Apr 12, 2014 at 5.07pm UK at ​Wembley
WiganWigan Athletic
1-1
Arsenal
Gomez (63' pen.)
Gomez (79'), McArthur (90'), Collison (90'), Beausejour (120')
FT(HT: 0-0)
Arsenal win 4-2 on penalties

Live Commentary: Wigan Athletic 1-1 Arsenal (Arsenal win 4-2 on penalties) - as it happened

Per Mertesacker of Arsenal wheels away in delight after scoring the equaliser against Wigan Athletic in the FA Cup semi-final at Wembley on April 12, 2014
© Getty Images
Relive how Arsenal booked their place in the FA Cup final, beating holders Wigan Athletic on penalties at Wembley.

Arsenal booked their place in the FA Cup final courtesy of a win over holders Wigan Athletic this evening, but they needed penalties to scrape past the Championship outfit.

Wigan took the lead just after the hour mark when Jordi Gomez slotted a penalty past Lukas Fabianski after Per Mertesacker had brought down Callum McManaman inside the area.

Mertesacker atoned for his error later in the game, however, grabbing the crucial equaliser for his side with just eight minutes of normal time remaining.

A goalless extra-time period ensued before Wigan missed the first two penalties of the shootout, allowing Santi Cazorla to send the winning spot kick straight down the middle.

You can read how the Gunners took a big step towards ending their nine-year trophy drought with Sports Mole's live minute-by-minute coverage below.


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4pmGood afternoon! Thank you very much for joining Sports Mole for a huge FA Cup semi-final between holders Wigan and favourites Arsenal at Wembley. It promises to be a season-defining match for both teams as they look to reach next month's final, so we should be in for a cracking match in the capital. Let's start with a look at the Latics...

4.02pmWigan shock the country with their victory over Manchester City in last year's FA Cup final, picking up the first piece of silverware in their history in dramatic fashion. If they can retain the FA Cup this year, however, it would have to go down as an even bigger achievement and the most unlikely of back-to-back cup success in the competition's long and illustrious history.

4.04pmIt was assumed that their success in the tournament last season would be a one-off, particularly considering they were also relegated from the Premier League, but there is no doubt that they have earned their spot among the final four again this season. They scraped past MK Dons in their first match, winning after extra time in a replay, but since then it has been Premier League opposition all the way for the Latics. Crystal Palace and Cardiff were both beaten 2-1, before Wigan got the huge scalp of Man City at the Etihad by the same scoreline.

4.06pmThat victory against City was all the more impressive considering how dominant the Premier League title challengers had been at home all season, and it will act as a warning to Arsenal in this match. It would be dangerous to underestimate the Latics, and doing so could result in the Gunners becoming the fourth top-flight team to fall at the hands of Wigan this season.

4.08pmMuch has changed since that famous win at the Etihad, however, and Wigan come into today's game in much worse form than they were last month. They have only won one of their last five games having gone 10 games unbeaten before that, and their last outing saw them beaten 1-0 by struggling Millwall on Tuesday. Not only have they had less time to rest than Arsenal, then, but their latest defeat was a shock one and will have had an impact on their confidence going into today's game.

4.10pmOf course, the Latics may have had one eye on today's match for that game in midweek, and they can be excused for doing so. Their place in the playoffs is all but wrapped up, with six points separating them from seventh and the teams below them struggling for form. They could well be back at Wembley later in the season if they reach the playoff final, but their current league position enables them to focus their full attention on today without worrying what effect it may have on their chances of making the top six.

4.12pmThe good news for the Latic is that they are in good form away from home. Their recent 1-0 defeat to Queens Park Rangers was the first on their travels in their last eight matches, a run that stretches all the way back to early December. During that time, of course, they have beaten City away from home, so they know how to get the business done on the road. Their record at the new Wembley is also good, having won both of their previous visits here. They were, of course, in last year's semi-final and final, both games they won without conceding a goal.

4.14pmConsidering the relative size of the club, their recent record in the FA Cup is remarkable. They have not lost in the competition for more than two years, with their last defeat coming all the way back in January 2012. They have beaten top-flight opposition five times in that spell, and are now looking to become the first team to win the famous old trophy from outside the top division since 1980.

4.16pmThe unexpected nature of a second consecutive cup run for Wigan could well take all of the pressure off them and heap it onto the shoulders of Arsenal, who are already under a lot of it. A poor recent run of form has seen them knocked out of the Premier League title race and now even a spot in the top four seems to be hanging by a thread. Indeed, it is out of their own hands and they could find themselves in fifth place by the end of the day should Everton avoid defeat against Sunderland.

4.18pmIn many ways, being such overwhelming favourites to lift the trophy this season could harm Arsenal's chances of ending their nine-year drought. With the possible exception of the 2011 League Cup final, when they were beaten by Birmingham, Wenger has never had a better chance to finally pick up another piece of silverware as he has this season, and failure to do so could well be the final straw for the owners, particularly with the Frenchman's contract due to run out soon.

4.20pmToday, then, is a chance for Wenger to save his side's floundering season, and perhaps even his own legacy at the club. Finishing the season in the top four with a major trophy would go down as a successful campaign for the Gunners, but if they were to miss out on the FA Cup and fail to qualify for the Champions League next season then it would be one of the worst seasons for them in recent memory. For all Wenger's great moments as Arsenal boss - and there have been plenty - it would take a lot to shake off the tag of a decade without a trophy.

4.22pmThey come into this match in poor form having not won in four games - a run started by the 6-0 mauling they received at the hands of Chelsea. Two draws followed before they were once again swept aside, this time by Everton, in a crucial battle in the race for fourth. During that four-game spell they have conceded 12 goals and scored just three, which will be a major concern for Wenger.

4.24pmAnother area of concern for the Frenchman will be his team's recent away form. They have won just one of their last seven matches on the road, while their last two have seen them ship nine goals without registering on the scoreboard themselves. What's more, their last win at Wembley came all the way back in 1999, meaning that they haven't yet won at the new stadium. They have had two visits there, losing the 2009 FA Cup semi 2-1 to Chelsea and the aforementioned League Cup final to Birmingham.

4.26pmTheir record in this season's competition is impressive, however. They have certainly not had an easy ride to the last four, having to beat the likes of Tottenham Hotspur, Liverpool and Everton as well as Coventry. Wigan, then, shouldn't pose the greatest risk to Arsenal's survival in the competition this year, but they still can't afford to underestimate the Latics.

4.28pmThis will be the 27th time that Arsenal have played in the last four of the FA Cup, which is the joint most ever alongside Manchester United. They have won 17 of them, so they certainly don't lack experience at this stage of the competition. Wenger himself has been in this position plenty of times and such knowhow could prove to be decisive this afternoon.

4.30pmTEAM NEWS: Right, the teams are in for both sides, and the biggest news comes from the Arsenal camp as Aaron Ramsey makes his first start since Boxing Day. He is joined in the starting lineup by Yaya Sanogo, with Giroud left on the bench again. Wigan, meanwhile, opt for Scott Carson in goal in stead of usual number one Al-Habsi, while Nick Powell only makes the bench. Full team news for both sides coming right up...

4.32pmWIGAN STARTING XI: Carson; Perch, Boyce, Ramis, Crainey; McArthur, McEachran, McManaman, Beausejour; Gomez; Fortune

4.32pmWIGAN SUBS: Al Habsi, Barnett, Caldwell, Maloney, Espinoza, Collison, Powell

4.34pmARSENAL STARTING XI: Fabianski; Sagna, Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Monreal; Arteta, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ramsey, Cazorla, Podolski; Sanogo

4.34pmARSENAL SUBS: Szczesny, Jenkinson, Gibbs, Kallstrom, Akpom, Eisfeld, Giroud

4.36pmSo, what can we make of those two sides? Well, for Wigan the biggest question over team selection would be whether Carson or Al Habsi would start in goal. Carson has been generally favoured for the FA Cup matches so far, and Uwe Rosler has again opted for him today. It will, of course, be a blow to Al Habsi, but Carson does have experience in big games like this having previously played for England.

4.38pmThe exclusion of Powell is a bit of a surprise as he has the ability to create something special out of nothing for the Latics, but the more physical presence of Fortune may be better suited to the game if Wigan find themselves without the ball for long periods. In that scenario, Fortune is likely to get increasingly isolated, so his ability to hold the ball up could be key. It is also good to see Caldwell and Maloney on the bench as they have missed a large chunk of the season through injury and are now returning just in time for the Latics.

4.38pmThe exclusion of Powell is a bit of a surprise as he has the ability to create something special out of nothing for the Latics, but the more physical presence of Fortune may be better suited to the game if Wigan find themselves without the ball for long periods. In that scenario, Fortune is likely to get increasingly isolated, so his ability to hold the ball up could be key. It is also good to see Caldwell and Maloney on the bench as they have missed a large chunk of the season through injury and are now returning just in time for the Latics.

4.40pmPerhaps the biggest threat to the Arsenal defence will be Jordi Gomez, however. He has impressed for Wigan all season and has a fine recent record in this competition having scored five goals and assisted five more in his last 10 FA Cup outings. Without Flamini in midfield, he could find himself with a bit of room to work with as Ramsey and Arteta are bound to be drawn further upfield on occasions.

4.42pmAs for Arsenal, Wenger has not sprung any real surprises with his lineup for today's game. He has a long injury list, so his options were fairly limited, but the return of Aaron Ramsey is a big boost. He was on fire at the start of the season but an injury has kept him out for more than three months now. Today will be his first start since Boxing Day, and he is expected to slot in alongside Arteta in midfield, replacing the suspended Flamini.

4.44pmThere is another fitness boost in the middle of the park for Arsenal as Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is included having been a doubt for the game. Rosicky, however, does not make the cut having also been a doubt. Arsenal are fortunate to have plenty of depth within their midfield, and they have needed it this season, with the likes of Ozil and Wilshere also sidelined at the moment.

4.46pmThe inclusion of Sanogo was expected due to this being a cup competition, but it is still interesting that Wenger has had the confidence to leave Giroud out of such a big game. Sanogo is yet to really prove himself this season and it is a big ask for the youngster to come in and perform on such a big stage. Giroud, meanwhile, may not be in the best form at the moment but he has generally done well against 'smaller' sides this season. He also has a great record in this competition having scored five in his last five FA Cup appearances. Interestingly, three of those have come as a sub.

4.48pmAnother change that was expected is the inclusion of Fabianski ahead of Szczesny. Again, Wenger is sticking with the players who have got his team to this stage of the competition, and Fabianski would not have been happy if he was dropped for today's game. In front of him, Gibbs is not risked from the start having been a doubt going into the game so Monreal starts in a defence that once again includes Vermaelen due to Koscielny's injury.

4.50pmPREDICTION: We're nearing kickoff at the Emirates, which means that it is about time I brought you my prediction! This one is a really tricky one to call today. Arsenal are rightly favourites going into the match, but Wigan have established a fearsome reputation as giant-killers over the last two seasons and will fancy their chances of springing another shock today against an Arsenal side low on confidence. No-one does a collapse quite like the Gunners, but I think their superior quality will just about shine through today. I'll go for a 2-1 win to Arsenal.

4.52pmThese two sides have never met each other at any stage of the FA Cup before, but the Latics will not have fond memories of their last meeting with the Gunners. It came in May of last year, just days after Wigan had won this very trophy, and Arsenal won 4-1 to consign Wigan to relegation from the Premier League.

4.54pmA lot has changed since then, however, not least in the Wigan camp. Roberto Martinez has left and is now threatening Arsenal's top-four place with Everton, while his successor Owen Coyle did not last long before being replaced by Uwe Rosler. The former Brentford boss, who lost a playoff final here with his old side, has worked wonders with the team so far and could continue their FA Cup fairytale today.

4.56pmAn interesting fact that may give some hope to Arsenal fans, however: The last three times that Sheffield United have reached the semi-finals of the FA Cup, the Gunners have gone on to win the trophy. The Blades take on Hull City in the second semi-final tomorrow, with the winner of that match meeting the winner of today's encounter in next month's Wembley final.

4.58pmToday's match will kick off at seven minutes past five as a tribute to those who lost their lives in the Hillsborough disaster, which took place 25 years ago on Tuesday. It was, of course, an FA Cup semi-final that saw those awful scenes take place, so it will be a particularly poignant moment's silence at Wembley I'm sure.

5pmArsene Wenger's stay at Arsenal is becoming increasingly defined by his trophy drought, so it is imperative for his reputation, legacy and even his future that he wins today. If he doesn't his reign may be more synonymous with a decade without silverware than it is for the Invincibles or his double-winning sides, which would be a big shame.

5.02pmNo matter if you're Arsenal, who have been in the semi-finals 27 times, or Wigan, who have reached this stage two years in a row now, this is still a very special experience. It is always a great day out for the fans, although Arsenal supporters in particular will not be leaving with smiles on their faces if they don't win today.

5.04pmThe teams come out of the tunnel to the wonderful Wembley Stadium, and they are greeted by a warm reception from the fans. There is a great atmosphere inside a packed stadium as the fans get ready for what should be a very good match.

5.06pmIt isn't quite a sell-out as 96 seats were left unsold as a tribute to the fans who died at Hillsborough 25 years ago, They each have a Liverpool scarf draped over them, which is a nice touch. Both captains and FA Cup chairman Greg Dyke will lay a wreath before the match, while we will also have the moment of silence.

5.07pmThe silence quickly turns to applause as those inside Wembley pay their respects to the victims of Hillsborough. It is one issue that always unites football fans, regardless of who you support.

1 minKICKOFF: Wigan get us underway at Wembley for a huge match for both clubs. Can the Latics pull off yet another shock in this tournament, or will Arsenal's quality shine through?

1 minBright start from the Gunners as they come forward quickly as soon as they win the ball back. The ball is fed towards Sanogo, who leaves it for Oxlade-Chamberlain, but the England man can't control it and it runs through to the keeper.

3 minThere is a large Arsenal contingent inside the ground for today's game, as you would expect with Wembley being so close to the Emirates. Both sets of supporters are making plenty of noise in these early stages, though.

5 minCHANCE! Huge chance for Arsenal to break the deadlock early on. Oxlade-Chamberlain plays a really good cross into the box that Sanogo attacks and nods down, but it is straight at the keeper, who makes the stop from close range. Either side of Carson and that would have been a goal for the Gunners.

7 minSanogo attacked the ball really well in the middle there and, apart from failing to put it either side of the keeper, he did everything right. Good start for Arsenal but they probably should be ahead. Could that miss come back to haunt them?

9 minWigan need to settle in this match. If they allow Arsenal to build confidence and start passing the ball around as well as we know they can do, then they will find it very hard to stop the Gunners. The first nine minutes have belonged to Arsenal.

11 minArsenal have slowed the tempo down a little now but they are still in control of the ball, knocking it about patiently in the middle of the park. Wigan may be forced to do a lot of chasing this afternoon if the opening 11 minutes are anything to go by.

13 minThe game has hit a bit of a lull in the last few minutes, which is a good thing for Wigan. They have gained a foothold in the game and are preventing Arsenal from making as much progress in dangerous positions as they were in the early stages.

15 minArsenal again knock the ball around patiently in midfield before Ramsey clips the ball over the top for Oxlade-Chamberlain to race on to. He gets to the ball before Carson, who gets a vital hand on it to push it behind for a corner, which comes to nothing.

17 minOxlade-Chamberlain has been the biggest threat for Arsenal so far as he looks to use his pace to get behind the defence. It was his cross that set up Sanogo for what has been our only real chance so far this afternoon.

19 minMcManaman gets a brief talking to from Michael Oliver for a late challenge on Monreal. McManaman could be key for the Latics today with his pace down the right flank. He was, of course, the man of the match in last year's final, so he will have fond memories of Wembley.

21 minRight on cue, McManaman takes the ball past Arteta on the right and looks to drive into the area. However, he just couldn't catch the ball having knocked it past the Spanish midfielder as it rolled out for a goal kick.

23 minSafe to say that this is not exactly a thriller yet. The match started well and Sanogo very nearly gave Arsenal an early lead, but since then we haven't had any goalmouth action as Wigan have settled and neither side have been able to grab hold of the match.

25 minSanogo is very nearly slipped in by Ramsey, but the young striker just can't take it in his stride. His first touch holds the ball up, and that allows Ramis to get in and make the challenge.

26 minCHANCE! Another really good opening for Arsenal, and it comes to Sagna at the back post. Cazorla's corner is flicked on to the right-back, who sends his effort from close range back across goal and behind. He was faced with a tight angle there and it wasn't quite a sitter, but he will be disappointed not to have at least worked Carson.

28 minStill nothing to speak of in an attacking sense for Wigan. They have not threatened Fabianski's goal at all so far, and the Arsenal defence has dealt with everything easily so far.

29 minAs I say that, Gomez makes progress down the left flank and fires a ball into the area that is awkward for Fabianski. It skims off the top of the bar and behind for a goal kick, which is about the most dangerous the Latics have looked so far. Fabianski did look to have it covered.

31 minReally good play from McManaman as he picks the ball up and drives straight at Vermaelen inside the box. He pushes the ball past the Arsenal defender, creating space to cross before seeing his low delivery cleared by Mertesacker. Good work from the winger.

33 minThis has been better from Wigan in the last five minutes or so as they begin to control the ball more effectively and ask a couple of questions of the Arsenal defence. Still nothing in the way of chances, but promising signs nonetheless.

35 minSHOT! Arsenal start knocking on the door with a few passes in and around the box. Wigan scramble to deal with the danger and the ball eventually falls to Sanogo, who fires an effort well off target from 20 yards.

37 minWigan have a free kick in a good crossing position here, which will give Wigan their first chance to get the defenders up from the back and pack the Gunners' area.

38 minSHOT! The initial free kick is easily dealt with, but Wigan pump the ball back upfield and it is nodded down to McManaman. The winger once again takes Vermaelen on inside the box before firing a shot/cross across the face of goal.

39 minSAVE! This is much better from Wigan now. Again they threaten as Fortune makes a good run into the box to latch on to a ball forward before firing towards the near post. However, Fabianski got his angles right and made a comfortable save.

40 minUp the other end, Oxlade-Chamberlain is brought down in a dangerous position, giving Arsenal a chance to test Carson with the free kick.

41 minSHOT! It is Podolski who lines the free kick up and he gets it up and over the wall well enough, but he puts too much curl on it and it finishes a couple of yards wide of the mark. Carson wasn't too worried about that one.

42 minCHANCE! Huge chance for Sanogo to break the deadlock! He races on to a ball behind the defence and tears away from the Wigan backline. He only has Carson to beat, but his first touch is a little heavy and that allows the keeper to come out and smother the effort. That was a really good opportunity for the youngster.

44 minWigan are shooting themselves in the foot just before half time here. Carson gifts the ball to Arsenal in a dangerous place and Podolski and Sanogo look to take advantage before the linesman's flag spares any blushes from the keeper. They will not want to concede right before half time.

45 minThe fourth official indicates a minimum of one minute added time at the end of this first half.

45+1 minHALF TIME: Wigan Athletic 0-0 Arsenal

5.58pmSo far so good for Wigan then as they hold Arsenal to a goalless first half at Wembley. The Gunners started well but the Latics soon settled into the match and will be happy with their performance so far. They do need to pose more of a threat in the final third if they are to reach a second consecutive final, but they did begin to create a few openings towards the end of that first half.

6pmThe two best chances of the match so far have both fallen the way of Arsenal and Yaya Sanogo, however. The first came after just five minutes when the young striker attacked a fine Oxlade-Chamberlain delivery to nod a powerful header towards goal, but it was straight at Scott Carson, who made the save. Had he put it anywhere else, it would have been a perfect opening for Arsenal which would have also settled their nerves.

6.02pmThe second chance came at the end of the half as Sanogo raced through on goal, using his pace to get behind the defence. However, his first touch was too heavy and that allowed Carson to come out and smother the shot. Sanogo certainly showed what he brings to the team ahead of Giroud with the pace to get into the one-on-one situation, but his finishing is still lacking.

6.04pmSagna has also had a really good chance to break the deadlock as the ball was flicked on to him from a corner. The right-back was positioned at the back post but couldn't hit the target from close range under heavy pressure. A striker may have expected to finish it, or at least to have squared it for Mertesacker in the middle, but Sagna lacked the composure to make the most of it.

6.06pmCredit must got to Wigan for their part in that first half. After a tough first few minutes in which Arsenal were very much on top, the Latics eased their way into the game and stopped the Gunners from playing. A subtle tweak of their tactics made it harder for Arsenal to play their way through them, and they have done a good job of nullifying the threat from Arsene Wenger's men so far. They also showed signs of making headway in an attacking sense as the half went on, so they will be confident that they can nick a goal in the second half.

6.08pmThe next milestone for the Latics to get to will be the hour mark. If they are still level at that stage of the game then the pressure would really start to build on Arsenal, whose season is already on the verge of collapse but could implode if they fail to win this afternoon. Wigan also have the likes of Maloney and Powell on the bench, both of whom are capable of changing a game.

46 minKICKOFF: Arsenal get us underway for the second half, and what a big half it is for both teams. Either Wigan or Arsenal could be 45 minutes from the FA Cup final - who will make themselves a hero?

48 minGomez was earmarked as a player who could potentially harm Arsenal this afternoon, but he hasn't had his best game so far. He has misplaced a number of passes and failed to pose as big a threat to the Gunners' defence as expected. Still plenty of time for that to change, however.

50 minReally good defending from Perch there. Arsenal came forward menacingly as Cazorla slipped the ball to the overlapping Monreal on the left flank. However, the former Newcastle man read the pass and pulled off a textbook sliding challenge to win possession back for his side and clear the danger.

51 minGood defending from Ramis this time as Cazorla lifts the ball over for Sanogo, who looks for a second to be through on goal. However, the ball never sits quite right for him to hit and Ramis eventually runs him off it as Carson collects.

53 minA glimpse of an opening for Wigan as they come forward down the left and the ball is eventually squeezed back to McManaman. He never gets a clear chance to unleash a shot and Arsenal manage to get it half clear before Wigan come back again and win a corner.

54 minFrom the corner, the ball is cleared out to the edge of the box before the subsequent shot is blocked by a red shirt in the area. Scrappy period of the match as Arsenal are forced into some fairly desperate defending.

56 minPodolski threatens for Arsenal as he drives to the byline before drilling a low delivery into the middle. Ramis is there again to clear the danger, however, before Sanogo can pounce on the chance.

57 minArsenal's pressure begins to build on the Wigan defence and the fans respond by cranking up the volume at the Gunners' end. Can they build on this momentum now?

59 minPENALTY TO WIGAN!

61 minA potentially huge moment in this match and in the seasons of both clubs! McManaman does really well, holding off the challenge on Monreal on the right before driving across the pitch and just into the box. Mertesacker slides in and misses the ball, bringing down the winger and the referee points to the spot after a long think. It is the right decision from the ref, but the penalty is delayed as Monreal receives treatment.

63 minGOAL! Wigan Athletic 1-0 Arsenal (Jordi Gomez)

63 minGomez must have nerves of steel! Almost four minutes after the penalty was initially given, he finally gets to take it and puts it right in the corner, beyond the despairing dive of the keeper. Fabianski guessed the right way, but he couldn't keep it out. Are Wigan on the verge of another incredible victory?

65 minWIGAN SUB: The Latics make a change in the immediate aftermath of the goal, with Josh McEachran being replaced by Jack Collison. Arsenal also made a change just before the penalty as Gibbs replaced the injured Monreal.

67 minCHANCE! Half a chance for Arsenal, and once again it falls to Sanogo. Ramsey slid the ball into a good area and the youngster made the run towards the near post but couldn't keep his flicked effort down. It would have been some finish if he could have beaten the keeper there.

68 minWIGAN SUB: Wigan make another change as McManaman, who won the penalty, goes off to be replaced by Nick Powell.

69 minARSENAL SUB: The Gunners make a sub of their own straight after, and it is not a popular one with the fans. They boo as Podolski is hauled off to be replaced by Olivier Giroud, who doesn't look too pleased with that reception.

71 minThe Gunners have 20 minutes left to save their season here. You can be sure that the fans, already unhappy with yet another collapse in recent weeks, will be fuming if they fail to win the FA Cup this season considering the other three semi-finalists. There will be a large chunk of stoppage time due to the injury to Monreal, though.

73 minWenger is pacing nervously on the touchline now as he wills his side to get an equaliser here. They have had the chances to be ahead in this game, but they have not been clinical enough. The calls to buy a striker will be even more vociferous if they fail to win this match.

74 minSAVE! Ambitious effort from Oxlade-Chamberlain as he drills a shot towards goal from 30 yards out. It is a good strike, flying low through a number of bodies, but Carson gets down well to make the save and hold on to the ball.

76 minThe Arsenal pressure is growing again now, as you would expect. However, they aren't many signs of them being able to break this Wigan defence down, and Sanogo is unlikely to find space behind them as they begin to drop deeper and deeper.

78 minArteta is penalised for a foul on Powell in a good area for Wigan. It wastes some crucial seconds for the Latics, and it could be even worse for Arsenal if Wigan can make anything of it. The delivery is good, but Fabianski does well to get a strong punch on the ball.

79 minYELLOW CARD! Jordi Gomez becomes the first man to go into the book today as he trips Giroud. Michael Oliver allowed play to continue before going back to book the Wigan goalscorer.

81 minOFF THE POST! So close to an equaliser for Arsenal! Oxlade-Chamberlain's corner is dreadful but he gets another chance to put it into the area, hanging it up for the red shirts to attack. It looks to be Sanogo who knocks it down before Sagna pokes it onto the post.

82 minGOAL! Wigan 1-1 Arsenal (Per Mertesacker)

82 minWhat a huge goal that is for Arsenal! Wigan failed to deal with a corner as Sanogo knocks it back to Oxlade-Chamberlain, whose mis-hit shot bounces kindly for Mertesacker to nod home from close range. That came just moments after Carson produced an incredible stop to deny a Gibbs header and Crainey cleared the ball off the line.

84 minThe Arsenal fans are in good voice now as they try to urge their team on to complete the comeback here. That goal was coming, it must be said, and now Wigan must hang on for another six minutes to force extra time.

86 minWIGAN SUB: Big blow for Wigan as Ramis is forced off with a hamstring injury to be replaced by club captain Gary Caldwell, who is making his first appearance since last May.

87 minSAVE! Important stop from Carson as Giroud takes the ball down, works half a yard and then drills a fine low effort towards the bottom corner. Carson gets down well to make the stop, however, and he crucially holds on to it as well.

89 minNervous play from Beausejour as he knocks the ball behind for a corner when he could have played it back to his keeper or even taken a touch before clearing.

90 minFrom the resulting corner, Mertesacker gets away from Fortune and rises well to meet the cross, but his header goes well over the bar. He would have wanted to do better with that one.

90+1 minThe fourth official indicates a minimum of five minutes added time at the end of this match. Will we have some late drama or are we destined for extra time?

90+3 minFortune does well down the right channel having been released by Perch and he wins a corner for his side. Gomez takes his time to walk over before delivering a disappointing cross that is cleared at the front post.

90+3 minYELLOW CARD! McArthur goes into the book for a cynical foul that stopped a potential Arsenal counter. He will gladly take that punishment.

90+4 minYELLOW CARD! Another yellow card swiftly follows as Collison pulls Gibbs back. One last chance for Arsenal to pack the area here.

90+5 minEND OF 90 MINUTES: Wigan Athletic 1-1 Arsenal

7.04pmSo, we will have at least 30 minutes more action at Wembley as the original 90 were not enough to separate these two teams. Wigan probably would have taken this before the match, but having taken the lead they will be disappointed not to have seen the victory out. For Arsenal, they have had the chances to win this game but extra time is far better than having lost in 90 minutes for them, and they have Mertesacker to thank for his late header from close range that restored parity.

7.06pmThe goal came at the end of a remarkable period of chances for the Gunners, which saw them hit the post and have a great chance saved and then cleared off the line within the space of two minutes. It has to be said that they deserved the equaliser on the back of that, and it will be interesting to see whether they can push on in extra time.

91 min ETKICKOFF: Arsenal get us back underway for the first period of extra time as they look to kill Wigan off before penalties. This one is very nicely poised for the next 30 minutes.

93 min ETPoor play from Powell as he races forward with a couple of teammates in support before going for goal himself from range. He fires it a long way off target, which not only wastes a good attacking platform but also gives Arsenal the ball back.

94 min ETCazorla battles away to win the ball back in a dangerous area and get the ball to Ramsey, who just can't find a way through a packed area. The ball is eventually played back into the middle, but Sanogo can't quite connect with it.

96 min ETGibbs has been good for Arsenal since coming on. He has provided a threat down the left flank, using his pace to get into good positions against a tiring Wigan defence.

97 min ETSAVE! Very good save from Carson as Sanogo does well to take a touch, turn his man and fire a powerful effort towards goal from inside the box. That was better from the young striker, but Carson was there to deny him - not for the first time tonight.

98 min ETCHANCE! Another decent sight of goal for Sanogo as he latches on to a knockdown inside the area before taking a touch a lashing a volley over the crossbar. Arsenal are asking plenty of questions of the Wigan defence at the moment.

100 min ETPowell steals into the box with Mertesacker looking the other way, but the Wigan sub just slips at a crucial moments, which allows the German defender to hook his long legs around and win the ball back. He had to be careful there - he has already conceded one penalty today.

101 min ETGreat block from Perch as he throws himself in the way of Oxlade-Chamberlain's effort from the edge of the box. It was Perch's initial poor clearance that gave Oxlade-Chamberlain the chance to shoot, but he more than atoned for his error there.

102 min ETAnother waste of possession for Wigan as Perch picks the ball up a long way from goal and opts to shoot. Unsurprisingly, his effort flies a long way high and wide of the goal, gifting Arsenal the ball back once again.

104 min ETMomentarily better from Wigan as they keep the ball well, but then it is hoofed up towards Beausejour, who flicks it on to no-one other than himself. The Latics do eventually win a free kick, however, which will give them a chance to get the ball into the box. The defenders are on their way up!

105 min ETHALF TIME IN EXTRA TIME: Wigan Athletic 1-1 Arsenal

7.22pmIt is as you were after the first 15 minutes of extra time as the sides remain level at 1-1. We're 15 minutes away from penalties now, which would suit Wigan, you feel.

106 min ETKICKOFF: Wigan get us underway for the second period of extra time. The players must be feeling very tired right now, but the next 15 minutes could define their season so they can't afford to lose concentration for a moment.

108 min ETOxlade-Chamberlain looks to be suffering a bit from cramp now, and I doubt that he will be the only one in these closing stages. Arsenal, meanwhile, have a free kick in a good crossing position, but it comes to nothing.

110 min ETVery nervy moments for Arsenal as Fabianski comes a long way out of his goal to try to get to the ball. Powell beats him to it, but the youngster is forced wide and the keeper has time to get back in goal. The ball is eventually fed back to Collison, who fires his effort well wide.

111 min ETOFF THE BAR! Arsenal are inches away from taking the lead in the second half of extra time. Oxlade-Chamberlain cuts inside from the right and unleashes a thunderous strike towards the top corner that beats Carson but cannons back off the crossbar. So unlucky for the winger, that was a very good hit. Wigan survive again!

113 min ETCHANCE! Big chance for Wigan to get a dramatic late goal! Perch plays the ball into the box with a good cross, finding Collison unmarked at the front post. However, the on-loan West Ham midfielder steers his header a couple of yards wide.

114 min ETARSENAL SUB: The Gunners make a change late on as Ramsey is replaced by Kim Kallstrom. Wenger could very well have one eye on penalties with that change. The Swede is something of a dead-ball specialist.

115 min ETKallstrom looks to make an immediate impact as the ball falls to him on the edge of the area, but his wildly swings his leg at the ball and slices it high and wide.

116 min ETSHOT! Good play from Powell as his picks the ball up just inside the Arsenal half before showing good pace to drive at Vermaelen. However, he wants again takes the shot on too early, dragging it wide of the far post. He could have taken him into the box there.

118 min ETYou can see cramp starting to have an impact on a number of the players out there now as we enter the final two minutes of extra time. Could that change the penalty takers? Oxlade-Chamberlain is certainly struggling, while Fortune is not moving freely either.

120 min ETThere will be one minute of added time at the end of this second period of extra time. Time for one last chance?

120+1 min ETYELLOW CARD! Beausejour goes into the book late on, but Arsenal fail to get a shot away from the resulting free kick as Wigan scramble it away.

120+1 min ETEND OF EXTRA TIME: Wigan Athletic 1-1 Arsenal

7.41pmPenalties it is then! The lottery of the shootout will decide whether Wigan Athletic or Arsenal make it through to the final of the 2014 FA Cup after an entertaining 120 minutes of football couldn't separate the two sides at Wembley. What a huge shootout this is, particularly for Arsenal.

7.43pmWill we have a hero or a villain tonight? The keepers have the chance to write themselves into folklore if they can make the crucial save in the upcoming shootout, so either Carson or Fabianski could have a telling part to play still. For what it's worth, Carson has had a very good game already today.

7.45pmThe penalties will be taken at the Wigan end, which is a bonus for the Latics. They will take first, with Caldwell in line to start us off.

0-0*SAVED!

*0-1SCORED! Mikel Arteta (Arsenal)

*0-1Coolly done from Arteta as he gives Arsenal the advantage by sending Carson the wrong way.

0-1*SAVED! Jack Collison (Wigan)

*0-2GOAL! Kim Kallstrom (Arsenal)

1-2*GOAL! Jean Beausejour (Wigan)

*1-3GOAL! Olivier Giroud (Arsenal)

2-3*GOAL! James McArthur (Wigan)

2-3*Santi Cazorla has the chance to win the shootout for Arsenal here. They are one kick away from the FA Cup final...

2-4*GOAL! Santi Cazorla (Arsenal)

7.50pmFULL TIME: Wigan Athletic 1-1 Arsenal (Arsenal win 4-2 on penalties)

7.50pmARSENAL ARE THROUGH TO THE FA CUP FINAL!

7.52pmArsenal hold their nerve in the penalty shootout, scoring every single one of their efforts while looking cool, calm and collected. Wigan, meanwhile, got off to a shocking start by missing their first two penalties, and they ultimately couldn't recover from that.

7.54pmWhat a huge win that is for Arsenal, whose season suddenly looks a lot more promising than it did when they trailed 1-0. They are now just 90 minutes away from ending their nine-year trophy drought as they make the FA Cup final looking to win the trophy for the first time since 2005. If they can do that, and get fourth, then it must go down as a good season for the Gunners.

7.56pmIt was an interesting decision for Wigan to send Caldwell up first when Jordi Gomez was among the choices and had already scored from the spot this afternoon. It proved to be a costly decision as Fabianski made the save before also denying a poor Collison penalty.

7.58pmGomez's penalty had Wigan dreaming of a second consecutive FA Cup final, but Arsenal fought back and scored an equaliser with less than 10 minutes of normal time remaining as Mertesacker nodded home from close range. It was the German who gave the spot kick away, so he would have been doubly delighted to have scored. The Gunners also hit the woodwork twice during the match so, in terms of chances, they probably deserve the victory.

8pmRight, that is all we have time for this evening! Thank you very much for joining Sports Mole for what was another action-packed match as Arsenal scraped through to the FA Cup final courtesy of a penalty shootout victory over Wigan. I will leave you with our match report, and be sure to stick around for reaction which will be on site shortly. The second semi-final takes place tomorrow, alongside two big games from the Premier League, which will all be covered by us on SM. From me, though, it is goodbye for now!

Wigan's Shaun Maloney celebrates after scoring his team's fourth goal against Barnsley on August 3, 2013
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