FA Cup semi-finals

Behind the Numbers

Ahead of Arsenal's FA Cup semi-final against Wigan at Wembley, we take a look at Arsenal's record in the last four of this famous competition.

Arsenal will equal the record for appearances in the FA Cup semi-final this weekend, appearing in the fixture for the 27th time.

The Gunners will tie Manchester United's record when they take on Wigan on Saturday, and are looking for their 18th appearance in the FA Cup final, which would also equal United's record for final appearances.

Seven of our previous semi-finals needed at least one replay, so the overall record in the last four of the FA Cup is P35, W17, D9, L9, F44, A32.

"This will be Arsenal's 12th Wembley appearance under Arsène Wenger"

The first time Arsenal reached this stage was 1906, when the semi-final was actually the fifth round of the competition (it's currently the seventh round). Woolwich Arsenal lost 2-0 to Newcastle that year, and the following season lost 3-1 to Sheffield Wednesday at the same stage.

It was another 20 years until Arsenal next made it as far, and this time they triumphed, 2-1 over Southampton, to book their first FA Cup final date.

Between 1930 and 1972 Arsenal won every FA Cup semi-final they played - seven in all - and won the cup four times during that spell.

The semi-finals are usually close affairs. The two teams have only been separated by more than one goal once in the past 10 matches. Arsenal's biggest win in a semi-final is 3-0, recorded three times, including the last time the Gunners won at this stage - against Blackburn Rovers at the Millennium Stadium in 2005.


Arsenal in the FA Cup semi-final

Arsenal in the FA Cup semi-final



Most FA Cup semi-final appearances (not inc replays)

Most FA Cup semi-final appearances



Most FA Cup semi-final wins

Most FA Cup semi-final wins


This will be Arsenal's fourth FA Cup semi-final at Wembley, having won one of the previous three. The last three were all against London sides - Tottenham (1991 and 1993) and Chelsea (2009).

In all competitions this will be Arsenal's 12th Wembley appearance under Arsène Wenger, and their 44th in all. The record is: W20, D3, L20, F61, A46 - which includes pre-season friendlies and war-time football. Looking purely at first-class official games, the record is: P35, W14, D3, L18, F42, A43.

Theo Walcott is the last player to score at Wembley for Arsenal while the team's last victory at the national stadium came in September 1999 (before the stadium was rebuilt) - a 3-1 win over AIK Solna in the Champions League group stage. Freddie Ljungberg, Davor Suker and Thierry Henry were our scorers that night. John Lukic (now 53) was an unused sub for the Gunners.

Of the previous 35 matches Arsenal have played in the FA Cup semi-finals, only nine (26 per cent) have been played in London, with Arsenal usually travelling north for these fixtures.


In all, 14 different venues have been used for our semi-finals, with Villa Park hosting the largest proportion (34 per cent). Arsenal have a winning record there (W5 D4 L3), but Old Trafford and Stamford Bridge have also proved successful grounds for the Gunners, with 100 per cent records at both.

Old Trafford was the venue the last time Arsenal met lower-league opposition in the semi-final. Championship side Sheffield United were beaten 1-0 in 2003, in David Seaman's 1,000th professional appearance.

Ljungberg scored the winner that day, but the match is best remembered for a superb save by Seaman from Paul Peschisolido, which Peter Schmeichel described as "the best save I have ever seen".


Where Arsenal have played their semi-finals

Where Arsenal have played their semi-finals


Arsenal at Wembley

  P W D L F A
FA Cup 17 8 1 8 19 17
League Cup 6 2 0 4 8 11
Charity Shield 6 2 1 3 7 6
Champions League 6 2 1 3 8 9
TOTAL 35 14 3 18 42 43

This will be the Gunners' ninth FA Cup semi-final under Arsène Wenger (33 per cent of the Club's all-time total) and the Club's 18th cup semi-final in all competitions since the manager arrived in 1996.

"Wenger is the only Arsenal manager to lift the FA Cup more than once"

Arsenal have progressed from nine of those previous semi-finals, so this season the Gunners are looking for their 10th cup final appearance in all competitions under Wenger.

In the FA Cup, Arsenal have progressed to the final five times out of eight since 1996, and Wenger has won four of those finals. He's the only Arsenal manager to lift the FA Cup more than once, and in the modern era, only Sir Alex Ferguson has won the cup more times (five).

This weekend will be the first time Arsenal have met Wigan at this stage of the competition, and indeed it's the first ever FA Cup clash between the sides.

Arsenal's most frequent FA Cup semi-final opponents (not including replays) are Chelsea, Manchester United and Tottenham, with three past encounters each.

Arsenal's all-time FA Cup semi-final record

Year Opposition Venue Result Score Scorers
1906 Newcastle United Victoria Ground L 0-2  
1907 Sheffield Wednesday St. Andrew's L 1-3 Garbutt
1927 Southampton Stamford Bridge W 2-1 Hulme, Buchin
1928 Blackburn Rovers Filbert Street L 0-1  
1930 Hull City Elland Road D 2-2 Jack, Bastin
1930 Hull City Villa Park W 1-0 Jack
1932 Manchester City Villa Park W 1-0 Bastin
1936 Grimsby Town Leeds Road W 1-0 Bastin
1950 Chelsea  White Hart Lane D 2-2 Cox, L Compton
1950 Chelsea White Hart Lane W 1-0* Cox
1952 Chelsea White Hart Lane D 1-1 Cox
1952 Chelsea White Hart Lane W 3-0 Cox 2, Lishman
1971 Stoke City Hillsborough D 2-2 Storey 2 (1 pen)
1971 Stoke City Hillsborough W 2-0 Graham, Kennedy
1972 Stoke City Villa Park D 1-1 Armstrong
1972 Stoke City Goodison Park W 2-1 George, Radford
1973 Sunderland Hillsborough L 1-3 George
1978 Orient Stamford Bridge W 3-0 Macdonald 2, Rix
1979 Wolves Villa Park W 2-0 Stapleton, Sunderland
1980 Liverpool Hillsborough D 0-0  
1980 Liverpool Villa Park D 1-1* Sunderland
1980 Liverpool Villa Park D 1-1* Sunderland
1980 Liverpool Highfield Road W 1-0 Talbot
1983 Manchester United Villa Park L 1-2 Woodcock
1991 Tottenham Wembley L 1-3 Smith
1993 Tottenham Wembley W 1-0 Adams
1998 Wolves Villa Park W 1-0 Wreh
1999 Manchester United Villa Park D 0-0  
1999 Manchester United Villa Park L 1-2* Bergkamp
2001 Tottenham Old Trafford W 2-1 Vieira, Pires
2002 Middlesbrough Old Trafford W 1-0 Festa (OG)
2003 Sheffield United Old Trafford W 1-0 Ljunberg
2004 Manchester United Villa Park L 0-1  
2005 Blackburn Rovers Millenium Stadium W 3-0 Pires, Van Persie 2
2009 Chelsea Wembley L 1-2 Walcott

*= after extra-time

All stats correct as at April 8, 2014 

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