An Emotional remembrance of last years Arsenal semi-final

Re-living Arsenal’s FA cup semi final against Wigan at Wembley last year. by MAA

It was a day full of mixed emotions as we were playing Wigan, a team that had eliminated Man City in the quarter final at the Etihad stadium. Its still fresh in my mind how our rival fans were mocking us singing their (at that time) favourite song of “trophyless Gunners” they were
sounding so worryingly confident that the cup holders (Wigan) were going to eliminate us.

This was not helped by the commentators of the day who kept on stressing the importance of the tie, “the season decider” they kept on referring to it as, and the fact that Everton won
that weekend against Sunderland to move above us in the League table. I was fairly confident – but visibly worried too.

The line up then came up and this was it:

Lucasz Fibianski
Sagna, Per, Vermalen, Nacho
Ramsey, Arteta,
Ox, Cazorla, Podolski.

This line up was not that reassuring especially with the four of Verminator and Nacho on the left side Add the fact that Podolski wasn’t that good going back, my worries were legitimate at that time.

The game kicked off and it was a tense affair as the first half finished as a scoreless draw. I was still confident as my worst fear was Wigan taking the lead, because i knew how hard it would be for us to get back to the game, and actualy my worst fear was confirmed on the 63rd minute when BFG gave away a penalty – which was calmly converted by Gomez. I still remember the cheers and jubilations of our rivals. Some were even touching my head celebrating. I almost lost it but there was still worse to come from our genius Wenger. His reaction to this was to take off our best chance of scoring and our best finisher in Podolski leaving on the struggling Sanogo and replacing him with another idiot (at that time at least) Giroud. This was like my worst nightmare
and the jeers from anxious Arsenal fans around Wembley confirmed that I was not the only one who failed to understand that decision. The game continued with a missed chance after another and I was almost accepting the fate that actually Arsenal couldn’t win at Wembley.

Memories of the Capital One final loss against Birmingham started to creep in my mind. Add to the noise of cheers that kept on getting louder, I was almost saying ‘enough is enough’ and tears were not far away when a corner was flown in and Sagna’s attempt was blocked, and suddenly Per scored an equalizer in the 82nd minute. You should have seen the faces of our rivals at that time. The joy and relief in my heart couldn’t even allow me to celebrate as I planned to. There it was 1-1 at last. But that was not it, we still needed the second goal which never came.

Then on the 113th minute Wenger made a sub that was all but confirming that he was prepared for penalties. Our hero, Player of the Season-elect, Ramsey, was replaced by Kim Kallstrom and that was it.

Penalties were to decide the FA cup finalists who were to face Hull in the final. I remember
our first 3 penalties scored, one by Kim, and Fabianski saved his first two. When Santiago Cazorla converted what was the deciding penalty my shirt was off and you could feel as if our name was already written on the trophy. I cant stop smiling with that memory on my mind. All
this came to my mind after i read the interview by Per on our official website.

At least it gave my face a brighter look as i am writing, while lying on a hospital bed after being admitted last night with a possible heart problem. So as we look forward to this weekend against Reading, lets hope for a better memory and remember me in your prayers.


muhaankoanko from Kenya.

Tags Reading Wigan


    1. Let’s just hope it doesn’t end up 7-5 like last time otherwise some of us may find ourselves calling an ambulance.

    1. I will never forget how Per reacted after he scored the equalizer though. Never seen him so emotional. I think I even shed a tear myself.

      But yes, can’t underestimate them but I’m hoping for an easy win against Reading too. And no 7-5 sh*t either. Wow. We never make things easy for ourselves, do we?

  1. Expecting a win against reading, we just need to get our starting line-up and tactics right.

  2. hope you’re alright! ahhh I think that match was actually more intense than the final, I couldn’t watch any of the penalties but when per scored that equaliser I just went nuts haha, still gives me goosebumps. coyg

  3. Rest Alexis, Giroud, Koscielny, Coquelin, Ozil, Cazorla, Bellerin, Monreal, Ramsey for Chelsea

    Play Szczesny, Mertsacker, chambers, Gibbs, Debuchy, Wilshere, Gnabry, Welbeck, Arteta, FlaminI, Walcott

    Bench: Ospina, Gabriel, diaby, Walcott, Rosicky, Ralf, Bielik


  4. Hey I pray you are alright and hope you bounce back from this like our dear Arsenal is getting good at doing. COYG!!!

  5. So nobody should say Kim Kallstrom didn’t help us or wasn’t a useful signing.. He helped us win the FA Cup with his penalty.

  6. watched Wengers press conf, and i think he will put strongest line up with 2 changes, Szcz and maybe Welbeck for OG12

  7. @ muhaankoanko

    I pray that your alright man and that it’s nothing serious I hope we win Saturday so it will make you and gooners around the world feel better!

  8. Please dont weaken on that bed. I pray you get over the problem soon to watch our remaining matches in good health and as well, do other good things you need to do in your life.

    Get well soon and stay safe.

  9. I hope Giroud starts. I can see him scoring more against Reading then Chelsea. He has trouble with top teams. Also, Giroud scoring against Reading could help his confidence and help him score against Chelsea.

    Wenger confirmed that Szczesny will start. All I can hope for is that he plays his best and doesn’t make any mistakes.

    I think Gibbs, Debuchy, Koscielny or Mertsacker and Gabriel should play in defense. Coquelin should definitely start. Other than that I hope we have the same players: Alexis, Welbeck, Ozil and Cazorla or Rosicky or Ramsey.

    It’s a semifinal so we should not risk with playing Diaby, Wilshere, Arteta, Chambers,Gnabry. put them on the bench.

    1. “He has trouble with top teams”. Have you seen him this season? He’s the one guaranteeing goals against them now. Sanchez might need a rest, Özil looks disappointed when he’s subbed off, so he should be fine – but Giroud really needs to get back into a goalscoring form (after missing out vs. burnley), so that if he doesnt score against Chelsea, he wont take a big hit to his confidence.

      Szczesny (being our cup-keeper now)

  10. OT,

    Granted Wolfsburgs D has been predictably woeful against Napoli but Higuain has been impressive so far

  11. What is the criteria to be nominated PFA player of the year? How come Philip Countinho got nominated? He has only 5 assist and 4 goals.

  12. I will not watch that match..I may pee on my pants and my mum will be very mad and have me grounded and not play Xbox for a who; week 🙁 🙁 🙁 It happened last time.. 🙁

  13. We don’t dive (ManUtd),
    We don’t walk alone (Liverpool),
    We don’t buy expensive players (City),
    We don’t park bus (Chelsea),
    We don’t rely on one man (Spurs)…
    We play fair.. We stand shoulder to shoulder….
    We create players…We work hard..
    We play as a team… We are Arsenal …

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