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‘We are back at Wembley’ – Arteta delighted as Arsenal seal FA Cup semi-final spot with late Sheffield United win

Arsenal are through to the semi-finals of the FA Cup after Mikel Arteta’s side secured a late 2-1 win over Sheffield United at Bramall Lane.

The Blades thought they had got off to the perfect start after just eight minutes when midfielder John Lundstram headed home from close range, but VAR stepped in and rightly ruled the goal out for offside.

Arsenal would open the scoring on 24 minutes, club record signing Nicolas Pepe confidently stroking home a penalty after Alexandre Lacazette had been fouled in the box by Chris Basham.

The Gunners and Pepe seemed buoyed by the opener as the Ivory Coast international twice went close to finding the net again, Dean Henderson saving smartly from one effort and another flying just wide after a slick team move.

Blades defender Basham would be handed a golden opportunity on the hour mark to make amends for conceding the penalty, though the 31-year-old centre-back headed Enda Stevens excellent delivery wide with the goal at his mercy.

The Arsenal defence had struggled to deal with the Blades’ long throws from the left-hand side all game and it was no surprise that it was from this route that the home side eventually found their equaliser on 87 minutes, Sheffield striker David McGoldrick hitting home from inside the six yard box.

Chris Wilder’s side continued to push forward in search of a winner as the game entered stoppage time and looked the more likely to score, captain Billy Sharp forcing Gunners ‘keeper Emiliano Martínez into a fine stop at his near post.

However, it would be Arsenal who would find a winner in the 91st minute, substitute Dani Ceballos following up a counter-attack and sliding the ball past Blades ‘keeper Henderson from a tight angle.

Speaking afterwards, Gunners boss Arteta was delighted that the north London club are a step closer to adding to their record haul of 13 FA Cups, while the Spaniard also had a sly dig at the Premier League for his sides hectic fixture schedule.

“I am really pleased,” Arteta told the BBC.

”This is a difficult place to come and get a win. We are back at Wembley. I am really happy with the attitude and performance of the players.

“It is a great opportunity to try and win a title and play in Europe. We have played four away games since the restart. Thank you to the Premier League for our calendar playing every three days. But we go again on Wednesday.

“I knew Sheffield United were going to have moments. They are so good at their game plans and putting teams under pressure. We conceded from a long throw which is so hard to defend. But we were able to win the game.”

Read – Ranking the five clubs with the most hat-trick scorers in Premier League history

Read Also – Remembering Thierry Henry’s incredible season in 2002/03

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