero of the third-round win over Stoke could only fire into the side-netting.

Brentford were boosted by the chance and produced another excellent move in the 20th minute with Dru Yearwood involved, but Halil Dervisouglu curled wide after some neat footwork and the promising opening had been wasted.

Frank’s young side, with six players aged 20 or below, stuck to their principles of playing out from the back although they were reminded of Leicester’s threat when Perez was brilliantly denied by Daniels just before half-time and Marc Albrighton headed the rebound over.

One of Brentford’s regulars, Kamohelo Mokotjo, was forced off with an injury at the break and replaced by fellow usual starter Josh Dasilva.

It was the fringe players who very nearly fashioned the equaliser with 62 on the clock, but the woodwork saved Leicester.

Marcondes whipped in a delightful cross, which Dervisouglu got the faintest of touches to and yet he saw his effort hit the post and Christian Fuchs managed to clear the danger at the back post.

The substitution of Iheanacho with 22 minutes left at Griffin Park further highlighted the Foxes priority this week being the Carabao Cup semi-final second leg away to Aston Villa on Tuesday.

Midfielder Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall was introduced in his place, with Rodgers eager for his side to see out the final exchanges with no last gasp scares.

He did not get his wish with Marcondes’ corner finding Racic and the defender volleying towards goal, but fortunately for the visitors Danny Ward produced a strong hand to tip the effort over.

Frank’s final roll of the dice was to bring on 11-goal man Bryan Mbeumo and he did find the net, but he was correctly ruled to be offside and Griffin Park bid farewell to the FA Cup after a 1-0 loss to Leicester, with Brentford set to move into their new stadium in the summer.

PA Media

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BREAKING FA Cup TV dates and times confirmed as BT Sport and BBC announce picks for third round

Arsenal’s mouthwatering showdown with Leeds in the third round of the FA Cup will be shown live on the BBC.

Meanwhile Manchester United’s visit to Wolves will be broadcasted by BT Sport.

Arsenal vs Leeds – BBC

Wolves vs Manchester United – BT Sport

Middlesbrough vs Tottenham – BT Sport

Rochdale or Boston vs Newcastle – BT Sport

Gillingham vs West Ham – BT Sport

Liverpool vs EvertonBBC

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Blue Bombers fan fulfills promise, wears pants for 1st time in 18 years after Grey Cup win

A Winnipeg Blue Bombers fan can finally wear pants for the first time in 18 years after his team won the Grey Cup in Calgary on Sunday.

Blue Bombers fan, who won’t wear pants until they win, touches down in Calgary for Grey Cup

Chris Matthew made a no pants pledge in 2001, promising friends he would only wear shorts until the Bombers won the cup.

Winnipeg Blue Bombers fan Chris Matthew put on pants for the first time in 18 years after his team won the Grey Cup on Nov. 24, 2019, making good on the promise he made.

Winnipeg Blue Bombers fan Chris Matthew put on pants for the first time in 18 years after his team won the Grey Cup on Nov. 24, 2019, making good on the promise he made.

Global News

With the Bombers winning the championship — beating the Hamilton Tiger-Cats 33-12 — Chris’ calves were bare no more.

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Blue Bombers fan hopes to break 18-year ‘no pants’ streak Sunday

“It feels really, really odd. It feels like things are crawling on my legs, to tell you the truth,” he said after putting on army-print pants immediately following the game.

His wife Darla Matthew was happy with the Grey Cup’s result.

“Now he doesn’t have to wear [shorts],” she said. “And this was the most amazing experience.”

Chris said he actually likes wearing shorts.

“After this is all said and done, I can put [pants] on if I have to go to a place now, but other than that, I’m going back to the shorts,” he said. “I quite like it.”


© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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90-year-old Blue Bombers superfan gets Grey Cup tickets for her birthday

Mariam Matti, Staff

Published Saturday, November 23, 2019 10:00PM EST

Last Updated Saturday, November 23, 2019 10:02PM EST

TORONTO — A Winnipeg Blue Bombers superfan is celebrating her 90th birthday by watching her favourite team take on the Hamilton Tiger-Cats at the 107th Grey Cup championship on Sunday.

June Figsby has cheered for her home team since she was in high school in the 1940s. 

“I’ve been a fan since 1945 and win or lose, they’re still my team and I keep cheering,” she told CTV News.

Joanne Basson, Figsby’s daughter, bought the Grey Cup tickets as a birthday gift for her mom.

“I know she’s been a fan for so many years,” said Basson. “I was born into it, so I’m a huge fan too.”

Decked out from head to toe in blue-and-gold Bombers gear, the pair are in Calgary this weekend hoping to see the team end a nearly 30-year dry spell.

The last championship the Bombers won was in 1990, beating the Edmonton Eskimos during the 78th Grey Cup.

“Not seeing the Grey Cup in Winnipeg has been really tough,” said Figsby.

Fans of the Tiger-Cats are also eager for a victory. The last time the team won a championship was 20 years ago when they beat the Calgary Stampeders in the 87th Grey Cup.

“In my head I’m already holding the cup with the team,” said Tiger-Cats fan Jason Adams.

Country star Keith Urban will headline the halftime show. Though Urban admitted Saturday that he’s never seen a CFL game before, he said he’s looking forward to watching alongside fans. 

“What a crash course right? To come and see the Grey Cup,” said the four-time Grammy winner.

Kickoff is scheduled for 6 p.m. ET at Calgary’s McMahon Stadium.

With a report from CTV’s Alberta Bureau Chief Janet Dirks

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