Arsene Wenger’s side has needed an extra 30 minutes on top of regular time to overcome Championship opponents in the last two FA Cup semi-finals against Wigan and Reading respectively. The level of competition in English football is so high such that even relegation bound teams are tactical enough to win major titles. This was the case when Wigan beat Roberto Mancini’s £200Million squad by a solitary goal to clinch the FA Cup in 2013.
Speaking to Arsenal Player ahead of their FA Cup final against underdogs Aston Villa, Mathieu Debuchy revealed the similarities between the FA Cup and the French Cup, insisting that lower-league clubs have also excelled in the Coupe de France.
In France, often some small teams manage to go very far in the competition, even reach the final. We’ve seen it recently.
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The FA Cup is pretty much the same – sometimes clubs from the lower divisions have a good FA Cup campaign. Because of this, I think they are similar competitions. It is extremely difficult to win a cup tie.
The French international had been sidelined due to a shoulder injury and only made his return in the 2-1 semi-final win over Reading.
Although he admitted struggling in the match, especially in extra time, the 29-year old placed emphasis on the fact that retaining the trophy is their biggest priority.