Arsenal reached the FA Youth Cup Final for the first time since 2001 after a comprehensive demolition of holders Manchester City at Emirates Stadium.
Leading 2-1 from the first leg, the young Gunners knew that a draw would be enough to see them reach the Final for the first time since 2001, but they went for the jugular and it paid dividends.
Steve Bould demanded that his players took nothing for granted going into this game and they certainly obliged taking the lead with just 34 seconds on the clock through Sanchez Watt.
Jack Wilshere passed a late fitness test and exerted his influence on the game by converting from the penalty spot when Watt was brought down by City’s keeper Joe Clegg.
Wilshere turned provided for the third when his corner was met by Kyle Bartley, before Sanchez Watt extended the lead with another cool finish.
City pulled one back just before the break through Ibrahim Benali but it proved to be little consolation in a one-sided tie.
Bould kept faith with the same line-up from the first leg, but altered his formation slightly. He plumped for a 4-1-4-1, with Emmanuel Frimpong shielding the back four and Jay Emmanuel-Thomas and Jack Wilshere occupying central roles.
Backed by a strong following at the home of football, the Gunners burst out of the traps and took the lead after just 34 seconds.
Luke Ayling had to be alert to prevent a Robbie Mak chance and then played the ball forward to the skipper Emmanuel-Thomas who delivered an inch-perfect lofted through-ball which Watt ran onto and scored with a calm finish.
Arsenal were in the ascendancy and had further chances soon after, Gilles Sunu had his powerful left-foot drive parried by Clegg and Francis Coquelin glanced a header narrowly wide following a teasing cross from Thomas Cruise.
The Gunners’ dominance paid off when they made it 2-0. The lively Watt beat the City defence and the hapless Clegg was left with no option but to haul the striker down. Clegg escaped without a booking, but nonetheless Wilshere made him pay with a penalty which just squeezed under the ‘keeper’s body.
Arsenal were now in cruise control and the game, and indeed the tie, looked to be over when centre-back Kyle Bartley rose, unmarked, to head home Wilshere’s corner for his second goal of the competition.
It was 4-0 within a blink of an eye after the prolific Watt capitalised on a comical mishap from Reece Wabara to score.
Despite their dominance, the Gunners did have to be alert at the other end and had Craig Eastmond to thank for a superb block to deny ‘Nimely’ a scoring chance.
Moments later Shea made a stunning double save to deny right-back Kieran Trippier.
‘Nimely’, who had been a constant thorn in the Arsenal side at the City of Manchester Stadium five weeks ago, saw his evening come to a premature end just before the interval due to injury.
His replacement, Jack Redshaw, had an instant impact, setting up Ibrahim Benali who beat Shea with ease.
Following a stern team-talk from Steve Bould, the young Gunners started the second period brightly, with Wilshere showing clever trickery to find Watt but the striker couldn’t capitalise and complete his hat-trick.
From then on, Arsenal had to survive something of a City onslaught with the visitors winning a procession of corners and heaping impounding pressure on Arsenal ‘keeper James Shea, who coped admirably.
Bartley, against the team he despised as a boy, made an expert block to deny the cunning Redshaw.
A fairly scrappy passage of play ensued, with Arsenal not creating another clear-cut chance until the 76th minute, when Wilshere cut inside and hit a dipping shot over the crossbar when he could have opted to play in Sunu.
With the clock ticking down, Arsenal made a double change with Benik Afobe replacing Gilles Sunu up front and under-18s captain Cedric Evina coming on for Thomas Cruise at left-back.
The game was fast fading away from City but they still had their moments, with Greg Cunningham testing Shea and then Tutte blazing over from the resulting corner.
Arsenal could have had a fifth in the dying moments, with Wilshere hitting just over from long range.
Luke Freeman came on for his Arsenal FA Youth Cup debut in the closing stages, replacing Wilshere who received a standing ovation from the 9,226 fans in attendance in North London.
City had one final chance, but Ayling was alert to clear off the line.
Following their superb first-half display, the young Gunners looked comfortable for the rest of the evening as they humiliated a side who were heralded as the best youth team in Britain just 12 months ago.
The Gunners have now progressed to the two-legged final, where they will most likely face Liverpool, who hold a 3-0 advantage from their first-leg game with Birmingham City.
That game would prove to be the ultimate chance for revenge for the youngsters, who went out of this competition at Anfield in the Fourth Round last season.
Arsenal (4-1-4-1)- J Shea; C Eastmond, K Bartley, L Ayling, T Cruise (C Evina, 77); E Frimpong; G Sunu (B Afobe, 77), F Coquelin, J Emmanuel-Thomas, J Wilshere (L Freeman,87) ; S Watt.
Subs not used: C Mann, O Ozyakup.
Manchester City (4-4-2)- J Clegg; K Trippier, G Cunningham, R Wabara, D Boyatta; A Tutte, A Benali, A Ibrahim, C Chantler (J Guidetti, 81); R Mak (A Cieslewitz, 72), Nimely-Tchuimeni (J Redshaw, 42).
Subs not used:E Johanson, O Elabdellaoui.