Arsenal aim to avoid repeat of last season’s mistakes

2015-04-18 00:00

ARSENE Wenger says Arsenal have learnt their lessons from last season’s Wembley experiences, and past experiences can see them through.

The Arsenal boss leads his side into an FA Cup semi-final for the 10th time today as the Gunners take on Championship side Reading — in a scenario with close similarities to their 2013/14 contest.

Twelve months ago, they took on another team from the second tier, Wigan Athletic, when only a late Per Mertesacker equaliser spared Arsenal’s blushes and took the game to extra-time and penalties.

This time round Wenger says the situation will be different.

“We have learnt from last season,” he told the assembled media at Arsenal’s London Colney training complex.

“We know in a semi-final it’s always tricky. Last year we went to penalties against Wigan.

“We have learnt from that and I think the urgency level will be quite high in our team [against Reading].

“We were a bit apprehensive last year in the semifinal and the final and maybe that experience can help us on Saturday [today].”

The Gunners go into today’s contest in a rich vein of form. They have won all eight games since losing 3-1 at home to Monaco in the Champions League in February.

And Wenger says while the run breeds confidence, his side have work to do to maintain standards.

“It’s a luxury to have a good run because it doesn’t question one important thing in our job and that is the confidence of the team,” he added.

“But on the other hand you need to keep the urgency level, the desire and the hunger at a very high level to continue it.”

England winger Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and club captain Mikel Arteta will miss out as they continue their recoveries from their respective groin and ankle injuries.

There was better news for Jack Wilshere though, as Wenger confirmed he will be in the matchday squad, but said it was too soon to say whether he would be in the starting line-up.

FA Cup semi-final fixtures


Reading v Arsenal (6.20 pm)


Aston Villa v Liverpool (4 pm)

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