The Football League Paper - - FA CUP SEMI-FINAL -

SIT­TING in his Lon­don ho­tel room last night, Uwe Rosler must have lived this match a hun­dred times in his brain.

Yet surely even he didn’t dare imag­ine things would pan out as per­fectly as they did for 82 tac­ti­cally ideal min­utes.

Hav­ing weath­ered a mild early squall from the Gun­ners, Wi­gan’s game­plan worked to per­fec­tion – they sat deep, they sti­fled, they waited for Ar­se­nal to fall vic­tim to their own frus­tra­tions. Then, when they had the Pre­mier League side rat­tled, they struck with rapier speed. It looked for all the world like a text­book gi­ant killing.

That Rosler’s plans were un­done only by a mis-hit prob­a­bly tells you how well laid they were.

How cruel, then, that his side’s fate should be de­cided by the lot­tery of a penalty shootout. And how hurt­ful it must have been to see a penalty shat­ter his dreams, just as it did at Brent­ford last sea­son.

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