FA Cup: I am relieved, says Arsene Wenger
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger admits being under huge pressure after Arsenal's dramatic win over Wigan on penalties
London: Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger admits he was worried what defeat to Wigan in Saturday's FA Cup semi-final at Wembley could have done after watching his side come through the high drama of a penalty shoot-out.
Stand-in goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski was the hero as his two saves helped Arsenal beat the holders 4-2 to reach their first FA Cup final since 2005.
After a bright start by Arsenal, it was Wigan who went ahead through a penalty from Jordi Gomez just after the hour. However the Gunners made it 1-1 with seven minutes left through Per Mertesacker, whose foul had given away the spot-kick.
Fabianski — standing in again for regular number one Wojciech Szczesny — produced fine saves from Gary Caldwell and Jack Collison, before Santi Cazorla rolled in the winning spot-kick.
All in the mind
Earlier in the afternoon, Everton's win over Sunderland had pushed Arsenal out of the top four of the Premier League, and Wenger. "It is important that mentally we didn't go out.
Arsenal's Lukasz Fabianski saves a penalty during the shootout during the FA Cup semi-final against Wigan at Wembley Stadium on Saturday. Pic/Getty Images
You could imagine the consequences of going out, it is quite worrying," Wenger said. "I am relieved because there was a big pressure on us. I expected a difficult game and I was not disappointed.
Wigan were impressive, well organised, physically very strong, calm when they had the ball. They played very well and showed why they knocked Man City out in the quarter-finals.
"We needed to show some character, resilience and some nerves and we did it in a very united and resilient way."