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.