Sheffield United 1-2 Arsenal
Arsenal left it late before taking their place in the last four of the Emirates FA Cup thanks to Dani Ceballos’ stoppage-time winner at Bramall Lane.
The Gunners appeared already booked for their 30th semi-final appearance in the competition after Nicolas Pepe converted from the sport midway through the opening half after Chris Basham had felled Alexandre Lacazette.
However, the Blades – smarting from Premier League defeats at the hands of Newcastle and Manchester United – hit back three minutes from time when David McGoldrick seized on some hesitant defending to beat Emiliano Martinez from close range.
But the North Londoners recent rehabilitation continued as Ceballos fired home from an acute angle to ensure their progress.
The importance of a continued cup run wasn’t lost on boss, Mikel Arteta; “I think every win gives you a bit of credit and a margin as well and gives them some encouragement,” the Spaniard explained.
“At the end of the day, the results dictate the spirit and the happiness of the team but it is much better than it was when we lost against Brighton so hopefully, we can have some momentum.
“We can play at home as well. It’s been a while since we did it so hopefully, we can get another win.”
Following on from their victory at Southampton, Arteta was notably pleased with aspects of the performance; “I think the attitude and the commitment of every single player that was involved in the game or that was waiting for his opportunity.
“There were really good moments where we played and we did the things I asked them to do and the way we dealt with Sheffield United’s play – They are really good at what they do, the way they commit people forward, the way they play in the second phases, the way they defend outside the box.
“I knew there were some phases that we were going to suffer and how we dealt with that – I am really, really pleased.”
Speaking about the late winner, the Gunners chief added; “We go to the last minute, it doesn’t matter what happens, we go for it and our desire is always to win. That’s the only aim of this team and it’s the mindset of every player that is involved in the team.”
Arsenal now turn their attention back to the Premier League where they face Norwich City at the Emirates Stadium on Wednesday, July 1 (6pm).
Sheffield United: Henderson, Baldock (L. Freeman 62’), Stevens, Fleck, Basham (Sharp 75’), Lundstram (Berge 35’), McBurnie, Egan, Norwood, McGoldrick, Robinson Subs not used: Jagielka, K. Freeman, Mousset, Osborn, Moore, Zivkovic
Arsenal: Martinez, Mustafi, David Luiz (Holding 54’), Tierney, Maitland-Niles, Xhaka, Willock (Caballos 67’), Kolasinac, Pepe (Sokratis 90+3’), Lacazette (Nketiah 67’), Saka Subs not used: Macey, Bellerin, Smith, Nelson, Aubameyang
Referee: Paul Tierney
Assistants: Ian Hussin and Marc Perry
Fourth Official: Robert Jones
(Quotes courtesy of Arsenal Football Club)