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Arsenal

Coquelin a 9/10 in win at Burnley

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In-form Giroud central to Arsenal

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 By Michael Cox

Arsenal edge past Reading to leave Wenger on brink of history

ESPN FC's Craig Burley recaps Arsenal's slim victory over Reading to earn them a spot in the FA Cup final for the second straight year.

LONDON -- Three observations from Arsenal vs. Reading in the FA Cup semifinal at Wembley Stadium.

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1. Arsenal squeeze through

This was Arsenal's third FA Cup game at Wembley in the space of a year -- two semifinals and a final. Each has been against poor opposition and has produced a nervous performance. Each has gone to extra-time, yet each has finished happily. Arsenal never make things easy for themselves.

At this stage last season, they needed penalties to progress past Wigan, a Championship...

Alexis Sanchez the saviour again as nervy Arsenal edge past Reading

ESPN FC's Craig Burley recaps Arsenal's slim victory over Reading to earn them a spot in the FA Cup final for the second straight year.

Thanks to a brace from Alexis Sanchez, Arsenal eventually overcame a spirited Reading side to ensure a return to the FA Cup final.

Just like at this stage of the competition last season, Arsene Wenger's men failed to get the job done against Championship opposition in normal time. A brilliant pass from Mesut Ozil enabled Alexis to give Arsenal a first-half lead but Garath McCleary's deflected strike allowed the Royals to force an extra 30 minutes.

Once again, Alexis proved the difference. He cut...

 By Michael Cox

FA Cup semifinals offer plenty of intrigue among the four managers

ESPN FC's Alexis Nunes and Stewart Robson preview Arsenal's FA Cup semifinal with Reading and wonder if the Gunners will repeat the mistakes of last year.

Frustrating fixture scheduling has ensured that the FA Cup semifinals won't be centre stage this weekend. Both ties clash with a notable Premier League contest, which seems a great shame considering that both games have tremendous potential.

There's a nice mixture between a potential giant-killing on Saturday, and an all-Premier League tie on the Sunday. The most interesting battles, however, are taking place in the dugouts.

Arsenal vs. Reading

Saturday's semifinal provides an obvious contrast...

 By Peter Wood

Arsenal can humiliate Reading in the FA Cup as long as they maintain focus

Per Mertesacker believes Arsenal have learned from the experience gained in last season's FA Cup semifinal as they prepare to take on Reading at the same stage on Saturday.

Arsenal and progress haven't exactly been two words you'd put together in a sentence over the last 10 years.

Most of their achievements came from successes that sat outside the football side of the business. The only open-top bus parade fans had to look forward to were the ones celebrating a year of profit that usually sat against the backdrop of another young starlet shifting on to Barcelona or Manchester City.

Those dark clouds have been blown away by the winds of real progress. An FA Cup final...

John Brewin profile picture  By John Brewin

Sherwood vs. Rodgers, Arsenal out to defend trophy - Five FA Cup themes

Arsene Wenger is out to defend his FA Cup trophy.

Wembley Way this weekend will greet fans of four clubs hoping to be back there on May 30 for the final. On Saturday, Championship side Reading attempt to become the first Football League finalists since Cardiff City lost 2008's final to Portsmouth, while holders Arsenal want a repeat of last season when they beat Hull to claim the prize. Meanwhile, Sunday sees Aston Villa and Liverpool find a welcome distraction from their Premier League problems.

Here are five themes to consider.

1. The forgotten...

Alexis Sanchez the standout candidate to win PFA Player of the Year

The ESPN FC crew have been impressed with Alexis Sanchez all season.

With the Professional Footballers' Association Player of the Year award shortlist announced, here is a look at Arsenal's Alexis Sanchez and his prospects of winning ...

PFA Player of the Year winners

2013-14: Luis Suarez
2012-13: Gareth Bale
2011-12: Robin van Persie
2010-11: Gareth Bale
2009-10: Wayne Rooney
2008-09: Ryan Giggs
2007-08: Cristiano Ronaldo
2006-07: Cristiano Ronaldo
2005-06: Steven Gerrard
2004-05: John Terry

Sum up Alexis Sanchez's season

It's not over yet so we can't be definitive but he's been superb, particularly in the first half of the season. The majority of his 20 goals came before Jan. 1 and at the time they were so badly needed.

Arsenal were struggling to find cohesion as a team but Alexis ensured the disappointing start to...