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Welbeck scores Arsenal winner vs old club in FA Cup

Published:Tuesday | March 10, 2015 | 3:00 AM
Arsenal's Danny Welbeck celebrates after scoring his side second goal during the English FA Cup quarter-final football match against Manchester United at Old Trafford Stadium, Manchester, England, yesterday.

MANCHESTER, England (AP):

With one clinical finish, Danny Welbeck propelled Arsenal into the FA Cup semi-finals and made former club Manchester United pay for selling him last summer.

Welbeck marked his first return to Old Trafford by grabbing a 61st-minute winner in a 2-1 victory for Arsenal yesterday, in a matchup between the competition's two most successful teams.

It was Arsenal's first win at Old Trafford in 11 attempts stretching back to September 2006.

Angel Di Maria's 77th-minute sending-off for two yellow cards - one for diving and the other moments later for tugging the referee's shirt in protest - completed a disappointing evening for United, who are almost sure to go without a trophy for the second straight season.

United sold Welbeck for 16 million pounds (then $26.5 million) on transfer deadline day last summer, with manager Louis van Gaal saying the England striker wasn't up to the standard of the club's attackers.

Playing with a point to prove, Welbeck led the line well and showed great instincts to pounce on Antonio Valencia's underhit back-pass, round goalkeeper David de Gea and steer the ball into an empty net. His fist-clenching celebrations, in front of Arsenal's jubilant fans, were firm but respectful.

"You always want to do well when you play against your former club, to show you are a great player," said Arsenal manager Ars├łne Wenger, who added that he chose to start Welbeck for "psychological considerations".

Wayne Rooney's diving header in the 29th cancelled out Nacho Monreal's well-worked opener four minutes earlier for the visitors, who will play third-tier Bradford or second-tier Reading in the semi-finals at Wembley Stadium. Arsenal are the title holders.

Aston Villa, which beat West Bromwich Albion 2-0, were drawn against the winner of the replay between Liverpool and second-tier Blackburn.

In a choice that could define his first season at United, Van Gaal opted to sell Welbeck - who had been at United since the age of eight - and replace him with expensive loan signing Radamel Falcao.

Falcao has underperformed, scoring four goals, while Welbeck now has eight for Arsenal despite largely being a backup to Olivier Giroud and sometimes playing on the left wing. Falcao was an unused substitute here.