Reading 1 Arsenal 2: It was tough, admits Arsene Wenger

Arsene Wenger admits that Arsenal were made to work hard for their FA Cup semi-final win over Reading at Wembley

Arsene Wenger admitted that his Arsenal side were made to work hard for a place in the FA Cup final after the Gunners needed extra-time to beat Reading 2-1 at Wembley.

Alexis Sanchez gave the Gunners the lead in the 39th minute in north London when he fired home from close range.

However, Reading battled hard after the break and equalised when Garath McCleary’s volley crept past Wojciech Szczesny and over the line nine minutes after half-time.

Sanchez then scored the winner in the second half of extra-time after Adam Federici’s error led to the ball crossing the line.

Speaking to BBC Sport after his side reached the FA Cup final for the second season running, Wenger said: “It was tough, yes. They defended well, we didn’t find our stride and they were very strong in their challenges – we struggled to win the 50/50s.

“They were on a different planet in motivation compared to what we had seen on tapes.

“We couldn’t score the second goal and for a team like that, it’s the occasion of their lives – they fight until the end and that’s what they did.

“We controlled the first half quite comfortably but in the second half they came more into the game.”

The Arsenal boss underlined his desire to lead the north London club to the sixth FA Cup title of his career next month.

“When you’re in the final you can win it, you want to win it,” he added. “Let’s prepare well and finish the Premier League well and then we will do everything to win it.”

Arsenal’s next game is a home clash with Chelsea in the Premier League on 26 April.

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