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his is a big game, said Burris. Its a g

  • January 15, 2020 3:21 AM EST

    LONDON -- Arsenal avoided FA Cup embarrassment against second-tier club Wigan on Saturday, coming from behind against the holder and winning a penalty shootout to reach the final where the London club will be looking to end a nine-year trophy drought. DeShawn Stevenson Jersey . After extra time ended 1-1, Arsenals players scored all of their penalties and Lukasz Fabianski made two vital saves in a 4-2 shootout victory over Wigan in this meeting of the fifth-place teams in the Premier League and League Championship. Wigan went in front in regular time from the penalty spot at Wembley Stadium. Arsenal defender Per Mertesacker conceded the spot kick that Jordi Gomez converted but the German made amends by heading in the equalizer that sent the game into extra time. "In the first half we were a bit timid," Mertesacker said. "A lot of people questioned (our character) recently but how we came back today we proved a lot." A year after winning its first major trophy by beating Manchester City and then again in this years semifinals, Wigan couldnt produce another upset against a Premier League power -- much to Arsene Wengers relief. "It was important mentally," the Arsenal manger said. "If you imagine the consequences of going out tonight, it would have been quite worrying." With the second half of his 18-year reign defined by the lack of silverware, Wenger desperately needs to collect a first trophy since the 2005 FA Cup success when Arsenal returns to Wembley for the final. Arsenal will discover on Sunday whether it will face Premier League side Hull or third-tier club Sheffield United on May 17. It could be a bittersweet end to the season, though, with Arsenal at risk of missing out on the Champions League after 16 successive years. Just before kickoff at Wembley, Arsenal was dislodged from the fourth Champions League place by Everton, which beat Sunderland 1-0. What a slump it has been for Wengers side, having spent so much of the opening months of the season on top of the league. The failure to strengthen the squad in the January transfer window has come back to bite Wenger. How differently things could have turned out if he had brought in an additional striker. Instead, Wenger on Saturday was relying for goals on 21-year-old striker Yaya Sanogo, who was starting just his fourth game since joining on a free transfer before this season. Olivier Giroud was on the bench. Sanogos lack of cutting edge and pace in front of goal quickly became apparent. The Frenchman was denied by Scott Carson from close range after five minutes and again just before halftime when his unconvincing first touch to control the ball allowed the goalkeeper to thwart the attempt. If there was anything to reassure a dreary Arsenal side failing to produce the fluid football Wenger champions, it was Wigans inability to provide much attacking menace. So Arsenal gifted Wigan the opening to go in front. Mertesacker slid in with a lunge to cut out Callum McManamans run and the forward went to ground in the penalty area. After a delay while Arsenal defender Nacho Monreal received treatment elsewhere on the pitch, Gomez, a product of Barcelonas youth system, sent the spot kick beyond the reach of Lukasz Fabianski. The anger among Arsenal fans who have grown accustomed to failure was clear: Jeers greeted Wengers decision to bring Giroud on, not for Sanogo but Lukas Podolski in the 68th. The equalizer proved elusive. After Carsons save from Kieran Gibbs header sent the ball drifting toward the goal, Wigan defender Stephen Crainey scooped the ball off the line. Wigans goal was finally breached in the 82nd when it couldnt fully clear a corner and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain raised the ball over the defence and Mertesacker headed in at the far post. It was a lucky escape for Arsenal, which was denied a winner in extra time when Oxlade-Chamberlain hit the crossbar but had better luck in the shootout. Fabianski saved Wigans first two penalties by Gary Caldwell and Jack Collison, while Arteta, Kim Kallstrom, Giroud and Cazorla all netted for the Gunners. "We are walking out of Wembley on paper as losers but in our own mind as winners," said Wigan manager Uwe Rosler, whose focus returns to gaining promotion back to the Premier League. Mavericks Jerseys 2020 .Bacca took advantage of Cristian Alvarezs hesitation to head a lobbed pass over the goalkeeper and then used his feet to roll the ball into an empty net in the eighth minute. The Colombia strikers 10th goal pulled him level with Lionel Messi as the leagues third-leading scorers, far behind Cristiano Ronaldos runaway tally of 23 goals. Jalen Brunson Jersey . -- Kael Mouillierat scored three times and set up one more as the St.MONTREAL - Its early in the CFL season to talk of a must win game, but thats how it may be for the Montreal Alouettes.The Alouettes and the Ottawa Redblacks are both 1-7 and are on extended losing streaks, but Ottawa is an expansion team that didnt have high expectations.A loss at home to the newcomers, their closest geographic rivals and a team they must beat to have any hope of taking a playoff spot in weak East Division, would be devastating for Montreal, although centre Luc Brodeur-Jourdain doesnt see it that way.For me, every game is a must win, said Brodeur-Jourdain. I dont see it as Ottawa is an expansion club so its a must-win.We must win every game. We must be there and clinch first place in the East and go into the playoffs with momentum. We have to get out of this black hole were in right now.The Alouettes face the Redblacks on Friday night at Percival Molson Stadium, where Ottawa beat them 26-10 in a pre-season game when Henry Burris went 17-for-22 and running back Chevon Walker scored three touchdowns.Montreal has lost six in a row, while Ottawas losing run is at five.The Alouettes return home after losses at Saskatchewan and Winnipeg in which the defence was mostly solid but the offence continued to struggle.The ongoing search for a replacement for retired future Hall of Famer Anthony Calvillo took another twist as former Edmonton Eskimo Jonathan Crompton showed some promise at quarterback when he replaced starter Alex Brink in the second quarter in Winnipeg.Crompton, the fourth pivot to see action this season, is to get is first CFL start against the Redblacks.The main difference is his level of communication during the game, said Brodeur-Jourdain. Hes communicating well, trying to be loud and clear.He shows a lot of confidence. But I honestly think the four quarterbacks we have are the same. We just need time to develop.Time is starting to run short. The game marks the end of the first half of the regular season for both teams.Luckily for them, the division is so awful that both teams as well as Hamilton are only four points behind first-place Toronto. It is looking almost certain that there will be a crosssover team from the West in the East playoffs, so finishing in the top two is essential. Tim Hardaway Jersey. Its been a shock for Burris.Ive been in this thing for 14 years and Ive never seen this type of discrepancy between the East and the West, he said. I thought Montreal, Toronto and Hamilton would be duking it out and wed be doing what we can to get better as the season went on.But well take this. There are enough games left in the season to overcome what weve done in the past and try to get ourselves going and make a run at the playoffs.The Alouettes may have caught a break when receiver Weston Dressler, cut this week after an NFL tryout, turned down Ottawas offer and returned to the Saskatchewan Roughriders. Like Burris, Dressler has been particularly productive against Montreal in his career.The Redblacks are coming off losses at home of 32-7 last week against Calgary and 10-8 against Edmonton on Aug. 15. Their win was over Toronto by 18-17 at home on July 18.Now they have a shot at a first road victory against a struggling team.Both sides know this is a big game, said Burris. Its a great opportunity for each team to get momentum on their side.Both teams are looking for a positive spark. Of course, we feel were the team that deserves it, but its all about which team gets the job done. Montreal and us are in the same situation and are working our butts off to get up off this doormat.The Alouettes have not lost more than 10 games in a season since they returned to Montreal after a 10-year hiatus in 1996, but they will need a major turnaround to avoid that.Fans are losing patience with the quarterbacks and first-year coach Tom Higgins, and the shouts for change will grow louder with another loss.Technically, it may not be a must-win, but it certainly feels like it.I can say we played our best football the last two games, said Higgins. Yeah, theyre an expansion team, but they have a more experienced quarterback than we do.Were at home. We have to win at home. We have to beat an eastern club and get on the winning side of some games. So we can call it whatever we want. Were going to line up and try to win a game. ' ' '