Ian Wright voiced his delight at Arsenal’s FA Cup semi-final victory over Manchester City on social media as he named six players he was especially pleased with.
The Gunners produced one of their best performances of the season to stun holders City and advance to the final of the competition with a 2-0 win.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang grabbed the headlines for his double, as the Gabon star poked home from Nicolas Pepe’s inch-perfect cross then slotted home after Kieran Tierney’s through-ball.
But the defensive display was arguably the most impressive feature of Arsenal’s performance and Wright was keen to shout out the Gunners’ wing-backs, centre-backs and goalkeeper.
The former England striker wrote on Twitter : “Big up Ainsley Maitland-Niles!!!!!” Operating as a left wing-back, 22-year-old Maitland-Niles was tireless up and down the flank, making three dribbles and two tackles.
Wright also praised Maitland-Niles’ colleagues in defence and the man on the opposite flank, Hector Bellerin.
He added: “David Luiz!!! As good a performance as we’ve seen from ANY Arsenal CB!!!
“Big up Emi [goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez], [Shkodran] Mustafi, [Kieran] Tierney, Hector! Yes boys!!!! What a week for you boss Mikel Arteta! @Arsenal.”
Martinez produced another assured performance between the sticks and continues to impress in the absence of injured No1 Bernd Leno.
In front of him, Gunners boss Mikel Arteta has brought about an upturn in his side’s defensive solidity by switching to a back three.
Tierney produced an excellent pass to assist Aubameyang’s second goal, while Mustafi won two aerial duels and made three tackles.
But it was Luiz in-between the pair who impressed most, winning all four of his battles in the air and making a number of important blocks.
Arsenal’s victory over City came just four days after they shocked Premier League champions Liverpool to win 2-1 at the Emirates.
Though they are 10th in the league, Arteta’s men now harbour strong hopes of landing Europa League football by winning the FA Cup.
They will face the winner of Sunday evening’s clash between Chelsea and Manchester United in the final on Saturday 1 August.
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