Arsenal edged past Sheffield United 2-1 at Bramall Lane to reach the semi-finals of the FA Cup. Nicolas Pepe and Dani Ceballos scored the goals for the Gunners, while David McGoldrick was on the mark for The Blades.
After a shaky start to the game, where they conceded an offside goal, Alexandre Lacazette earned Arsenal a penalty after a challenge from Chris Basham. Pepe stepped up to dispatch that spot-kick emphatically.
Sheff United had another goal ruled out for offside in the second half after the Gunners struggled to clear their lines when defending a set-piece.
Eventually, in the 87th minute, a long throw-in caught Mikel Arteta’s men out and McGoldrick was there to poke home after a hashed clearance from Sead Kolasinac.
However, in the second minute of added time, Ceballos picked up a loose ball in the box following a swift Arsenal counter-attack to score the winning goal, beating Dean Henderson at his near post.
Here’s how we rated the Arsenal players:
Emiliano Martinez - 7
In the continued absence of Bernd Leno, Martinez has been doing a good job in goal. Made a couple of good saves and couldn’t have done much to save the conceded goal.
David Luiz - 6
Made a shaky start to the game, but recovered well and handled the situation much better but, unfortunately, he had to go off injured soon after.
Shkodran Mustafi - 6
Just like Luiz, Mustafi made a nervous start to the game, with McGoldrick being a handful. However, the German settled in well and had a reasonably good second half.
Kieran Tierney - 6
Second game in a row he played as a third centre-back and did a decent job. His passing was good and he read the game reasonably well most times.
Ainsley Maitland-Niles - 6
A decent outing from the youngster, who made few crucial tackles to stop United from progressing forward. He wasn’t a great source of chance creation for his side, though.
Joe Willock - 7
Though he wasn’t the best passer in the game, Willock gave his all in terms of running, closing people down and working hard in the engine room of the team. Subbed off in the second half.
Granit Xhaka - 7
Another game where Xhaka looked composed in midfield and helped the team to be compact. He is not the club captain anymore, but Arsenal do require his leadership skills on the pitch.
Sead Kolasinac - 5
Had a decent game on the left-wing, until the moment he made a panicked clearance that allowed McGoldrick to score. The Bosnian has mistakes in his game, which is probably why he isn’t a regular starter in the team.
Nicolas Pepe - 8
Pepe took his penalty well and was always a threat on the counter for the Gunners. He was involved in the build-up of the winning goal as well, albeit it was his miscontrol that led to Ceballos scoring the goal.
Alexandre Lacazette - 7
Captain for the day, Lacazette led the line well and won the penalty that gave Arsenal the lead in the first half. He was much better than what we have seen of him since the resumption. Subbed off after the hour mark.
Bukayo Saka - 8
Saka, once again, looked bright on the left-hand side, causing all sorts of problems for the Sheffield United defence. His pace, directness on the ball and quality always makes a difference.
(SUB) Rob Holding - 6
Came on for Luiz early on in the second half and did well. Got himself under the flight of the ball for the Sheffield United goal.
(SUB) Dani Ceballos - 7
Came on after the hour mark, looked better compared to the previous two games and was sharp enough to pick up the loose ball and score the winning goal late on.
(SUB) Eddie Nketiah - 6
Came on for the last 25 minutes and ran his socks off. His final ball quality isn’t always the great, but the ball to set Pepe off in the build-up of the winning goal was sumptuous.