Arsenal FC to face FA Cup holders Wigan Athletic, while Hull City and Sheffield United prepare for an exciting Yorkshire derby at Wembley.
Wigan Athletic v Arsenal
Hull City v Sheffield United
The FA Cup draw for the semi-final was conducted before the quarter-final between Manchester City and Wigan Athletic was completed and Arsenal fans must have feared for the worst when they were drawn with the winner of the match at the Etihad stadium. But Wigan Athletic pulled out one of the most memorable cup upset in recent years as the Championship side defeated Manchester City 1-2 and booked their place in the semi-final against Arsenal.
This has now provided the Gunners with a massive opportunity to end their long trophy drought and perhaps it right that they have an opportunity to end by winning the trophy which they won before this drought started. Arsenal’s last silverware was the 2005 FA Cup win, when they defeated Manchester United in the final, and they can possibly to win their 11th FA Cup trophy this season. But it would be preposterous for the Gooners to start celebrations at this point; in fact most of the Arsenal fans would still remember how their side failed to deliver against Birmingham in the League cup final back in 2011. In fact they are facing a Wigan side who have managed to defeat the might Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium, a place where Arsenal conceded six earlier on this season, and this is the magic of the FA Cup. Arsene Wenger has made his intentions of prioritizing the FA Cup at this point and they have already beaten three tough teams to reach till this stage.
The other semi-final could potentially be a more exciting affair as Hull City take on Sheffield United in a Yorkshire Derby at the Wembley. Hull City defeated Sunderland, while Sheffield’s fairy tale run in this tournament continued with a 2-0 win over Charlton in the quarter-final stages. The only thing that can beat the excitement of seeing two fairly unfancied and lower division sides in the semi-final of the FA Cup is to see a well contested derby between two lower division sides at Wembley.
The last time Hull City made it to this stage of this competition was back in 1930 and they lost out to Arsenal in the replay at Villa Park. Interestingly, the last time Sheffield United reached this stage of the FA Cup was back in 1936 when they lost to Arsenal in the final at Wembley. Hull City of course are yet to win this tournament, while Sheffield have already won it four times in their history.
Hull City manager Steve Bruce was understandably excited by the result of the draw and upcoming derby match.
“It’s a great draw,” he said. “Sheffield United have had a wonderful run and they’ve beaten every team in front of them so it’s never going to be easy but you’ve got to be honest and I’m sure Sheffield United were the same as us – you just want to avoid the big boys.
“When you get to quarter-finals and semi-finals, we haven’t been there since 1930. That’s a bit of the magic of the Cup.
“The magic of the FA Cup for me will never disappear.
“The magic of it when you get to the big quarter-finals, semi-finals, finals -whether you’re a player, manager, coach or supporter you enjoy the occasion.” – Steve Bruce told the press.
Both these semi-finals will be played in 12th and 13th April respectively and they have all the aspect to be a memorable one. Will we see another giant killing by Wigan, or will Arsenal take one giant step towards getting a monkey off their back? Will Sheffield’s dream run continue to the final or will Hull City move towards their first FA Cup?