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FA Cup: Watford Gun Down Arsenal

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[caption id="attachment_6280" align="alignnone" width="620"]Watford Players Celebrate Guedioura’s Goal[/caption]

Watford has knocked holders Arsenal out of the Emirates FA Cup.

The Hornets progressed to the semi-final of the competition with a 2-1 quarter-final victory at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday afternoon, to pile more pressure on Arsene Wenger’s side, who find themselves facing the prospects of ending the season without a silverware.

Second half strikes from Odion Ighalo and Adlene Guedioura ended Arsenal’s remarkable grip on the FA Cup.

It was Arsenal’s first defeat in the FA Cup in 17 games, a run which dates back to February 2013 when they were dumped out by Blackburn.

The Gunners, who dominated early proceedings and restricted the visitors to sporadic forays into their half, were hit with a sucker punch in the 50th minute when Odion Igahlo rolled Gabriel in the box and dispatched the ball past David Ospina.

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Guedioura’s thunderbolt from the edge of the box silenced the Emirates faithful and gave the visitors a two-goal cushion.

Danny Welbeck pulled one back for the host, but it was too little too late for Arsene Wenger’s men.

“Our fantastic run has come to an end on a day where we felt that our performance deserved a win,” Wenger said after the game.

“Credit to Watford, they created few chances but took them all. It’s sad because we gave everything.

“The players don’t miss on purpose. You have to be realistic. Of course on the first goal, we made a mistake. It was not possible medically to have started Welbeck.

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“It is very difficult against Barcelona, but we have to see it as a challenge and try to make the impossible possible.”

Arsenal have now lost three home games in a row in all competitions for the first time since November 2002. First, Barcelona, then Swansea and now Watford.

They could be out of the Champions League before the end of the week, if they lose against Barcelona on Wednesday.