We always like things the hard way right?
It seems the win’s never sweet when the fans don’t have their hearts in their mouth or that near death feeling isn’t felt?
Why can’t we just win a game fair and without any heartaches??
Only Arsenal can make the side that’s 18th in the Championship look like Barcelona or in the case of Reading yesterday, like Athletico Madrid.
But then its the FA Cup semi final, You bring your best game right???he sun came out for the weekend’s first FA Cup tie and Wenger, taking charge of his 10th semi-final, opted for three changes to his team.
Szczesny resumed his role as ‘cup keeper’ in place of current Premier League pick David Ospina, Mathieu Debuchy started his first game since the win over Stoke City in January, and Danny Welbeck, the match-winner at Manchester United in the last round, stepped in for Olivier Giroud. The form book hinted at a relatively comfortable win for the cup holders. Arsenal had won their last eight and 16 of their last 18; Reading were without a win in five and were taking a step up in class after reaching the last four without playing a top-flight side.
Last year’s nerve-shredding encounter with Wigan was all the evidence Arsenal needed to take their latest Championship opponents seriously.
I guess we never learn or just like nerve-shredding encounters. Like its a tactic or something, give the opposition some hope and then snatch it at the dying moments??
Reading came prepared for us in all aspects of their game, pressing, defending well and their goalie Frederici like he was at an audition at Real Madrid or something.
They pressed and pressed while we did ours but the situation changed sometime later. That pressure lifted six minutes before the break.
Ozil, for once given time 25 yards from goal, spotted Alexis’ clever run into the box and clipped a perfect pass towards him. The Chilean controlled with his thigh and readjusted his feet to poke a low shot through Federici’s legs.
One would think we would come back after the restart and nail the game, add one or two and then have fun but then, reading had other plans.
Arsenal were pegged back nine minutes after the restart.
Only Arsenal can make the side that’s 18th in the Championship look like Barcelona or in the case of Reading yesterday, like Athletico Madrid.Slick interplay on the left saw Pavel Pogrebnyak get to the byline and clip the ball back for McCleary. His first-time effort deflected off Kieran Gibbs and Szczesny couldn’t get enough on his save to stop the ball crossing the line.
The blue-and-white half of Wembley went wild and underdogs had their tails up.
I was sooooo gutted by that goal, the whole world was blaming Szczesny for the goal and how he should have saved it if he was more composed and bla bla bla.
Me? I was pissed ‘cos the lad couldn’t even keep a clean sheet on his birthday. Don’t people get present for theirselves nowadays?? He couldn’t even say his present to himself was not to concede but then, its alright. Happy Birthday SCZ.
Mertesacker was forced off just after the hour mark, Gabriel slotting in alongside Koscielny. The Brazilian was straight into the thick of the action, meeting Ozil’s corner with a powerful header that brought the best out of Federici.
And after that and till the end of the game, we hit the bar how many times?? 3?? 4??
It was unbelievable, like Reading adjusted the post or something.
Arsenal needed a moment of inspiration and it almost came six minutes from time. Ozil released Alexis down the left, he found Giroud and he in turn picked out Ramsey, who held off a challenge to force a save from Federici. Ramsey looked poised to slam in the rebound but hit the post instead.
The game went into Extra time and I had an headache by then. Heart pounding, heart racing but just had to finish the game.
Thanks to Ozil and Sanchez, I could sleep well as they reproduced the stuff they did for the first goal. We were in possession, Ozil to Sanchez and then it happened, 105 minutes on the clock.
Adam Federici lay inert on the turf for a moment. He realised the magnitude of what happened. He understood the horror of it instantly. He let his head rest on the grass and closed his eyes as if he was trying to wish it all away, as if he was trying to blot out the din and the agony and the wild celebrations of the Arsenal fans.
Thanks to Ozil and Sanchez, I could sleep well as they reproduced the stuff they did for the first goal. We were in possession, Ozil to Sanchez and then it happened, 105 minutes on the clock.His face was scrunched against the grass, distorted in a mask of despair. Reading, still struggling to avoid relegation to League One, had performed heroically to push Arsenal into extra-time in this FA Cup semi-final and Federici had pulled off a series of stunning saves to keep the sides level at 1-1 but the Australian goalkeeper guessed there would be no way back now.
There had been less than a minute to go before the extra-time interval when Alexis Sanchez had cut in from the left and fired in a stinging shot straight at Federici. He knelt to gather it but somehow it squirmed through his legs and trickled over the line as he scrambled in vain to retrieve it. It was football at its most cruel. In years to come, it will be the enduring image of this game.
Guess his luck had to run out at one point or another.
Just so glad the game did not go into penalties.
Reading weren’t done but they were flagging, and the final whistle ended their brave resistance. Arsenal, elated and relieved, are Wembley-bound again.
I wish I could see Steve Clarke now to remind him of his pre-game words. Those words sure worked wonders for his team but sorry bruh, that there is the end of your FA Cup journey.
Now we are in the final for a record 19th time???
I am not even gonna comment on Gibbs and Debuchy who both looked off pace today just cos we are in the final. Lucky lads.
Ozil assisted twice, Sanchez scored twice, Mertesacker injured, Frederici cried but then we are in the final.
Now to see who we are gonna face later this month later today.
Liverpool or Aston Villa?? *fingers crossed*
Aston Villa it is…