MX23RW : Saturday, March 6 12:14:18| >> :120:10195:10195:
Apr 12, 2014 at 5.07pm UK at Wembley
WiganWigan Athletic
Gomez (63' pen.)
FT(HT: 0-0)
Arsenal win 4-2 on penalties

Result: Arsenal beat holders Wigan Athletic on penalties to reach FA Cup final

Arsenal defeat holders Wigan Athletic 4-2 on penalties to reach the FA Cup final.

Arsenal defeated holders Wigan Athletic in a tense Wembley penalty shootout to reach the FA Cup final this evening.

Arsenal's players celebrate after winning the FA Cup semi-final penalty shootout against Wigan Athletic at Wembley on April 12, 2014© Getty Images

The match finished 1-1 after 120 minutes, with both goals coming in the second half of normal time as Jordi Gomez's 63rd-minute penalty was cancelled out by Per Mertesacker in the 81st minute before all the late drama from 12 yards.

The first chance fell Arsenal's way in the fifth minute when Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain crossed for Yaya Sanogo, whose low shot was kept out by Latics keeper Scott Carson.

Next to go close for the Gunners was Bacary Sagna. The right-back was forward for a corner and the ball was flicked his way, but he could only half-volley over from a narrow angle with his left foot.

For Wigan, Callum McManaman and Marc-Antoine Fortune came closest in the first half. Both shot from tight angles on the right of the Arsenal area, with McManaman's effort dipping just over the crossbar before Fortune's was beaten out by Lukasz Fabianski.

Scott Carson of Wigan Athletic makes a save from Yaya Sanogo of Arsenal during the FA Cup Semi-Final match on April 12, 2014© Getty Images

Three minutes before half time Sanogo burst clear but couldn't get the better of Carson from a one-on-one opportunity.

The second half began slowly before Michael Oliver pointed to the spot in the 60th minute for a Wigan penalty.

McManaman outmuscled Nacho Monreal for the ball before driving into the area and toeing the ball away from Mertesacker, whose sliding challenge brought down the Wigan winger.

Per Mertesacker of Arsenal fouls Callum McManaman of Wigan Athletic in the penalty area during the FA Cup semi-final at Wembley on April 12, 2014© Getty Images

After a wait of over three minutes as Monreal received treatment for an injury, Gomez was finally allowed to take the penalty and hit it firmly enough to beat Fabianski, who dived correctly to his right but couldn't get a hand on it.

Sanogo and Oxlade-Chamberlain had half-chances before the Gunners' late pressure finally told in the 81st minute when Mertesacker atoned for giving away the penalty by heading home at the back post just seconds after Sagna had prodded against the post.

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

The momentum was with the North London side and Carson did well to hold substitute Olivier Giroud's low shot three minutes from time.

Five minutes were added on but the Gunners couldn't do enough to prevent extra time, with Sagna's 93rd-minute cross evading both Giroud and Sanogo.

In the first half of the extra period, Sanogo had the only real chance when his snapshot on the turn was palmed over the top by Carson.

Wigan weren't only defending and in the second 15 of extra time came close on two occasions.

First, Nick Powell beat Fabianski to a long ball but couldn't work a shooting chance out on the wing before Jack Collison headed wide.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain of Arsenal is challenged by James McArthur of Wigan Athletic during the FA Cup Semi-Final match against Wigan Athletic on April 12, 2014© Getty Images

In between the two Wigan openings, Arsenal came within inches of going in front when Oxlade-Chamberlain's rasping near-post drive smacked against the angle of post and bar.

Powell's fresh legs were causing Arsenal problems and his pace earned him a shooting opportunity with five minutes to go but he could only tamely drag wide.

Neither side could find a dramatic late winner so a penalty shootout was needed to separate the pair.

Wigan club captain Gary Caldwell, on his 32nd birthday, took the first and it was saved low to his right by Fabianski.

Wigan Athletic captain Gary Caldwell slumps to the ground after missing the first penalty of the FA Cup semi-final shootout against Arsenal at Wembley on April 12, 2014© Getty Images

Collison then had his penalty saved too, with Mikel Arteta, Kim Kallstrom, Giroud and Santi Cazorla all converting from 12 yards to book Arsenal's place in next month's final.

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Scott Carson of Wigan Athletic makes a save from Yaya Sanogo of Arsenal during the FA Cup Semi-Final match on April 12, 2014
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