While the FA Cup may not be viewed as a competition that has all too much of a spark left these days, we still think there’s something to be said for just how much the fans enjoy watching the drama unfold. This past weekend, we saw four fascinating quarter-final matches take place as Arsenal, Manchester City, Chelsea and Manchester United all booked their place in the final four.
The FA didn’t waste any time in letting the world know who was going to play who in the semi-finals, as it was revealed that Arsenal will play Manchester City and Chelsea will take on Manchester United in two London vs Manchester encounters. The Blues vs United feels like it’s going to be a pretty close game, and it’s actually quite hard to predict who is going to book their place in the final. In the other game, however, some fans don’t believe the choice is all too difficult.
Manchester City have already put a beating on the Gunners since the Premier League restarted, and you could argue that was only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to exposing what City are capable of. Arsenal just seem to have this ability to fold in on themselves when it matters the most, and it really does make for painful viewing when you consider just how talented the squad is – especially up top.
We’re choosing to be a bit more optimistic than usual heading into the semis because let’s face it, what do we have to lose? The doubters and the haters are bound to predict a whitewash, but when you take one look at the league table, it’s not like Arsenal have much to lose. They aren’t expected to qualify for Europe through the top six or seven, and even if they do, it’ll be by the skin of their teeth.
Mikel Arteta knows Pep Guardiola better than anyone in this league, and while that didn’t work out all too well for him in their last meeting, you never know what could happen this time around. Arsenal have turned it on before in the FA Cup, to the point where they were able to find success even when it felt like there was no hope in the last few years of Arsene Wenger’s reign. They may not be the favourites, but Arteta will relish this challenge.
Can Arsenal reach the FA Cup final?