mai 24, 2024

FA Cup, Premier League highlights, Manchester City, Arsenal post wins

4 min read

Legendary manager Pep Guardiola blasted English football’s schedule makers after Manchester City kept their pursuit of back to back domestic doubles alive by booking a place in the FA Cup final.

Bernardo Silva’s late goal secured a 1-0 win against Chelsea in their semi-final on Sunday (AEST) – just three days after City’s Champions League defence was ended by Real Madrid.

City are aiming to win the FA Cup for an eighth time, while Guardiola can extend his trophy haul to 16 since joining the club if his team completes the double.

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Gary Lineker speaks to Pep Guardiola after Manchester City’s victory. (Getty)

He may look back on this game as being pivotal if City goes on to win the league and cup, given the physical and mental strain the week has had on his players after being taken to extra time and penalties by Madrid.

Defeat to Chelsea would have raised questions over City’s resolve in the final weeks of a campaign when Arsenal and Liverpool are threatening to take the Premier League title race all the way.

While Guardiola celebrated joyously, fist pumping to the crowd and embracing each of his players, he voiced his anger over the decision to make his team play on Sunday (AEST).

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He said the semi-final should have been moved back 24 hours due to City’s Champions League commitments.

« I don’t understand how we survived today. It’s unacceptable to play today. Today is one of the greatest things I have seen from my players, » Guardiola said.

« I just want to protect my players. It’s unacceptable, it’s common sense. I’m not asking for something special or privilege. »

Guardiola’s team had to dig deep at Wembley, with Chelsea creating the best of the chances before Bernardo struck an 84th minute winner.

A sweet moment for the Portuguese playmaker was even more special given his weak penalty was saved in the shootout loss to Madrid on Thursday (AEST).

« Very happy after a very frustrating week for all of us, for me personally, » Bernardo said.

Bernardo Silva of Manchester City reacts after missing his penalty. (Getty)

« The good thing is in football at Man City, you play every three days. Every three days you have the chance to put things right and now we have a chance to win another trophy. »

City hoped to become the first team to win back to back trebles after winning the Premier League, Champions League and FA Cup last season.

Without the injured Erling Haaland, it had to show character to bounce back after the disappointment of defeat to Madrid.

Chelsea had chances to take the lead, but Nicolas Jackson wasted three golden opportunities before Bernardo’s decisive moment – converting Kevin De Bruyne’s cross from the left via a deflection from Marc Cucurella.

« We conceded in a moment you should not concede, » Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino said.

« We were not capable of being clinical in front of goal, we had many chances but we did not score. In the game we were a little bit better and deserved more, but it is not about deserving it, it is about being clinical and we were not. »

Manchester United meets Coventry in the other semi-final on Monday (AEST).

Meanwhile, Arsenal rose to the summit of the Premier League with a 2-0 win against Wolves – showing resolve after a punishing week of their own.

Defeat to Aston Villa last weekend left Mikel Arteta’s team trailing City by two points at the top of the standings and that was followed by Champions League elimination at the hands of Bayern Munich.

After last season’s late title collapse, it looked like history was repeating itself.

But a 2-0 win at Wolves has gone some way to answering doubts about Arsenal’s credentials.

Leandro Trossard and Martin Odegaard scored late in each half.

Declan Rice of Arsenal looks dejected at Allianz Arena. (Getty)

« It was a tough week for us. A few tough results and hard emotionally but we had to keep going, » Odegaard said.

Arsenal are a point clear of City but have played an extra game.

Third placed Liverpool can go level on points with Arsenal if they beat Fulham at Craven Cottage on Monday (AEST).

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