Full-strength Arsenal reaches FA Cup semifinals
When Arsene Wenger named a full-strength lineup to face Lincoln City in the FA Cup on Saturday in London, any hopes the fifth-tier side had of competing with Arsenal should have been extinguished.
But the first nonleague side to reach the FA Cup quarterfinals in 103 years defied the odds again for at least a little while. Lincoln City made its more illustrious opponent toil for 45 minutes before Theo Walcott scored.
After conceding five against Bayern Munich on Tuesday in the Champions League, Arsenal managed to score five itself — albeit against an English minnow — to avoid further embarrassment for Wenger on another day of fan protests against the manager.
With a 5-0 victory, Arsenal booked a trip to Wembley Stadium to give Wenger a chance of silverware in what could be his last season in charge.
Manchester City also reached the Cup semifinals with a 2-0 victory over host Middlesbrough secured by David Silva and Sergio Aguero.
Lincoln already had beaten Premier League opposition in Burnley along with two secondtier sides to earn a game at one of Europe’s biggest clubs in front of 60,000 fans.
Lincoln almost took the lead early as right back Nathan Arnold cut inside Laurent Koscielny and sent a left-footed effort toward the top corner that required Petr Cech to produce a fine save.
ITALY: Sampdoria secured a historic 1-0 win over Genoa to complete the double over its city rival for the first time in 57 years.
Luis Muriel scored the winner in the “Derby della Lanterna” in the 71st minute.
He stole the ball off Ezequiel Munoz, burst into the box and placed his effort into the bottom right corner.
Sampdoria moved into ninth place, while Genoa remained 15th.
Despite its inferior position in the table, Genoa had the better of a cagey first half and drew the first save of the match as Mauricio Pinilla tested Emiliano Viviani.
SPAIN: Sevilla stumbled again in the Spanish league when it was held at home by relegationthreatened Leganes, 1-1. Sevilla missed a chance to move closer to front-runners Real Madrid and Barcelona. It was the second straight draw for Sevilla, which could see its gap with leader Barcelona increase to six points by the end of the weekend. Barcelona plays at Deportivo La Coruna on Sunday, while second-place Madrid hosts Real Betis. Madrid is two points in front of Sevilla.
“I’m worried about the team’s behavior,” Sevilla Coach Jorge Sampaoli said. “The team is too anxious when it can’t create scoring chances, and well-organized opponents can take advantage of that.”
MLS: Nemanja Nikolic and Arturo Alvarez each scored in the opening 15 minutes for the Chicago Fire in a 2-0 victory over Real Salt Lake in Bridgeview, Ill.
Nikolic started the scoring in the 11th minute. He was in an offside position, but RSL’s back pass found Nikolic’s feet, and he beat goalkeeper Nick Rimando on a one-on-one breakaway . . . .
Goalkeeper Luis Robles had a shutout in his MLS record-setting 143rd consecutive start, and an own goal was the only score in the New York Red Bulls’ 1-0 victory over the Colorado Rapids in Harrison, N.J . . . .
C.J. Sapong scored the equalizer two minutes after Philadelphia gave up a goal, and the Union tied Toronto FC, 2-2, in Chester, Pa.
Sapong took a perfect feed from Fabian Herbers that left him one-on-one with goalkeeper Clint Irwin. Sapong tapped the ball around the closing Irwin and leftfooted it into the empty net . . . .
Nicolas Lodeiro and Will Bruin scored in the final 10 minutes to give the defending MLS champion Seattle Sounders a 2-2 tie with the host Montreal Impact . . . .
Romell Quioto scored 67 seconds into the match after intercepting a poor clearance by Columbus Crew goalkeeper Zack Steffen to send the Houston Dynamo on its way to a 3-1 win at home.