Player Ratings: Holding Gets A Nine As Outcasts Shine During Wembley Win

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Arsenal have made it to a third FA Cup final in the space of four seasons after an extra-time winner saw off Manchester City 2-1.

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The Gunners proved their doubters wrong with a hearty performance over Pep Guardiola’s side thanks to goals from Alexis Sanchez and Nacho Monreal.

Wenger was questioned from the first whistle for his decision to stick with a three-man defensive system against a City team that score for fun.

But thanks to a superb backing inside Wembley, many Arsenal outcasts managed to step up when it really mattered, and here’s how they rated:

Petr Cech: 7

Made a couple of crucial saves towards the end of the game but the only thing stopping him from getting a higher rating was the way he dealt with Aguero’s opening goal. Wasn’t sure whether to come or not and it was easy for the Argentine.

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Gabriel: 7

Solid, disciplined and kept his composure during key times. Often let Holding and Koscielny do the running around whilst he held tight to deal with aerial attacks. Not heavily convinced he’s the long-term solution.

Laurent Koscielny: 7

Standard. Did his job as he always does and for the majority of the game made sure Aguero didn’t get a sniff at goal. Arsenal need a leader in the final and the armband isn’t suited to anyone better than Kos.

Rob Holding: 9

Really, really impressed with the 21-year-old today. He never showed his age when on the ball and looked like he’s been playing regularly all season. Fits into this back three really well as it gives him a chance to start attacks from the back. Deserves to keep his place.

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Granit Xhaka: 7.5

Made a couple of clumsy fouls inside the first 15 minutes but other than that, managed to stay relatively calm in midfield. Much better suited to sitting back and letting his partner do the hard work.

Aaron Ramsey: 7

Nothing too special for Rambo in this one but again, he gives us that extra option when shifting from defence to attack. Is starting to establish a really good partnership with Xhaka.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain: 9 (MOTM)

It’s like looking at a different player. This shift to wing-back has really helped his progression in the side and Wenger will take confidence in his versatility as an attacking footballer. Provided the cross for Monreal’s equaliser and caused plenty of problems when City’s legs started to get tired.

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Mesut Ozil: 6

Was difficult to do what he does best in a game that was back and forth but he’s got to show us a little bit more when in attack. He’s an easy target during occasions like this and his delivery at set pieces needed a bit of work.

Alexis Sanchez: 7

When you need a goal, call on this fella. Alexis added another ‘0’ to his weekly wage with his extra-time finish. A poachers goal and he played with plenty of energy when City were on the back foot.

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Olivier Giroud: 6

Didn’t turn up. His job today was to hold the ball up and let Ozil and Alexis play around him but when given the chances he didn’t perform. Clumsy offside mistakes and inability to press on the City defence was clear.


Danny Welbeck: 7 

Had so many chances to finish the game but it just wasn’t to be for Welbeck. His impact was clear though, taking on every single defender with a burst of pace. In line to start against Leicester on Wednesday.

Hector Bellerin: 7

Didn’t get a chance to do much but made a really important block to deny Fabian Delph the chance to make it 2-2.

Francis Coquelin: n/a

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