Reading set up Gunners showdown

Reading manager Steve Clarke

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Reading will meet Arsenal in the FA Cup semi-final at Wembley after cruising past Bradford 3-0 at the Madejski Stadium on Monday evening.

The two sides played out a goalless draw in the first meeting but it was the Royals who dominated the replay and were 2-0 up within the opening nine minutes.

Bradford were then reduced to 10 men when Filip Morais was shown a straight red card for a high tackle, before the home side fired home a third.

It brought to an end another memorable cup run for League One Bradford, and Reading boss Steve Clarke is now hoping his side can replicate their giant-killing exploits throughout the rest of the competition.

It will not be easy against tournament favourites Arsenal, but Clarke says his players have what it takes to cause an upset.

“You see tonight what it means to us,” he said of Reading’s cup run. “We go to the semi-final a difficult game against Arsenal but we go there with hope and belief that maybe we can continue the good work of Bradford.

“Bradford have been fantastic underdogs in this tournament this year and we look to pick up the baton now and do it in the semi-final.”

Clarke made 11 changes to the side which slipped to a 4-1 defeat at Watford in the Championship on Saturday and believes he made the right decision to do so.

“I am paid to do a job for the club and I have to do what is correct for the football club and I think I did that,” he added. “I am pleased for the players – it has been a difficult season for them.”

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