Arsenal remain in the hunt for silverware to brighten their underwhelming season after Dani Ceballos’ 91st-minute winner took them through to the FA Cup semi-finals at Sheffield United’s expense. The on-loan midfielder slotted home a low, angled drive to win the tie in dramatic fashion, after David McGoldrick’s hooked finish just a few minutes earlier looked to have ensured extra time at Bramall Lane. The Gunners had led from midway through the first half when Nicolas Pepe had slotted home a penalty after Alexandre Lacazette had been fouled in the box by Chris Basham.
They had earlier had a reprieve when John Lundstram’s close-range header following a corner was ruled out because the scorer was offside. The home side also had another effort chalked off in the second half when John Egan poked the ball in after McGoldrick had strayed beyond the last defender. There was further bad news for Lundstram and Sheffield United with the midfielder having to be substituted before the break because of a shoulder injury. Arsenal also failed to make it through the game unscathed, with centre-back David Luiz – who had only just returned from suspension – limping out to increase their already lengthy injury list.
The win adds another fixture to Arsenal’s already crammed post-restart schedule but they will welcome it as they continue their pursuit of a European place. As for the Blades, there were positives to take from their front-foot display but they remain without a win in four games since football resumed – a run of form they must quickly arrest to ensure their otherwise impressive first campaign back in the top flight does not peter out. In a campaign that has seen Mikel Arteta only just begin to pick up the pieces of Unai Emery’s faltered regime, the world’s oldest cup competition is again their last shot at glory.