FA Cup History: 3 Key Arsenal Semi-Finals

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Arsenal are still on track to make it a 12th FA Cup win, but will have to get past Reading on Saturday afternoon before they can even think about that.

The history of the FA Cup takes us back to the 19th century, and since then the Gunners have had their fair share of semi-final pain and gain.

We’ve taken a look at just three games that Arsenal have had to play in to get themselves into that all-important FA Cup final.

Arsenal 1 – 0 Sheffield United (2003)

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Perhaps one of the most underrated score-lines of an FA Cup game there has ever been, after the Gunners pulled off a controversial pass to the final.

Arsenal came up against a bullish Sheffield United side who had enjoyed a great run of success in the competition, after they managed to pull off a home advantage in every game.

They beat the likes of Walsall, Ipswich Town and a strong Leeds United side to set up a date at Old Trafford with Wenger’s men.

However, their luck eventually ran out when referee, Graham Poll, seemingly blocked a challenge from one of the Sheffield United players, which inevitably led to Freddie Ljungberg knocking in at the other end.

Manager of Sheffield United at the time was Neil Warnock, who didn’t hold back in his post-match conference, as he stated, “the manner in which we have lost this match is an absolute disgrace”.

The victory meant the Gunners were still on course for a second successive domestic double, which came surprisingly after Wenger continued to leave both Henry and Bergkamp on the bench for all FA Cup fixtures.

The boss stayed with that philosophy for the final, as the boys in red eventually went on to beat Southampton 1-0 at a sold out Millennium Stadium.

Many people will have their own memory of this semi-final, but nobody will remember it like David Seaman will, as he pulled off what was quite possibly the best save in the competition of all time.

Seaman clipped the ball back out with his fingertips as he flew in mid-air to deny United, which was the fatal blow in their chances to get back into the game.

It’s moments like this that FA Cup semi finals are all about, heroics from a surprise individual that will be remembered just as much as winning the tournament.

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