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Sunday, April 5, 1998 Published at 16:40 GMT 17:40 UK

Sport: Football

Arsenal brush off Wolves
image: [ The Gunners are heading to Wembley ]
The Gunners are heading to Wembley

Ron Jones reporting from Villa Park (52")
Arsenal are still on course for the double, after winning their FA Cup semi-final against Wolves 1-0.

After a tentative opening few moments, Arsenal took the lead through Christopher Wreh in the 12th minute with the first chance of the match.

Hans Segers' poor clearance was picked up by Patrick Viera in midfield who powered towards the Wolves goal. Wolves defender Keith Curle stumbled as he tried to make a challenge and that allowed the Frenchman to pick out Wreh lurking unmarked on the righthand. The young Liberian calmly sidefooted into the far corner.

Wolves' cage was rattled, and as the first half wore on they allowed Arsenal to dominate the game. Patrick Viera and Emmanuel Petit were in total charge of midfield, while Wreh and Nicholas Anelka continually bamboozled the Wolves defence.

Anelka could have made it two-nil after Parlour had created total disarray in the Wolves defence, but he placed his shot well wide. Parlour came closest with a thumping shot from 30 yards, but Segers saved well.

Wolves' only tactic was to punt the ball forwards - meat and drink to Tony Adams and Martin Keown.

Wolves moved Don Goodman inside at the start of the second half and the switch paid immediate dividends. Inside 60 seconds Goodman won a header, and knocked the ball down to Paul Simpson who shot straight at Seaman.

Arsenal were forced into a substitution, Steve Bould replacing Keown, who had had a clash of heads in the first half.

Wolves were now playing with aggression. They brought on their talisman Steve Bull, and within seconds they should have equalised. The former England striker caused mayhem in the Arsenal defence. As the Gunners tried to clear their lines, the ball fell to Claridge, but his first touch was awful.

In the final minutes Arsenal could have had a penalty but eventually they recorded yet another 1-0 victory which takes them to Wembley on May the 16th, and keeps the double in sight.

"We are a little step nearer as we are in the final," said the Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger. "But the championship is the most important now."

"We missed many chances on the break to kill the game so up until the end it was very, very nervous."

Wolves will reflect on a great cup run before they get back to the business of securing a play-off place and the possibility of promotion to the Premiership.

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