Summoning every ounce of their superior quality and resources, Arsenal somehow found a way to come from behind and beat FA Cup holders Wigan in a penalty shootout to reach the final for the first time in nine years.
Mighty Wigan, currently fifth in the Championship, opened the scoring after Arsenal defender Per Mertesacker conceded a penalty in the 63rd minute. It seemed Arsenal were doomed to an all too familiar big match defeat, but Mertesacker made up for his earlier mistake by equalizing in the 82nd minute to send the match to extra time, keeping Arsenal's improbable dream alive.
After surviving two scoreless extra time periods, it was time for penalties, where Arsenal goalkeeper Lukas Fabianski miraculously saved Wigan's first two attempts. Arsenal won the shootout 4-2, giving Wigan six losses in their last eight shootouts.
This monumental win couldn't have come at a better time for Arsenal. They have endured yet another stormy season as their trophy drought has carried on since winning the 2005 FA Cup final. They've gone from Premier League leaders in the first half of the season to fifth, dropping like Andre Marriner's credibility after sending off the wrong player and heaping further pressure on embattled manager Arsene Wenger, who was legally required to change his name to "Arsene WengerOut" since an overwhelming segment of the population has taken to calling him that.
Arsenal will now face the winner of Hull City v Sheffield United in the final with the hope that they can eke out one more win against a vastly inferior side to achieve the impossible. And avoid the embarrassment Man City have endured since losing last year's final and then getting eliminated by Wigan again in this year's quarterfinal.
- - - - - - -
- Sports & Recreation