Arsenal took on Hull City in their belated quarter-final FA Cup clash, each hoping to earn a place in the last four of the competition and a date with Chelsea.
The Gunners made six changes from the side that cruised past Blackburn Rovers at the weekend inserting the likes of Fabianski, William Gallas and Carlos Vela into the starting lineup.
Not to be outdone, Hull also reshuffled their side but crucially retained Geovanni, the man who hit a stunning goal as the Tigers achieved a surprise victory the last time the two sides met at the Emirates.
Indeed that result was brought swiftly to mind by all inside the ground as the visitors took the lead as early as the 13th minute.
A hopeful ball into the box by Andy Dawson found Nick Barmby who allowed the ball to bounce over his shoulder before firing a left-footed effort goalwards.
His shot took a fortunate deflection off Johan Djourou to loop over a helpless Fabianski and into the back of the net to hand the visitors a shock lead.
Yet it might have been so much better for the Tigers in a first half in which Arsenal struggled to find any sort of rhythm whilst also looking out of sorts defensively.
Mid-way through the first half Gallas pulled Peter Halmosi down, just outside the box.
Cue Geovanni who firing a curling effort over the wall but couldn’t beat Fabianski who acrobatically tipped the ball over for the corner.
From the resulting corner more poor Arsenal defending saw the ball only cleared as far as Dawson on the edge of the box who fired a low shot back into a packed penalty area.
Whilst his effort looked wayward, Barmby nicked in at the far post to divert it past Fabianski, yet crucially for the home side he was offside and the goal was chalked off.
Meanwhile, Arsene Wenger’s men were struggling to create anything much of note at the other end.
Arshavin came the closest for the Gunners, shooting low and accurately but seeing his effort brilliantly blocked by a desperate Ricketts before another fierce volley fizzed wide of Myhill’s left hand post.
Yet it was Hull who might have added the second. A free-kick by Halmosi into the box caused confusion and with Fabianski missing his punch, Zayatte could only head onto the roof of the net.
Phil Brown was forced into a change at half-time with the hamstrung Ian Ashbee being replaced by Bryan Hughes and a determined Arsenal side ensured the visitors began the second half on the back foot.
Abou Diaby almost scored in the opening exchanges after connecting powerfully with an Arshavin corner but his header flew a few inches wide.
Minutes later and a Robin van Persie's header was forced off the line by Dawson with Song somehow hooking the rebound wide.
The Gunners were ramping up the pressure, even forcing the 35-year-old legs of Barmby to track back and deny Arshavin with a superb last ditch challenge just on the half mark.
Yet they couldn’t find an equaliser and with 25 minutes remaining a frustrated Wenger sent on Samir Nasri and Nicklas Bendtner.
However, it was van Persie who almost grabbed a goal minutes after their arrival. The Dutch striker curled a low free kick around the wall but not past Myhill who got down low to parry the ball around his post.
From the resulting corner it was the striker again, this time heading onto the woodwork as Hull stubbornly kept their illustrious hosts at bay.
However, Arsenal were simply not to be denied and with 20 minutes to go they finally dragged themselves back on level terms.
Bendtner did well inside the box to cross for Arshavin and he cleverly cut the ball back to van Persie to drive home from close range.
Yet Hull might have restored their lead within minutes. A Djourou mistake allowed Geovanni time to shoot and his effort worried Fabianski but flew just high and wide.
As time ticked away the chances came thick and fast. Myhill spilling a cross and allowing Bendtner an open goal to shoot at but the Dane thrashed over before Arsahvin teed up Gibbs to shoot straight at the Hull stopper.
A winner for the home side looked inevitable and it duly arrived with five minutes remaining.
A long ball into the box was not dealt with by Myhill and allowed a suspiciously offside looking Gallas to head into an empty net from a few yards and ensure Arsenal are off to Wembley.
Arsenal: Fabianski, Sagna, Gallas, Djourou, Gibbs, Walcott (Eboue, 82), Song (Bendtner, 65), Diaby, Vela (Nasri, 65), Arshavin, Van Persie.
Hull: Myhill, Ricketts, Gardner, Zayatte, Dawson, Ashbee (Hughes, 46), Barmby (France, 76), Geovanni, Fagan, Manucho, Halmosi (Mendy, 68).
2-1 Arsenal (Gallas, 84)
1-1 Arsenal (van Persie, 74)
0-1 Hull City (Barmby, 13)
Gill Clark, Goal.com