BBC pundit explains why Danny Welbeck got the nod in FA Cup semi-final

Danny Welbeck England Euro 2012 closeup

Arsenal striker Danny Welbeck started the match in the lone striker role.

Former Sheffield Wednesday player and renowned pundit Chris Waddle has told the BBC that Danny Welbeck started Arsenal’s 2-1 FA Cup semi-final victory over Reading because of his pace.

The Gunners headed into the encounter in fabulous domestic form and as big favourites, having won eight consecutive Premier League matches.

Arsene Wenger’s men have quality in abundance in the attacking third, therefore the biggest challenge for the Gunners’ boss was to select which attacking quartet to start with.

Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil were obvious choices, yet Danny Welbeck’s inclusion instead of Olivier Giroud, given the latter’s wonderful goal scoring form of late, was a big surprise and quite controversial.

However, BBC pundit Chris Waddle feels it was a smart move by the Frenchman and explained early on in the match how the England international’s pace against Reading’s backline was the deciding factor.

"Danny Welbeck was played through with a ball over the top and the Reading back two clearly can't keep up with him. That's why Welbeck has been selected to play today - for his pace,” Waddle stated.

After Alexis Sanchez had given the Premier League outfit the lead, the decision to opt for the pacey Welbeck on the counter started to look like an astute decision.

However, Gareth McCleary’s equaliser early into the second-half disrupted Wenger’s side and with the Royals dropping deeper, it became apparent that Giroud’s strength and technical ability was necessary.

Welbeck lasted up until the 72nd minute before being replaced, and while it proved the right decision, the former Manchester United star can count himself a little unlucky with how the game panned out.

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