Just when you thought things couldn’t get any worse for Arsenal, wallop, Wigan Athletic hit them with a hammer blow… but the Gunners responded valiantly to reach their first FA Cup final since 2005 in dramatic fashion.
Arsene Wenger’s quest for a first trophy in nine seasons is still on course, as the North London club reached a record 18th final of the world’s oldest knockout competition.
Arsenal eventually beat Championship side Wigan 4-2 on penalties, with reserve ‘keeper Lukas Fabianski saving two penalties to set the Gunners on their way, after a tense 1-1 draw in a gripping FA Cup semifinal at Wembley Stadium on Saturday.
The shock 2012-13 FA Cup winners took the lead against Arsenal, as Callum McManaman was brought down by Per Mertesacker in the box and after a lengthy delay Jordi Gomez slotted home the penalty to put Wigan 1-0 up with less than 30 minutes to go.
Arsenal huffed and puffed, as late pressure started to build in regular time. Yaya Sanogo had a header against the post that was hacked away and moments later Kieran Gibbs saw his header wonderfully stopped by Scott Carson, then Stephen Crainey hacked it off the line. That pressure eventually told with 10 minutes of regulation remaining, as Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain scuffed a shot into the ground that Mertesacker followed up to equalize and send the game into extra time.
In the extra 30 minutes the teams couldn’t be separated, as Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain sent a rasping effort off the woodwork, so the dreaded penalty shootout took place to see who would be going back to Wembley on May 17 in the FA Cup final.
Fabianksi saved Wigan’s first two penalties from Gary Caldwell and Jack Collison, as Arsenal scored all four PKs to hold their nerve and make the showpiece final next month.
PARIS (AP) A French official says police investigating suspected tax fraud linked to the soccer industry have raided the headquarters of Paris Saint-Germain and the homes of three Argentine players in France.
The official said anti-corruption police units searched the homes of PSG players Angel Di Maria and Javier Pastore, and that of Nantes forward Emiliano Sala on Tuesday.
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Police also raided the head offices of PSG at Parc des Princes and other offices in Boulogne-Billancourt, outside the French capital, the official said.
The official, familiar with the case, declined to be identified because the investigation is ongoing.
The national financial prosecutor’s office opened an investigation in December after so-called “football leaks” reports allegedly detailed tax arrangements by top players, coaches and clubs.
Real Madrid didn’t wait long after learning Vinicius Junior was healthy.
The 16-year-old Flamengo star is committed to the Bernabeu after passing a physical, and Real Madrid announced Tuesday that they’ll have their new player no later than July 2019.
The reported fee is $50 million, which would be the most money spent on a Brazilian player since Barcelona landed Neymar for about $64 million in 2013.
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The forward has made two appearances for Flamengo, and turns 17 on July 12. He has 19 goals in 22 appearances for Brazil’s U-17 side.
Here’s Real’s announcement:
Real Madrid C. F. and Clube de Regatas do Flamengo have reached an agreement regarding the transfer of the federative rights of the player Vinicius Junior from July 2018. The player will remain at his current club until July 2019, although he will be able to play for Real Madrid before then if both clubs agree to it.
Okay, so you have 1064 to choose from, so choose wisely…
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The 2016-17 Premier League season is over but you can vote for your favorite goal of the campaign up until June 1.
Simply click on the video above to watch the contenders compiled by Robbie Earle and Robbie Mustoe, and then you can vote by clicking here.
MADRID (AP) Spanish authorities say former Barcelona president Sandro Rosell and his wife have been detained in a probe over his businesses in Brazil.
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The detentions early Tuesday are part of a money laundering investigation related to buying television rights for past matches of Brazil’s national team.
Three other people have been detained, but their identities were not immediately released by authorities.
Police raided offices, homes, and businesses in Barcelona and other locations in Spain as part of “Operation Rimet,” in reference to former FIFA President Jules Rimet.
Authorities said the operation used information from the FBI following the U.S. case against high-level FIFA officials in 2015.
Rosell is already standing trial for fraud and corruption charges involving the 2013 transfer of Brazilian striker Neymar.