Is Arsenal’s Possession Game Back?

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Arsenal Possession Game

Arsenal once again, as they were before, the possession kings. Talk about playing keep away in your own defense third with the goalkeeper as the spare man. After what seems like a hundred passes Arsenal break free and score. Do Arsenal lull Manchester City to sleep with their passing game? Invite the pressure and then break free…

Arsenal doing the Barcelona tiki taka. Arsenal doing the Pep Guardiola passing game against Pep Guardiola. Mikel Arteta doing the passing game against his old boss. Arsenal beating Manchester City at their own possession game. Arsenal playing keep away better than Barcelona. What’s crazy though is this moment was their peak possession game moment.

For the entire game though, Arsenal’s possession total was 29% while Manchester City’s was 71%.

And to top it all off, the goal by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyan is a beauty. It seems like a counter attack goal but it’s really a possession goal where Arsenal break free out of the back with Manchester City pressing them.

A monumental team performance – and two goals from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – saw us overcome Manchester City to book our place in the Emirates FA Cup final.

Our captain missed a glorious chance when he was put through by David Luiz, but made amends a few minutes later with a brilliantly-executed half-volley to steer Nicolas Pepe’s cross past Ederson and in off the post.

That was the conclusion of a move that comprised 18 passes and 10 of our players. A true collective effort in keeping with the overall display. Aubameyang was ruthless again with his only clear chance of the second half, racing onto a fine through-ball from the outstanding Kieran Tierney to finish confidently.

Shkodran Mustafi went close for us with a powerful header that Ederson tipped over but, as expected, City had most of the ball and more of the opportunities.

They dominated the first 15 minutes and we needed a string of vital blocks and clearances to keep Pep Guardiola’s side at bay – with Granit Xhaka, David Luiz and Tierney to the fore.

City posed even more questions in the second half with Kevin De Bruyne doing plenty of damage after moving from the centre of midfield to the right. But chances were squandered by Raheem Sterling and David Silva, while Emi Martinez made a great save to deny Riyad Mahrez.

Manchester City threw everything at us, but Mikel Arteta’s game plan worked perfectly. Arsenal players followed his instructions to the letter and a combination of discipline, determination and clinical finishing gave Arteta a famous win over his former club.

Arsenal team: Martinez, Mustafi, David Luiz, Tierney, Bellerin, Ceballos, Xhaka, Maitland-Niles, Pepe, Lacazette, Aubameyang Subs: Macey, Sokratis Holding, Kolasinac, Torreira, Smith, Willock, Nelson, Saka

Manchester City team: Ederson, Walker, Garcia, Laporte, Mendy, David Silva, De Bruyne, Gundogan, Sterling, Mahrez, Jesus Subs: Stones, Zinchenko, Rodri, Bernardo Silva, Fernandinho, Cancelo, Otamendi, Carson, Foden

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