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David Luiz hits again at his critics after heroic defensive show for Arsenal at Wembley

‘Football is about surviving, that’s what I did’: David Luiz hits back at his critics as he bounces back from disastrous cameo at Manchester City last month with heroic defensive display for Arsenal at Wembley and earns rave review from Rio Ferdinand

  • David Luiz cost Arsenal two goals and got sent off at Manchester City last month 
  • But the Brazilian gave an assured display at Wembley to help Arsenal beat City 
  • Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored both goals to put them into an FA Cup final
  • But Luiz set the record straight and said he used his experience to bounce back 

David Luiz has hit back at his critics after delivering a phenomenal defensive display in Arsenal‘s 2-0 victory against Manchester City.

The Brazilian centre-back made a disastrous cameo just over a month ago in the Premier League against Pep Guardiola‘s side, gifting Raheem Sterling the opening goal right on half time before managing to get himself sent off for a last-man challenge on Riyad Mahrez. 

While Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was the hero at the other end with the two goals, Luiz put in a superb display, getting his head to many crosses and making one noticeable block from a Sterling effort.

David Luiz hit back at critics following his performance in Arsenal's win against Man City

David Luiz hit back at critics following his performance in Arsenal’s win against Man City

The Brazilian had a torrid time at the Etihad last month and was sent off as Arsenal were beaten

The Brazilian had a torrid time at the Etihad last month and was sent off as Arsenal were beaten

Following his heroics, Luiz appeared to want to set the record straight, and stated he used his experience to come back from that nightmare situation at the Etihad last month and deliver an excellent performance at Wembley.

‘There was a lot of criticism of me, I think you can say that,’ Luiz told BT Sport after the Gunners’ victory against City. 

‘That’s part of football. I understood during my career that part of football is about surviving. Every day you’re going to defend your team, and the other people are going to support different teams.’

‘It’s about surviving, so that’s what I did. I was working hard every single day after my mistakes. I took the blame, I was mature enough to understand that. I was also humble [enough] to work more for the team. 

But a month on Luiz was the rock in the Arsenal defence to help them qualify for the final

But a month on Luiz was the rock in the Arsenal defence to help them qualify for the final

‘We have a final to play this season. We are going to try to win a title for this club because this club, I always say, deserves to shine again.’

The 33-year-old Brazilian is one of the more experienced members of the current Arsenal squad, but took the opportunity to praise the squad’s humility as well as speaking highly of boss Mikel Arteta’s philosophy.

However, Luiz insisted that the Gunners have not yet reached their end goal and still have progress to make to end up challenging for the big trophies again. 

‘It was a great result against one of the best teams in the world. We were humble and understood the way we have to play. We took the opportunities to score,’ Luiz continued. 

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored both goals at the other end of the pitch at Wembley

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored both goals at the other end of the pitch at Wembley

‘We have to be mature to understand the levels we are at in the process. We have an amazing coach who wants to bring us the best football for this club, but not zero to a hundred. 

‘We have to understand that day by day. The spirit was great and I am happy for the team because this team deserved it. 

‘The team understood, in modern football, how everyone has to defend, fight, have the spirit, play every ball 100 percent. 

‘It would be easier to keep the ball, maybe, and not run like we did, Aubameyang was miles away in front of us, but we are humble. [We knew that] when you play, you can [then] hurt the opponents.’  

Former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand also gave Luiz a rave review for his performance, but also highlighted the compact nature of Arsenal’s defensive set-up. 

‘He’s come in for a lot of criticism over the last couple of seasons and rightly so at times. He’s made mistakes and you get criticised for that. 

‘The way they set up helped him – with three centre-backs, and they packed the centre of the pitch. They played with a defensive security. 

‘There was a stability about how they played. They were composed defensively.’

Former Arsenal and Manchester United forward Robin van Persie agreed with his former team-mate on both Arsenal’sd defence and David Luiz, saying: ‘It was brilliant. David Luiz put his body in front of balls, he was blocking every ball, I think he headed away 25 balls. He was fantastic.’ 


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