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Arsenal beat minnows Lincoln to reach FA Cup semifinal

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Arsenal sealed their spot in the FA Cup semifinals with a routine 5-0 win over fifth-tier Lincoln City at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday.

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The minnows played well in the first half with Arsenal’s opener via Theo Walcott coming in the first minute of first half stoppage time.

Arsene Wenger‘s struck twice in quick succession early on in the second half to put the result beyond doubt with Olivier Giroud and an own goal setting them on their way and then Alexis Sanchez and Aaron Ramsey added a goal each to secure their trip to Wembley on April 22 or 23.

[ MORE: Full FA Cup schedule here

Arsenal have now reached the FA Cup semifinal for the third time in the last four seasons as they’ve won the trophy in two of the last three campaigns and Wenger is two wins away from his seventh FA Cup trophy as Gunners boss.

For Lincoln, their wonderful FA Cup adventure comes to an end after they dumped out second-tier sides Ipswich and Brighton, plus Premier League side Burnley. The Imps can hold their heads high.

[ MORE: Man City reach FA Cup semis ]

Lincoln started brightly enough roared on by their 9,000 traveling fans but Arsenal had the first big chance of the game.

A ball fell to Theo Walcott on the edge of the box and his drive was brilliantly palmed onto the post by Lincoln goalkeeper Paul Farman.

Midway through the first half Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain hobbled off injured and Mesut Ozil came on in his place and moments later Lincoln almost went ahead.

Nathan Arnold cut in from the right flank and danced past two defenders before curling a shot towards the top corner which Petr Cech saved superbly.

Ozil curled in a cross to the back post which Farman scrambled to push wide and from the resulting corner Arsenal took the lead as Walcott slotted home the layoff from Olivier Giroud. 1-0 to the Gunners right on half time.

Giroud drilled a shot towards the bottom corner in he second half but Farman saved well and then from the rebound Walcott teed up Kieran Gibbs but he was off-balance and his header went over.

Soon after Giroud made it 2-0 as a wonderful piece of interplay between Sanchez and Hector Bellerin saw the latter pick out Arsenal’s French striker and he slotted home.

Bellerin then curled an effort wide when it looked easier to score and then Arsenal’s other full back, Gibbs, linked up with Sanchez as his Gibbs’ cross deflected off Lincoln’s skipper Luke Waterfall and in. 3-0 to Arsenal.

Sanchez then made the most of a defensive slip to curl home a beauty and make it 4-0, then his cross to the back post was tucked away by Ramsey as the Gunners ran away with things.

Alan Power forced Cech into a good stop late on in a rare attack as Sanchez rattled the crossbar with a dipping free kick.

Lincoln tired in the second half and were punished by a ruthless, business-like Arsenal.

Ligue 1: Depay’s goal streak hits 5 games; Lyon reeling in Monaco

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MONACO (AP) Lyon won at Dijon 5-2 and moved within one point of second-place Monaco in the French league on Friday.

Lyon’s sixth straight league win kept them level on points with fourth-place Marseille.

The team finishing second qualifies automatically for next season’s Champions League, while the team in third goes into the playoffs. After this weekend, there will be four rounds remaining.

Memphis Depay has scored or created 12 of Lyon’s 16 last goals.

The Netherlands forward opened the scoring in the fourth minute with a close-range volley, and set up the fourth goal for winger Bertrand Traore in the 77th.

Depay almost scored another, just failing to reach right back Rafael‘s cross in the 50th. Midfielder Houssem Aouar followed up and his strike was turned into his own net by defender Valentin Rosier.

Lyon’s other goals came from forwards Nabil Fekir in the 53rd and Maxwell Cornet in the 82nd.


MONACO (AP) — After losing the French title last weekend, Monaco is in danger of throwing away second place after losing at Guingamp 3-1 on Saturday.

The defeat leaves Monaco just one point ahead of Lyon and Marseille as the three sides chase an automatic place in the Champions League with four games left.

Monaco was thrashed by champion Paris Saint-Germain 7-1 last Sunday and the defense leaked easily again, albeit with a little help from one of its defenders.

A makeshift Monaco fell behind midway through the first half after Brazilian defender Jemerson was given a red card for stopping a shot on the line. He was sent off and veteran forward Jimmy Briand netted from the penalty spot for mid-table Guingamp.

Monaco capitulated and trailed 3-0 after 47 minutes. Defender Almamy Toure replied in vain with a consolation goal midway through the second half.


Marseille crushed Lille 5-1 to join Lyon on 69 points. Lyon, which won at Dijon 5-2 on Friday for a sixth straight win, has a better goal difference.

Marseille also has the Europa League and plays the first leg of its semifinal at home to Austrian side Salzburg next Thursday. But Lyon has only Ligue 1 to think about.

Still, Marseille is also brimming with confidence these days, especially winger Florian Thauvin.

He scored twice against Lille to extend his career-best league tally to 19. Greece striker Kostas Mitroglou also netted twice, and forward Lucas Ocampos completed the rout against 19th-place Lille.

In other matches: Amiens won against Strasbourg 3-1; struggling Toulouse beat Angers 2-0, and last-place Metz drew at home to Caen 1-1.

PSG is at Bordeaux on Sunday. Also, Nice is at home to Montpellier, and Saint-Etienne takes on Troyes.

UEFA says Europa League trophy not damaged after being stolen

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NYON, Switzerland (AP) UEFA says the Europa League trophy was not damaged after being stolen in Mexico.

The silverware was at a promotional event in the central city of Leon when it was reported by authorities to have been taken from a vehicle.

The theft came ahead of the semifinals of Europe’s second-tier club competition.

UEFA says the “Europa League trophy was in Mexico for a partner event and got briefly stolen. It was quickly recovered and has suffered no damages.”

In the semifinal first legs next week, Arsenal plays Atletico Madrid and Marseille takes on Salzburg.

Serie A: Roma prep for Liverpool by beating SPAL; Benevento win at Milan

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A roundup of all of Saturday’s action in Italy’s top flight…

[ MORE: Man United reach FA Cup final | Premier League preview ]

SPAL 2013 0-3 Roma

A few hours after a reserves-heavy Liverpool side played last-place West Bromwich Albion to a 2-2 draw in the Premier League, Roma, the Reds’ UEFA Champions League semifinal foes beginning Tuesday, hammered 17th-place SPAL on the back of goals scored by Radja Nainggolan and Patrik Schick.

Roma shocked the world — and Barcelona — to reach the semifinals, but still have a battle on their hands to finish inside Serie A’s top-four and qualify for next season’s Champions League. Following Saturday’s victory, Eusebio Di Francesco’s side is three and four points clear of fourth- and fifth-place Lazio and Inter Milan, respectively, though both of the chasing sides play on Sunday.

AC Milan 0-1 Benevento

The 2017-18 season has treated AC Milan, who spent massively last summer, far worse than Roma. Following Sunday’s home defeat to first-year top-flight (and last-place) side Benevento, Gennaro Gattuso’s side sits sixth (final automatic Europa League place) and lead seventh-place Atalanta, who play on Sunday, by just two points.

Pietro Iemmello scored the game’s only goal in the 29th minute.

Elsewhere in Serie A

Sassuolo 1-0 Fiorentina

Sunday’s Serie A schedule

Cagliari vs. Bologna — 6:30 a.m. ET
Lazio vs. Sampdoria — 9 a.m. ET
Chievo vs. Inter Milan — 9 a.m. ET
Atalanta vs. Torino — 9 a.m. ET
Udinese vs. Crotone — 9 a.m. ET
Juventus vs. Napoli — 2:45 p.m. ET

Barcelona cruise past Sevilla, lift historic 4th straight Copa del Rey

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MADRID (AP) Barcelona became the first team in 85 years to win four straight Copa del Rey titles after blowing away Sevilla 5-0 in the final on Saturday.

Luis Suarez scored twice, and Lionel Messi, Andres Iniesta, and Philippe Coutinho also made the scoresheet for Barcelona’s record-extending 30th Copa triumph, and sixth in the last decade.

Sevilla was trying to win a sixth Copa and save a season which will end without any trophies and maybe not even a place in the Europa League next season.

The final took place at Atletico Madrid’s Wanda Metropolitano Stadium in the capital amid the ongoing political turmoil involving Catalonia’s bid for independence.

There were jeers by part of the Barcelona crowd when the national anthem was played, but the boos were largely subdued by the reaction of the numerous Sevilla fans in the crowd. Spain’s King Felipe VI smiled and saluted the fans after the anthem.

No other team had won four Copa titles in a row since Athletic Bilbao from 1930-33. The only other team to do it was Real Madrid from 1905-08.

Barcelona lost a chance to win the treble when it was eliminated by Roma in the quarterfinals of the Champions League, but it is three points away from winning the Spanish league.