Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta says their 2-0 surprise victory over Manchester City in the FA Cup semi-final Saturday night could convince striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to commit his future to the north London club. Aubameyang scored in either half to fire Arsenal past holders City at an empty Wembley Stadium.
The 31-year-old striker is the club’s top scorer this season with 25 goals in all competitions; he is out of contract at the end of next season and has not yet agreed to an extension.
— The Emirates FA Cup (@EmiratesFACup) July 18, 2020
The victory against City came just days after Arsenal beat newly crowned Premier League champions Liverpool.
Gabonese international Aubameyang struck in each half and fired his club to a record 21st FA Cup final.
Arteta captained Arsenal to FA Cup triumph six years ago and, in his first season in charge of the north London club, the Spaniard has led them back to the final of a competition they last won in 2017.
Arsenal had lost their previous seven meetings with City, including a 3-0 drubbing in their first game after the coronavirus forced break.
With second place in the Premier League secured, City have to focus on the resumption of their Champions League challenge in August, when they defend a 2-1 first leg lead against Real Madrid in the last 16.
Chelsea’s manager Frank Lampard says his defense will have to be on their toes when they are up against Manchester United’s in-form attacking trio which is the most potent in the country in Sunday’s FA Cup semi-final. United forwards Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial have scored 20 goals each in all competitions this season, while 18-year-old Mason Greenwood has also had a breakthrough season with 16 goals so far.
“The squad’s okay. N’Golo Kante won’t be fit for the match, he’s still not right so he’s out. Other than that, we have a few people with a few little niggles which we’ll monitor over the next 24 hours or so, and then we will be ready to go. We know they’re playing well. They’ve got a very, very potent front three. The most potent front three probably in the country on pure numbers anyway in terms of goals and obviously (Bruno) Fernandes has made a huge difference coming in in January. So, you see that the strength has brought to their team with individual qualities, so, but we know that. We have to be confident in ourselves, deal with their threats and worry about us as well,” Chelsea Manager Frank Lampard says.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side looks to extend their unbeaten run in all competitions to twenty games. Solskjaer had previously said that Chelsea had an unfair advantage having last played on Tuesday, giving the London side more time to recover.
“No, I don’t think we do. I think we played, Saturday, Tuesday this week. They played on Monday and Thursday, so, we’ve both played two games in this week as it stands. We’re in a period where we’re playing games all the time very regularly and you’ve become play, recover, play again, recover you know, and you work with the squad as it is and it’s an age-old question. A lot of managers, you’ll probably dig out times when I’ve mentioned it, but at the same time it isn’t a bad advantage or not. Sometimes it works in your favour to be playing regularly and ticking over. So, yeah, no I don’t see it (being an advantage),” Lampard says.
Arsenal will now face the winners between Chelsea and Manchester United, in the FA Cup final at Wembley Stadium on 1 August.