Full-strength Ar­se­nal reaches FA Cup semi­fi­nals

The Washington Post Sunday - - WASHINTONPOST.COM/SPORTS -

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.

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