Arsenal beats Everton to enter FA Cup semis

London, March 9: Arsenal became the first team to seal a place at Wembley in The FA Cup Semi-Finals, when they knocked out Everton at the Emirates Stadium in Saturday’s only Sixth Round tie.

An early opening goal from Mesut Ozil, the German’s first since December, set Arsene Wenger’s side on their way only for Everton to hit back through Romelu Lukaku before the break, reports thefa.com.

But a twice-taken penalty from Mikel Arteta against his former club and a late double from sub Olivier Giroud secured what was an ultimately comfortable passage through.

The scoreline was a shade harsh on Everton, who had their moments and will reflect on a number of missed opportunities at crucial points in the game, but Arsenal’s second-half show means they are back in the final four of The Cup for the first time since 2009.

And with no FA Cup title since 2005, their last trophy, Wenger’s side will be looking to register their name back on the honours list of this famous competition.

And after enjoying a run of home games from the third round, the Gunners boss wants to see his side continue that form at Wembley in the next round. “Mathematically, I cannot deny that is true [being two games from winning The FA Cup], it’s a Semi-Final,” said Wenger.

“Tactically, it’s a bit more difficult than that so let’s see who we have to play in the Semi-Final and do it again. “When you look at the competition, it’s true that we have played all of our games at home so it’s been a good draw for us.

“That’s the first time it’s happened, but on the other hand, we’ve played difficult opponents in Tottenham, Liverpool and Everton – that shows you that we have taken this competition seriously.”

And Wenger felt that it was a deserved victory for Arsenal, despite a constant threat from their visitors on the counter attack. “It was a quality performance from the first until the last minute against a good side,” he added.

“In the first half, it was all us and we are unlucky to be 1-1 at half time.

“In the second half, Everton started well and had a strong spell in the game when they had the chance with (Ross) Barkley.

“But after we scored the second goal, we controlled the way we played and always looked like we could score more.”

Arsenal will now await the Semi-Final draw on Sunday, which is being made by former Gunners striker Ian Wright and his son Shaun Wright-Phillips.

The scores:

Arsenal:4: Mesut Ozil (7), Mikel Arteta (68), Olivier Giroud (83 & 85) beat Everton 1: Romelu Lukaku (33).

IANS