Arsenal stopper Szczesny picks Reading's Federici as Man of the Match

Arsenal’s Wojciech Szczesny spoke highly of Reading goalkeeper Adam Federici.

Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny says he felt sorry for his opposite number Adam Federici and feels the Australian was the best player on the pitch, the BBC reports.

The Gunners triumphed in their FA Cup semi-final encounter with Championship outfit Reading, prevailing 2-1 with Alexis Sanchez scoring the winner during extra-time.

It was a deserved victory for the North Londoners, but Sanchez’s winner came in fortuitous circumstances as Reading goalkeeper Federici allowed his weak shot to squirm underneath him and over the line.

It was a terrible mistake in an otherwise flawless performance from the Royals’ number one and a desperately cruel way to hand the opposition victory after such a valiant display.

Speaking after the full-time whistle, Polish international Szczesny spoke of his happiness at reaching the FA Cup final but also had kind words for his opposite number, calling him the game’s outstanding player.

"I am happy we are through but I thought Federici was terrific today. He had the game of his life and they only got to extra time because of him,” Szczesny explained.

“He was the best player on the pitch. I really feel for him, I have been there, done that."

The Royals’ 30-year-old shot-stopper faced a total of nine shots on target from Arsene Wenger’s men over the 120 minutes and made a number of important blocks.

Szczesny at the other end was less busy, but he did his job when called upon and owing to Arsene Wenger’s club policy, he stands a great chance of starting the FA Cup final next month.

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