The FA Cup is now Arsenal’s to Lose
After the Gunners ran riot past Everton to be the first team to book a semifinal place, the onus was on the remaining six teams to show that they were worthy of a semifinal place.
It began with a lower division affair as Sheffield United scored the goals against Charlton Athletic that was enough to send them to a fairytale semifinal place. If their chairman and manager were told at the start of the season that they’d be in the FA Cup semifinal, i’m sure that they might have taken such news with a pinch of salt. As we’ve reached the business end of the competition, the Blades are a game away from what would be a Utopian final.
Elsewhere, two Premier League sides in the forms of Hull City and recent Capital One Cup finalists, Sunderland. The Black Cats led Manchester City after just 10 minutes and if the referee somehow managed to blow the final whistle at that point in time, Sunderland would have booked a Europa League place. However, it was not to be as goals from Yaya Toure, Samir Nasri and Jesus Navas won the trophy for the Citizens.
Yesterday, Sunderland put up a shocking performance as Hull ran them ragged to book a semifinal clash against Sheffield United.
The final quarterfinal match was a repeat of last season’s final as Manchester City were overwhelming favorites to crush Wigan Athletic. The Latics scored a late goal in Wembley to win the competition at the oilers expense and it cost Roberto Mancini his job. With Manchester City already having the Capital One Cup in the bag, many had tipped them to win a domestic Cup double.
As the game hit center stage, Arsenal fans were concerned to know that they were going to play the winners of this clash and given their recent 6-3 spanking in the hands of Manchester City, it wasn’t a prospect many of them were looking forward to.
To everyone’s amazement and the sheer delight of Arsenal fans worldwide, Jordi Gomez converted the spot kick that handed Wigan the lead. A good day got even better when James Perch scored Wigan’s second and my elation knew no bounds. Manchester City got back into the game with a goal from Nasri and it was nail-biting stuff towards the end of the game but Wigan held on!
So there you have it – Hull vs. Sheffield and Arsenal vs. Wigan. Only four teams left in football’s oldest cup competition and Arsenal, yes, Arsenal stands a great chance of ending the trophy drought with two more victories. Wigan has shown their mettle as well as garnering a reputation as ‘giant killers’ but Arsene Wenger of all people would know what winning the FA Cup would do to his team.
In rather simpler terms, the FA Cup is now Arsenal’s to loose.