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Monday, 14 April 2014 14:20

Arsenal reach FA Cup Final

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Arsenal battled their way to the FA Cup final after beating holders Wigan 4-2 on penalties.

Arsenal triumphed in the FA cup 4-2 on penalties against holders Wigan in a game that wouldn’t exactly be described as a blockbuster of a game, but it was definately an entertaining spectacle in what was a must-win for the Gunners.
Although the tides may have changed with time, the FA Cup’s prestige and significance has slowly began to rise with people actually remembering that the FA Cup is a cup to add to the trophy cabinet come the end of the season. And in the context of this game it can truly be said that this competition, which is almost as old as football itself, never held so much significance in terms of collecting of silverware and in Arsenal’s case some feel is much deserved.

The build up to the game was dominated by Arsenal’s recent drop in fortunes, with a 3-0 loss to top four challengers Everton the weekend before the game. That coupled with Arsene Wengner’s serial loss’s in the last 8 years in cup competitions, this game was being talked up as a must win for Arsenal.

With respect to Wigan, this was a game the Gunners must overcome if they wanted to end their 9 year wait for a trophy. Although the first half wasn’t much of spectacle, they could take solace from their typical possession play and domination over a Wigan side who are hoping to rebound back into the premier league. The second half was provided much needed entertainment when in the 63rd minute McManaman worked his way into the box and was fouled by Mertesacker. Jordi Gomez stepped up and in dramatic fashion put Wigan in front to what looked like another FA Cup Final for a second year in a row.

However Mertesacker redeemed himself 19 minutes later with a notched in header to bring the game to extra-time. The gunners proceeded to play against a Wigan side visibly tired from trying to defend their 63rd min with former England international Scott Carson twice denying the young Sanogo with Oxlade-Chamberlain also coming close to getting his name on the score sheet when he hit the crossbar.

In the end nothing could separate the two sides in extra time so it came down to spot kicks. Fabianski showed himself to be a keeper who maybe deserves more of a chance in the first team with two excellent stops and Arsenal winning the game courtesy of spot kicks from Mikel Arteta, Olivier Giroud, Santi Carzola and the much controversial Kim Kallstrom.

In the end it was a much needed win and with Hull beating Sheffield United 5-3 in the other semi-final the FA cup is set up for a premier league show down. Bet365 predict Arsenal to edge Hull with odds of 2/7 and 11/4 respectively. Whichever way it does go, you can bet it is going to be a thriller.