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Arsenal Beat Manchester City to Enter FA Cup Final; 'AIFF Should Reduce Foreigners in Indian Clubs' and More (Football Round-Up)

Short Passes (Football News Round-up): Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored twice in Arsenal’s 2-0 victory over Manchester City in their FA Cup semifinal | Premier League prime example why AIFF should back Indian footballers, says former player Monoranjan Bhattacharya | Solskjaer hits back at Frank Lampard over VAR narrative | Scotland's national clinical director: Fans unlikely to return to stadiums by October | Brentford lose at Stoke City to confirm Leeds United as champions.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of Arsenal

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of Arsenal (right) celebrates after scoring against Manchester City in their FA Cup semifinal match.

Mikel Arteta overcame his former boss Pep Guardiola in the FA Cup semifinal on July 18. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored twice to push Arsenal into the final with a 2-0 win over Manchester City.

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Arteta left his role as assistant at City last December to take charge or Arsenal. While it has not been smooth sailing for the Spaniard, FA Cup could provide him something for the trophy cabinet and finish the topsy-turvy season on a high.

Aubameyang struck twice at Wembley, sending his side through to face Chelsea or Manchester United on August 1. He converted Nicolas Pepe's cross with a half-volleyed finish in the 19th minute. City failed to respond or raise their game after that jolt. And while misses were galore from both the teams, Aubameyang had no such issues locating the goal. Arsenal sat back most of the second half and during a rare attack in the 71st minute, Abuameyang ran onto Kieran Tierney's lofted pass before slotting through Man City goalkeeper Ederson's legs.

Reduce Foreigners in Indian Clubs

An area of major concern for Indian football team coach Igor Stimac has been the lack of depth in the pool of players available, especially defenders. It was highlighted when the side had to call Anas Edathodika out of his retirement last year. It was a bigger struggle after Sandesh Jhingan got injured ahead of the World Cup qualifier against Bangladesh.

Monoranjan Bhattacharya, who was one of the best central defenders of his time, said that this problem aggravated after the All Indian Football Federation (AIFF) allowed as many as four foreign players in matches I-League and Indian Super League (ISL) teams, including one Asian quota player.

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“As the foreign recruits were occupying these four spots in most of the league teams, Indian players hardly got any chance in these positions. Let me tell you that I will not be able to produce good strikers because of this," Bhattacharya told IANS.

He also pointed out that during his time there were hardly any foreign players and the opportunity to shine automatically rose because of that. He added that the scene is changed now and foreign recruits take the spot of central defenders.

Monoranjan feels AIFF needs to work on this. He agreed with Stimac and believes that Indian clubs should reduce foreigners.

"English Premier League is one of the most attractive leagues in the world but then where does England stand in world football? Their results in the World Cup or European Cup are not that impressive. The reason being that those clubs recruit a number of foreigners, there is no restriction," he pointed.

Solskjaer Hits Back at Lampard

Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer hit back at Frank Lampard after the latter said that Video Assistant Referees (VAR) ruled in favour of United this season.

Lampard said United benefited from VAR decisions and poor on-pitch calls, pointing out on how a “clear and obvious decision” went their way when Crystal Palace's Wilfried Zaha was fouled with no penalty being awarded.

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Before Sunday’s FA Cup semifinal match against Chelsea, Solskjaer pointed out that United has sometimes been very unlucky with the decisions.

“I can sit here for hours now and try to talk about this. It looks like there's a narrative, it looks like people want to influence whoever is making the decisions,” the Norwegian told reporters.

“I hear people talking about luck, that we've been lucky more than unlucky. If you look at the factual decisions - I don't want to sound like a certain manager talking about facts - but if you're offside, you're offside, that's clear.”

Fans’ Return Unlikely by October

The return of fans to the stadiums by October is highly unlikely, says Scotland's national clinical director.

This has come to light after Celtic called for pilot schemes to be tried in August and asserted that Scottish football must not be "left behind" by England.

Test events are going to take place in England from August 1, that is when Scotland's top flight begins matches without spectators, with small crowds planned from October.

"We've not set a date," said Professor Jason Leitch.

"We're very hopeful that in the autumn sometime we will be able to run some test events and then get crowds back.

"We want to do that. And if the numbers [of infections] stay the way they are, that's the best way of getting there.”

Leeds Champions

Leeds United, for the first time in 16 years, have been promoted to Premier League after being crowned as the winners of the Championship, following Brentford and West Bromwich Albion’s losses.

Leeds enjoyed a remarkable season to clinch promotion, returning to the top position since 2004. In the 16 year wait, the team became acquainted with a lot of near misses and also spent three years in League One between 2007 and 2010.

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West Brom's defeat resulted in a night of celebration at Elland Road and Leeds will take the party to Derby on Sunday for their second last game of the season.

“A word about Norman Hunter and Jack Charlton, two club legends we lost recently and who would have certainly celebrated this achievement with us,” owner Andrea Radrizzani said.

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