Arsenal ambushed holders Manchester City as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored twice in a 2-0 victory in the FA Cup semi-final at an empty Wembley Stadium on Saturday.
A few days after beating Premier League champions Liverpool, Arsenal gave another gritty and disciplined display to set up a final against Manchester United or Chelsea, who meet on Sunday.
City dominated the early exchanges, pinning Arsenal back, but were stopped in their tracks when Aubameyang produced a neat finish in the 19th minute following a flowing end-to-end move.
Pep Guardiola’s City side never fully recovered and, just when they were beginning to exert some real pressure after the break, Aubameyang produced another sublime finish, racing through to fire past goalkeeper Ederson in the 71st minute.
Arsenal soaked up desperate City pressure in the final stages but never looked like being opened up as they ended a miserable run of seven successive defeats against Guardiola’s City, including a 3-0 away league defeat a month ago.
Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal side are now one win from securing a record-extending 14th FA Cup title for the north Londoners.
Meanwhile, Norwich City manager Daniel Farke branded his team “naive, inexperienced and stupid” as they self-destructed in a 2-0 defeat against Burnley on Saturday — a record ninth successive Premier League loss for the relegated club.
Farke’s side looked capable of getting something from their final home game of a desperately disappointing season before Emiliano Buendia was sent off in the 35th minute for using his elbow and then Josip Drmic followed him for a dreadful tackle.
Chris Wood’s bicycle kick then crept past goalkeeper Tim Krul in the fifth minute of first-half stoppage time and Ben Godfrey’s second half own goal summed up Norwich’s day.
Farke has remained steadfastly behind his players throughout a difficult campaign, following promotion as champions last year, but even he ran out of patience following a calamitous afternoon as Norwich became the first English top-flight club since 1922 to lose five straight home games without scoring.
“We started exactly like we wanted to — on the front foot,” German Farke said. “We wanted to make it our game.
“Burnley reacted in their expected ways. They are such an experienced and established Premier League team. They realised they had problems and needed to disrupt the rhythm and provoke.
“We walked into the trap and two red cards. Naive, inexperienced, stupid — all the words are right. It’s not acceptable. It’s not possible to win points with eight (outfield) players. My players walked into the trap.”
Norwich have only 21 points and are guaranteed to end the season with their lowest points total from a league campaign.
It is not the lowest Premier League total though. Derby County managed only 11 in 2007-2008 season
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