Arsenal reaches FA Cup semifinals

Arsenal won their first game at Old Trafford since 2006 on March 9 and knocked hosts Manchester United out of the FA Cup in the process. The Gunners triumphed 2-1 in the quarterfinal match and will now meet either Bradford or Reading in the semifinals at Wembley. Bradford and Reading played to a 0-0 draw on the weekend and will engage in a replay at Reading. Arsenal advanced to the final four on former Man United player Danny Welbeck’s game-winning goal.

Nacho Monreal put Arsenal in front after 25 minutes, but Wayne Rooney equalized just four minutes later to send the teams to the dressing room 1-1 at halftime. Welbeck scored the winner when Man United left-back Antonio Valencia attempted a ridiculous back pass to goaltender David De Gea and it was picked off by Welbeck. The England international then strode a few steps before calmly depositing the ball into the gaping net just after the hour mark.

A comeback for United was made even more difficult in the second half when Angel Di Maria was sent off the pitch with a pair of yellow cards. Di Maria grabbed the back of referee Michael Oliver’s shits and pulled on it after disagreeing with a yellow card for diving and that was the end of his night with 13 minutes still remaining in the game. United pressed, but couldn’t come up with the equalizer while Colombian international striker Radamel Falcao sat on the bench as an unused substitute.

Arsenal are the reigning FA Cup champions and both sides entered the game as 11-time Cup winners. The Gunners could make it an even dozen this season, but they’ll have to get by Bradford or Reading in the semifinal and then either Aston Villa, Blackburn or Liverpool in the Wembley final in May. Blackburn and Liverpool are also headed to a replay at Ewood Park after drawing 0-0 at Anfield on the weekend.

Photo-AP