Pep Guardiola draws positives from Manchester City challenges

With Arsenal sending 11 goals in their last five appearances, Manchester City will see their opportunities inflicting damage.

Arsene Wenger compared Aaron Ramsey to Chelsea legend Frank Lampard ahead of Arsenal's FA Cup semi-final against Manchester City.

After Sergio Aguero had opened the scoring in the 62nd minute, his 30th goal of the campaign, the Gunners grabbed an equaliser ten minutes later when Nacho Monreal netted before Alexis Sanchez hit the victor in extra time.

Spanish global Nacho Monreal equalised nine minutes later, from a cross by Arsenal's other wing back Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

City had won their last eight FA Cup semi-final appearances, but this defeat means that, despite huge expectations upon his arrival, Pep Guardiola is nearly certain to finish a managerial campaign without a trophy for the first time in his career.

Wenger added: "No matter what you do, even if you get it right at some stage, people say 'why didn't you do it earlier?"

City and United meet in a derby match at Etihad Stadium on Thursday that assumes huge importance for two teams who were expected to be challenging for the title this season, not scraping into the top four.

Wenger expects the former Barcelona forward to extend his stay at the Emirates.

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With fourth placed City well adrift of leaders Chelsea, boss Pep Guardiola is destined to finish his first season empty-handed.

But the Gunners are now one win any from winning a third FA Cup in four years and Wenger has been thrilled by his players' response to adversity.

Rob Holding was the first to squander a big chance in the additional period, sending a free header over the bar from six yards, but Arsenal did strike after the clock had ticked over to 100 minutes.

Manchester City's Leroy Sane runs for the ball in front of Arsenal's Nacho Monreal on the ground, during the English FA Cup semifinal soccer match between Arsenal and Manchester City at Wembley stadium in London, Sunday, April 23, 2017.

Yaya Toure intercepted and quickly chipped the ball over the Arsenal defense to Sergio Aguero. "Normally the big players have two, three years [on a] contract", he said.

If that felt like the knockout blow, Monreal had other ideas and he hauled the Gunners off the canvas in the 71st minute.

City nearly hit back immediately, with Toure's 25-yard volley pushed onto a post by Cech before Fernandinho headed against the crossbar from Kevin de Bruyne's corner.

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola believes Arsenal forward Alexis Sanchez is nearly at the same level as Barcelona star Lionel Messi.


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