Gunners face Reading after Bradford felled

Ross McLean
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HOLDERS Arsenal face a semi-final showdown with Reading after the Royals last night ended 10-man Bradford City’s FA Cup fairytale with a 3-0 victory at the Madejski Stadium.

Strikes from Hal Robson-Kanu, Garath McCleary and Jamie Mackie burst the Bradford bubble as former Chelsea midfielder Filipe Morais was shown a second-half red card for a foul on Stamford Bridge loanee Nathaniel Chalobah.

Defeat for Bradford brought the curtain down on a giant-killing spree which had already seen the Bantams dispatch Premier League leaders Chelsea and Sunderland in this year’s competition.

A Wembley date with Championship side Reading, fixed for Saturday 18 April, is likely to bring a modicum of relief for Arsenal after falling foul of Bradford’s penchant for a cup upset during the League Cup at Valley Parade in December 2012.

Conversely, the Gunners have a commanding record against Reading and put 16 goals past the Royals in three matches during the 2012/13 season, although manager Steve Clarke won the 2007 FA Cup while assistant boss at Chelsea.

The other semi-final tie will be contested by Aston Villa and the winners of the replay between Blackburn Rovers and Liverpool.