Reading 1-2 Arsenal: Arsene Wenger relieved at FA Cup progress

Reading 1-2 Arsenal FA Cup Semi Final

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Arsene Wenger was relieved to see his Arsenal side reach a record 19th FA Cup final but he admitted that “we were a bit lucky” to defeat Championship side Reading 2-1 after extra-time at Wembley on Saturday evening.

The Gunners appeared on course to ease past the Royals in their semi-final showdown when Alexis Sanchez scored just before half time.

However, Steve Clarke’s men rallied after the interval and were level on 54 minutes when goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny could only palm the ball back over the line from Garath McCleary’s deflected volley.

Neither side could find a winning goal in normal time, but Arsenal edged through when Reading keeper Adam Federici allowed a low, angled shot from Sanchez to slip through his legs and roll over the line right at the end of the first half in extra-time.

Afterwards Wenger was quick to praise “a well organised, resilient, committed and physically strong Reading” and felt the winning goal had an element of luck about it given that it came from a terrible mistake from Federici.

The Frenchman is now looking for his players to focus on their remaining Premier League games before they try and retain their FA Cup and overtake Manchester United’s mark of 11 victories against either Aston Villa or Liverpool on May 30.

He said: “Now, let’s focus on our next game, we come back here in the final, but we have time to prepare.

“The final is a 50-50 (game). If we can beat the record we will be very happy. Let’s hope we have all of our players available and come back in good shape.”

Arsenal are 1.62 to win the FA Cup, while Liverpool are 2.75 and Aston Villa are 11.00.

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