Gallas strike seals Tigers fate


William Gallas fired Arsenal to Wembley with a late winner in their 2-1 FA Cup quarter-final victory against Hull at the Emirates Stadium.

Gallas, stripped of the captaincy earlier in the season, will not lead the team out against Chelsea but it was his header that sent them to their first trip to the national stadium in almost a decade.

Phil Brown's side had led through midfielder Nick Barmby but their attempt to soak up pressure and protect their lead lasted until the 74th minute when Robin van Persie rifled home. Gallas then grabbed the winner 10 minutes later but was fortunate not to be flagged for offside.

Hull snatched the lead after 13 minutes when an angled shot from Barmby - who later had a goal ruled out for a marginal offside decision - saw his shot deflected up off Johan Djourou and spun over Lukasz Fabianski.

The young Polish goalkeeper - given a chance to impress in the cups ahead of regular number one Manuel Almunia - was at full stretch to tip over a free-kick from Geovanni, who smashed a superb strike here during the Tigers' league win here in September.

Andrey Arshavin's angled drive was diverted past the near post by Anthony Gardner but Hull remained dangerous with a header from Kamil Zayatte dropping on the roof of the net. As half-time loomed, only a sliding block from Samuel Ricketts prevented Arshavin drilling in Theo Walcott's low cross, then the Russian flashed a right-foot volley across the face of goal.

In the second half Abou Diaby's header from a corner bounced just inches the wrong side of the post, Arshavin had another close-range effort blocked, then Djourou's header was cleared off the line - with Alex Song hooking the loose ball wide.

Van Persie then forced Boaz Myhill into a full stretch save from his bending, 25-yard free-kick before seeing a looping header hit the top of the bar with Myhill beaten.

The equaliser came through van Persie with 16 minutes left. Substitute Nicklas Bendtner's persistence in the penalty area paid off when he stabbed the ball across to Arshavin, who pulled it back to the penalty spot for the Dutchman to score.

Bendtner had a close-range shot blocked behind by Ricketts but Arsenal won it with six minutes to go when Gallas - stripped of the captaincy by Wenger earlier in the campaign after publicly questioning the young team's battling qualities - nodded in, from an offside decision.

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