Arsenal 1 Wigan Athletic 1 – Gunners claim FA Cup semi-final shootout victory
Arsene Wenger’s team into the FA Cup final after Wigan took the Gunners to penalties at Wembley on Saturday night
April 12th, 2014
Arsenal have a massive chance to win their first piece of silverware since 2005 following Saturday’s dramatic FA Cup semi-final tussle with Wigan which saw the Championship side go ahead in normal time before eventually losing on spot kicks.
The Latics had previously knocked Manchester City out of this competition and handled pretty much everything that Arsenal were able to throw at them, with Uwe Rosler once again executing the perfect game plan which saw Wigan increasingly come into the game as their confidence levels rose.
Athletic took the lead in the 64th minute through Jordi Gomez, with the Spaniard despatching his spot kick after Per Mertesacker brought down Calum McManaman in the 59th minute.
Gomez faced a lengthy wait before scoring from the spot, with Nacho Monreal receiving treatment for an injury and it eventually led to Kieran Gibbs replacing him before the underdogs got their noses in front.
Mertesacker spared his own blushes in the 83rd minute, with the German turning the ball home following a Gunners corner which saw the ball rebound around the penalty area before the central defender turned the ball home.
It had followed a concerted period of pressure for the Premier League team who had previously struggled to make inroads against their Championship opponents, although it was Arsenal who came closest to scoring in extra-time when Oxlade-Chamberlain rattled the bar from a free-kick.
However, the Gunners produced the goods from the spot, with Santi Cazorla scoring the winning penalty after Mikel Arteta, Kim Kallstrom and Olivier Giroud all converted, with Wigan only able to score from two of their spot kicks.
Arsenal will now face Hull City or Sheffield United in the final, with Wigan now focused on getting promoted to the Premier League.