Guardiola's 1st season at Man City to end without a trophy

Posted April 24, 2017

"The FA Cup is our target - and finishing in the top four, because honestly, we can't win the Premier League", Monreal told the club's website ( ahead of Sunday's FA Cup semi-final against Manchester City.

Victory in the FA Cup Final against Chelsea will not appease those supporters who believe Wenger is incapable of ensuring Arsenal compete for the biggest prizes, but the prospect of another Wembley trip will help lighten the mood around London Colney after a troubled period.

It was a risky proposition given City's talented playmakers but Arsenal gradually grew in strength and confidence as the match wore on, lasting the pace better than City whose players notably worn out.

Arsenal could still lift their third FA Cup in four seasons and secure a Champions League qualification spot, and Wenger said: "When you have negative results like we had, it can divide or unite".

This was Pep Guardiola's 50th match as manager with City, but the first time he has named an unchanged starting line-up.

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City had lead through Sergio Aguero, who looked to have overrun the ball when one-one-one with Petr Cech but the goalkeeper was slow to react which allowed Aguero to dink the ball over him and into the net.

While Manchester City has a slim (albeit unlikely) shot of winning the Premiership, Arsenal's chances of claiming the Premier League's title are shot to hell.

Spanish worldwide Nacho Monreal equalised nine minutes later, from a cross by Arsenal's other wing back Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

But Guardiola felt City had a goal wrongly ruled out in the first half when Sterling scored from a Leroy Sane that was adjudged to have a drifted out of play.

In a much livelier second half Toure robbed Aaron Ramsey and sent Aguero away from the halfway line for the Argentine to dink the ball past Cech for his 12th goal in as many games.

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Sane, 21, has developed into a key player for City since his move from Schalke previous year, including scoring nine goals so far this season.

And the woodwork denied City again in the closing stages as Fernandinho's header from eight yards crashed against the crossbar from Kevin De Bruyne's corner.

However Arsenal showed good spirit throughout and equalised in through an unlikely source, Nacho Monreal, when he volleyed in Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain's excellent cross.

But the north Londoners showed unexpected spirit as Nacho Monreal equalised to force extra-time before Chile forward Sanchez bagged the victor from close-range.

Pep Guardiola has a flawless record at Wembley, with two victories to date, one as a player and one as a manager. Sanchez has carried this team all year but he can only do so far and with a weak defence there are problems here.

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On Sunday, both Silva and Aguero had to be replaced in the extra-time loss versus Arsenal, while the health of both Gabriel Jesus and John Stones is in doubt too.