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April 12, 2014
• Wembley Stadium, London
Referee: M. Oliver
• Attendance: 82185
Jordi Gómez 63'
Arsenal won 4 - 2 on penalties
P. Mertesacker 82'
So,it will be Arsenal versus Hull City or Sheffield United in five days' time, and I'm sure the Gunners supporters will be watching tomorrow's semi-final with interest. Wenger, though, must hope his side can recover to take on West Ham on Tuesday as they battle for fourth in the league. For now, though, I've been Tom Maston and thanks for joining me.
Wigan gave their absolute all but in the end they will not get the chance to defend their title in the final. It has been a great run for Rosler's men and now they must concentrate on winning promotion back to the Premier League.
SCORES!!! ARSENAL ARE IN THE FA CUP FINAL! Carson again reads it wrong and the Spain international stays cool. Fabianski is the hero and Wenger's dream of a trophy goes on.
SCORES!!! Straight down the middle, but if Cazorla scores here, Arsenal are in the final...
SCORES!!! Yet again Carson goes the wrong way and now McCarthur has to score...
SCORES!!! Straight into the top corner and Wigan stay in it. Giroud to put Arsenal on the verge of glory...
SCORES!!! Carson again goes the wrong way and Arsenal have one foot in the final. Beausejour has to score here...
SAVED!!! Fabianski is on fire.! This time he goes to his right and pushes the spot kick away. Kallstrom to put Arsenal two-up...
SCORES! Carson goes the wrong way and it's advantage Arsenal. Collison next up from 12 yards...
SAVED!!! Caldwell went low to Fabianski's right but he got down well to parry. Arteta steps up for the Gunners...
Caldwell will step up first to try and beat Fabianski...
The penalties will be taken at the end of Wembley where the Wigan fans are housed. Advantage to the Latics?
The two teams are in huddles and trying to work out who will be the first five to step up to the spot. Wenger and Arsenal's hopes of ending their trophy drought rest on a shootout. They really should have wrapped it up before this.
And there goes the final whistle. The lottery of penalties await with a place in the FA Cup Final at stake. Who will be the hero?
120' + 8'
Pen SO Goal Santi Cazorla
120' + 7'
Pen SO Goal James McArthur
120' + 6'
Pen SO Goal Olivier Giroud
120' + 5'
Pen SO Goal Jean Beausejour
120' + 4'
Pen SO Goal Kim Källström
120' + 3'
Pen SO Miss Jack Collison
120' + 2'
Pen SO Goal Mikel Arteta
120' + 1'
Yellow Card Jean Beausejour
120' + 1'
Pen SO Miss Gary Caldwell
120' + 1'
Beausejour is booked for a foul on Cazorla and Arsenal throw the ball into the box. Kallstrom almost gets a shot away but eventually Wigan get it away.
Into the final minute. Are we set for a penalty shootout?
Kallstrom is again involved as he gets to the byline on the left and looks to chip the ball across the six-yard box. Carson is able to catch it though and Wigan breathe again.
Into the final five minutes, and Wigan are still going for this. Powell picks it up just inside the Arsenal half before running goalwards, but he takes his shot early and it is always going wide.
Kallstrom is straight into the action as the ball bounces nicely for him on the edge of the area, but he snatches at his shot and it slices well wide of the post.
JUST WIDE! All of a sudden Wigan come forward as Perch gets space on the right-hand side to cross, but Collison's near post header flashes wide. Arsenal also make their third change as Kallstrom replaces Ramsey.
OFF THE POST! So close for Arsenal as Oxlade-Chamberlain unleashes a powerful drive from 20 yards that crashes into the post and back into play. That may well have proved to be the winner had it gone in.
Fabianski comes off limits to deal with Powell, but the Manchester United loanee beats him to it, and the goalkeeper has to retreat before watching Collison's shot roll harmlessly wide.
Cazorla chips a free-kick into the box but Wigan get it clear. Rosler isn't on the bench at the moment, instead he has gone for a comfort break!
Wigan kick-off and we are back underway...
The whistle blows for half-time in extra-time, and Wigan are 15 minutes from taking Arsenal to penalties. Rosler is barking out orders to his players as they enter the final straight.
Gomez looks to get the ball into the box from a free-kick but Arsenal clear. The Gunners have looked strong at the back all game other than when McManaman won the penalty from which they scored.
Fortune again does well to hold the ball up before feeding Perch. The full-back finds himself in space 25 yards from goal, but his shot is poor and nowehere near to troubling Fabianski.
Wigan continue to hold firm despite all of Arsenal's pressure, and Fortune is doing his best to hold the ball up when it goes forward. Just 20 more minutes to hang on for the Latics.
Wigan fail to get the resulting corner properly clear, but after some pinball in the box Sanogo volleys over the top. If he could finish Arsenal would be out of sight by now.
GOOD SAVE! Carson is again called upon as Oxlade-Chamberlain feeds Sanogo, and the striker turns before hitting a powerful effort that the goalkeeper does well to tip over the top.
Wigan are struggling to get out of their own half now, with Arsenal piling forward in search of a winning goal. The Latics would take a penatly shootout now.
Ramsey is able to bustle his way through but his final shot is blocked before Giroud crosses for Sanogo, but the youngster's legs aren't quite long enough to make contact.
Wigan threaten for the first time since they scored as Fortune's header falls to Powell, but instead of looking for options on the wings he opts to shoot. Fabianski can just watch it over the bar.
Arsenal kick-off and we are back underway, and Sanogo tests Carson staight away. The goalkeeper can hold the shot with ease, though.
90' + 6'
The teams are back out and we are ready to go again. Arsenal will fancy themselves from here...
90' + 5'
Arsenal look to launch one final break, but the referee blows the full-time whistle, and we will require an extra 30 minutes to seperate these two sides. Mertesacker's header has rescued Arsenal for now.
90' + 4'
Yellow Card Jack Collison
90' + 4'
Yellow Card James McArthur
90' + 4'
Another Wigan booking, this time for Collison, and Arsenal have a final chance to deliver the ball into the box. Giroud is flagged for offside, though, and we look to be heading for extra-time.
90' + 3'
The ball was delivered to the near post, but rather than a Wigan player, Sanogo was able to clear. McCarthur then picks up a yellow card for halting an Arsenal break.
90' + 2'
Fortune wins a corner in the same corner from which Watson scored the winner in last year's final. Not again surely...
Not quite, as Mertesacker heads over the top this time. Remember this game will go to extra-time if it is level after 90 minutes. We'll have five minutes of added time first though.
Wigan are rattled at the back, and Beausejour concedes a needless corner. Can Arsenal capitalise?
GOOD SAVE! Giroud comes to life as he chests the ball down on the edge of the box before striking a shot across Carson, and the goalkeeper does well to get down and hold onto the effort. All Arsenal now.
The man replacing Ramis is club captain Caldwell, who hasn't played since May. What a game to make your return in.
Wigan are going to be forced into a change here as Ramis goes down clutching his hamstring. He has been excellent, so this will be a big blow.
Assist Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain
Goal Per Mertesacker
GOAL!!! Arsenal are level as Mertesacker nods in at the back post. Gibbs came so close just seconds earlier as Crainey cleared his header off the line, but from the resulting corner. Oxlade-Chamberlain's shot across goal is headed in by the German. Relief for the Gunners!
OFF THE POST! Oxlade-Chamberlain's original ball in is poor, but his second attempt is much better, and Sagna is so unlucky to see his header at the back post crash into the upright. Arsenal upping the pressure now.
Arsenal win a corner as a hopeful ball forward is pushed behind by Carson as Giroud looked to get on the end of it...
Yellow Card Jordi Gómez
First yellow card of the match goes to goalscorer Gomez as he makes a late challenge on Giroud as the striker carried it forward.
Powell does well to pick the ball up on the edge of the area and is able to win a free-kick from Sagna on the Wigan left. Chance to get the ball into the box for Gomez, but Fabianski makes a good punch.
Giroud's introduction is yet to spark Arsenal into life, and they lack any other real options from the bench other than youngsters with very limited experience. Wigan comfortable enough at present.
Arsenal finally test Carson in this second period as Oxlade-Chamberlain lines an effort up from 30 yards. His low strike doesn't lack power but the goalkeeper holds on well down to his right.
Arteta sets Sanogo free, but just as he looks to take a touch that would put him one-on-one with Carson, Crainey makes a magnificent challenge.
Gibbs pops up in the final third for the first time as he looks to cut inside, but after Perch makes a challenge, Giroud's ball into the box is poor and Carson watches it out for a goal kick.
Wigan know they cannot just sit back for 20 minutes, and are looking to keep the ball and impose themselves. We are set for a nervy finish to this semi-final for both sets of fans.
More changes afoot here, with McManaman replaced by Powell for Wigan while Giroud comes on in Podolski's place. The Arsenal fans aren't happy with that decision, venting their frustrations.
Sanogo gets another opportunity as Ramsey crosses from the right into the near post but the striker can only poke over the top under pressure from Ramis.
The Gunners are suddenly throwing more men forward, but Boyce is able to clear as Podolski comes down the left. The Arsenal fans look very worried in the stands.
Wigan have also made a change, with McEachran replaced by Collison in midfield. How do Arsenal respond to going behind?
Penalty Goal Jordi Gómez
GOAL!!! All that waiting hasn't affected Gomez's concentration, and he tucks it away from 12 yards. Fabianski guessed right but the ball was planted firmly in the corner. Wigan's owner, Dave Whelan, is on his feet in the stands, and they are causing problems for the big teams again. Gibbs replaced Monreal at full-back.
A stretcher is being brought on and Monreal looks as if he will be replaced here. Gomez should get his chance in the spotlight very soon...
Gomez is being forced to wait here with Monreal receiving treatment for an earlier incident. McManaman shook him off in the build-up and he seems to have hurt himself. Rosler cannot watch on the bench as the tension mounts around the stadium.
PENALTY! Finally some drama and Wigan have a penalty. McManaman bursts into the box, and after he touches the ball away from Mertesacker, the German brings him down and referee Oliver has no option but to point at the spot. Gomez to step up from 12 yards...
Wigan's winning goal in last year's final didn't come until the final few moments, and at present you wouldn't bet against them doing it again. Arsenal need to produce some magic to break down Rosler's men.
Podolski is able to hold Perch off on the left-hand side before sliding a ball into the box. Ramis is able to beat Sanogo to it again, though, and WIgan clear. The defender has been impressive in the second half.
Wigan come forward for the first time since the break, but McManaman can't quite feed the ball back to Gomez on the edge of the box as Arteta pokes away. The young winger looks the most potent attacker for the Latics.
Better play from Arsenal sees Cazorla send the ball into Sanogo's path, but Ramis is able to get across his body and shepherd the ball back into Carson's grasp.
All fairly straightforward for Wigan's defence so far, with any attempted through ball from Arsenal running through to Carson at present. Sanogo hasn't quite worked Boyce and Ramis as Wenger would have liked this afternoon.
The start of the second half has started in a similar pattern to much of the first, with Arsenal happy to keep the ball in midfield without making any incisive passes forward. Wigan will be happy if it stays that way.
Arsenal kick-off and we are back underway...
The two teams are making their way out onto the field at Wembley as the second half approaches. We await to see whether Arsenal change anything as they chase a goal.
Carson has had to make two saves from Sanogo, but other than that the Wigan defence has coped quite well with all the patient passing play of Arsenal, and Wenger may have to try something different in the second period. I'll be back in ten minutes to see if the deadlock can be broken.
Cazorla's delivery from the right is met by the head of Fortune, and with that Michael Oliver blows his whistle for half-time. Arsenal have had the better of things but Wigan have held firm and know they are still very much in this.
45' + 1'
Into just the one added minute at the end of the first half, and Podolski wins a corner from Perch...
Some concern here for Wigan as Perch stays down after a challenge from Podolski, but it seems the full-back will carry on after some treatment from the physio.
GOOD SAVE! Arsenal are finishing the first half as they began is as Sanogo is played in behind Crainey, but after a heavy first touch, Carson gets out well and parries the striker's effort with his body. The striker really should have done better.
JUST WIDE! Oxlade-Chamberlain wins a free-kick 25 yards from goal, but Podolski's low effort with his left foot is always curling wide and Carson is untroubled.
Fortune finally gets the better of Vermaelen as he runs onto a McEachran ball, but his shot is straight at Fabianski and the goalkeeper can grab it at the second attempt.
McManaman has looked bright, however, and he tries his luck as he gets in down the right-hand channel, but his shot across goal is always too high and Fabianski can wath it go over the bar.
Gomez wastes an opportunity to play Beausejour in behind Sagna but the full-back can cut out the pass and clear the danger. Wigan have been poor in the final third.
Sanogo tries his luck from the edge of the area after some industrious work from Oxlade-Chamberlain but the striker rushes his shot and slices it well over the bar.
Ramsey is looking to float around behind Sanogo, but he is struggling to make much of an impact on the game. McManaman is the latest to challenge him on the left-hand side.
The atmosphere inside the stadium has turned from expectation to nervous tension as both teams continue to feel each other out. No goals certainly suits Wigan more as they look to take this game as deep as possible.
Arsenal certainly haven't made the statement they would have wanted, and they almost fall behind as McManaman crosses from the right, but Vermaelen expertly heads away at the near post.
The Wigan fans inside the ground have had little to shout about as yet, but Gomez almost squeezes a cross under Fabianski's crossbar, though in the end the Pole can watch it out for a goal kick.
JUST WIDE! From the resulting corner, Vermaelen gets up well to nod into Sagna's path, but the full-back's effort from a tight angle flashes across goal and wide of the post.
Ramsey is allowed the space to try and feed Sanogo, but the striker's touch is poor and allows Ramis to get back and make the challenge. Better from Arsenal.
Fortune is very isolated up front for Rosler's side, with Vermaelen dealing with him with ease. There aren't the gaps in the Arsenal side that there were in the Manchester City outfit that were beaten in the quarter-finals.
Patient passing remains the order of the day for Arsenal but they are struggling to penetrate the Wigan defence. Oxlade-Chamberlain has been neutralised and the Latics will be pleased with this.
We have hit a bit of a lull in proceedings with neither side really looking to commit too many men forward as yet. Wigan certainly look more composed on the than they did in the first five minutes.
Arsenal certainly haven't flown out the traps despite their early dominance, and they have now settled into a nice rhythm. Mertesacker and Vermaelen are seeing a lot of the ball as they look to bring the ball forward from the back.
Oxlade-Chamberlain breaks clear of Crainey again as Arteta plays a ball over the top, and Carson has to be quick off his line to force the ball out for a corner. Wigan then get the resulting set-piece clear.
Wigan certainly seem to have curbed Arsenal's attacking threat, with their defence coming out to meet the attacking players of the Gunners. Wenger's side are very comfortable in possession and are willing to be patient though.
Very little in terms of goalmouth action as yet, with Sanogo's header the closest either side have come. WIgan are gradually working their way into the game and looking to keep possession in midfield after a tough start.
Arsenal certainly look comfortable in possession and Oxlade-Chamberlain is proving to be a thorn in Wigan's side. His pace is causing Crainey all sorts of problems.
Fortune is able to get into the game for the first time after Perch finds him in the box, but Vermaelen is able to make an excellent challenge and get the ball clear.
GREAT SAVE! Arsenal create the first opportunity as Oxlade-Chamberlain gets to byline and crosses from the right. Sanogo gets a lot of power behind his header but Carson is able to get the ball away with his legs. Boyce is then on hand to stop the rebound from reaching Ramsey. Gunners well on top in the opening moments.
Wenger has certainly got his side motivated, and they almost threaten again as Ramsey looks to run through on goal. Fortunately for Wigan the linesman flag goes up for offside.
Arsenal start brightly as Oxlade-Chamberlain takes advantage of an errant pass from Ramis. The England man runs at the Wigan defence, but after trading passes with Ramsey he cannot keep control and Carson can collect the ball as it rolls through to him.
Wigan kick-off and we are underway at Wembley...
The silence turned into a minute's applause, and we are now ready for kick-off in the first FA Cup semi-final of the weekend...
The names of the 96 Liverpool fans who lost their lives 25 years ago are being shown on the big screen at Wembley, and the two teams are coming together for a minute's silence.
The two teams have made their way out onto the field, with the two captains carrying wreaths that will be laid by the side of the pitch. FA chairman Greg Dyke will join them in paying their tributes prior to kick-off.
The two teams are in the tunnel and the fans outside are making quite a racket. Arsenal's supporters outnumber those who have made the trip from Lancashire, but no doubt the Wigan followers will more than compete in terms of noise.
Perhaps the most intriguing selection today is that of Sanogo by Arsenal. The young striker is yet to score for Wenger's side, but has been entrusted with finding the net today. He also started the fifth round tie against Liverpool as well as the Champions League first leg against Bayern Munich, so his manager certainly sees him as a man for the big occasion.
Today's match kicks-off at the slightly bizarre time of 17:07 BST, but it is with good reason. Every match in England this weekend kicks-off seven minutes later than originally scheduled in a mark of respect to the 96 Liverpool fans who lost their life in the Hillsborough disaster in 1989. Tuesday marks the 25th anniversary of their deaths, and there will also be a minute's silence prior to kick-off at Wembley.
Rosler makes seven changes to his Wigan side that lost 1-0 to Milwall on Tuesday, with last year's Man of the Match in the final, Callum McManaman amongst those recalled. Scott Carson starts in goal with Ali Al Habsi on the bench while last year's matchwinner against Manchester City, Ben Watson, is out with a broken leg.
The main selection news comes from Arsenal as Olivier Giroud is left on the bench with Yaya Sanogo replacing him in the lone striker's role. Elsewhere, Aaron Ramsey makes his first start since December while Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain also returns to the starting line-up.
Arsenal subs: Szczesny, Jenkinson, Gibbs, Kallstrom, Akpom, Eisfeld, Giroud
Arsenal: Fabianski; Sagna, Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Monreal; Arteta, Ramsey; Oxlade-Chamberlain, Cazorla, Podolski; Sanogo.
Wigan subs: Al Habsi, Barnett, Caldwell, Maloney, Espinoza, Collison, Powell
Wigan Athletic: Carson; Perch, Boyce, Ramis, Crainey; McArthur, McEachran; McManaman, Beausejour, Gomez; Fortune.
Before we go any further, let's take a look at the two team line-ups ahead of kick-off...
Wigan have defied everyone who wrote them off in terms of defending the title they won last season, with Uwe Rosler's side not giving the FA Cup up without a fight. Premier League outfits Crystal Palace and Cardiff City had already been disposed off before the Latics knocked out Manchester City in the quarter-finals, and they are certainly confident of yet another giant-killing in the last four.
The Gunners have already knocked Tottenham and Liverpool out of the FA Cup this season, so most would be forgiven for thinking that seeing off second tier Wigan would be relatively straightforward. But after the chastening experience of the 3-0 defeat to Everton, confidence is low and Wenger will have to raise his squad's morale as he chases his first trophy for nine years. If he loses today, even his most loyal supporters may well turn on him.
Hello and welcome to live coverage of the FA Cup semi-final between Arsenal and Wigan Athletic. Arsene Wenger's side are the overwhelming favourites to pick up their first piece of silverware since winning this competition in 2005, but after a run of four Premier League games without a win, this is far from a foregone conclusion against the Championship outfit. I'm Tom Maston and I'll be guiding you through all the action from Wembley.
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