Despite a rugged first-half display, the Gunners fell behind thanks to Sergio Aguero’s second-half strike but showed resilience and responded through Nacho Monreal’s equaliser before Alexis Sanchez booked their place in next month’s final in extra-time.
In arguably Arsenal’s biggest game of the season, Wenger’s men dug deep and fought for the victory, something the Frenchman applauded.
The Gunners boss said: “I felt it was a big test for us today, a mental test because many people question if we can turn up on an occasion like this and that’s why I’m very proud of the players because they stayed united and determined.
“We had a strong response today, we had a little bit of a cautious start, hesitant sometimes, but we didn’t give chances away and we grew into the game and slowly we became better and better.
“In the second half we were very strong and in extra-time very strong. We always looked solid and dangerous because we played more in the second half.
“I want them (the players) to enjoy playing together and to play for the club. That is, for me, the most important thing and to reach the targets we set together.
“Football is a team sport, and as a manager the biggest joy is when you feel like you have a real team performance, that was the case today and that’s why I’m happy today.”
April 24, 2017