Pep Guardiola seemed to hit out at Arsenal for playing ‘long balls’ and defending too much, reminiscent of the way Wenger used to complain about the likes of West Brom – and was roundly criticised for.
“In games like this, a semi-final is like a final, you cannot expect to control every situation but we were in control most of the time,” Guardiola said at his press conference.
“They play long balls to Giroud and they counter-attack and with set-pieces they are a tall team. They beat us because of this.
“We did not create too much but it is not easy when there are eight to 10 players there. We put in a good performance, we played like you have to play a final. We did absolutely everything to play.
“We created more chances than Arsenal. We controlled. We did absolutely everything in the way we want to. We were there all the time. There were 10-20 minutes when they were on top.
“But it’s about the result. And Arsenal won. Congratulations.
“But we did well in the cup, all the games away against Premier League teams. We arrive here and we compete, create more chances than our opponent, and hit the post. It was a little bit similar to what happened in the league. Teams do not need to do a lot of things score goals [against us]. We have some problems to score but we play like we want.”
Manchester City had 20 shots to Arsenal’s 9 but only managed 3 on target- the same number as Arsenal. Arsenal won more tackles, more aerial duels, and generally performed better, to a man, in what they were tasked with doing than their City counterparts.
Arsenal had gone into this game devoid of confidence and looking to turn around a season that has been disastrous at points.
They needed the win at Wembley more than City.
Wanted it more, too, it seems