Cardiff reaches FA Cup semis

Cardiff extended the run of FA Cup upsets on Sunday with a 2-0 win over Middlesbrough, putting the Welsh team in the semifinals of the English competition for the first time since it won in 1927.

Peter Whittingham and Roger Johnson scored at Riverside Stadium for Cardiff, the only team from outside England to have won the trophy.

In the Premier League, Arsenal was held to a 0-0 draw at Wigan. The Gunners have 66 points, leading Manchester United by two points, but the Red Devils have played one game less.

Everton kept up with Liverpool in the race for fourth place with a 1-0 win at Sunderland, and Tottenham beat 10-man West Ham 4-0.

Portsmouth is the only Premier League club in the FA Cup semifinals, with League Championship Barnsley taking another berth. League One club Bristol Rovers hosts Championship team West Bromwich Albion in the final quarterfinal match later Sunday.

Cardiff went ahead in the ninth minute, when Whittingham collected a long throw from Tony Capaldi to curl a shot into the top corner.

Referee Mike Dean dismissed claims from Middlesbrough players that a Cardiff player touched the ball with his hand on its way into the box.

The Bluebirds doubled their lead in the 22nd minute when Roger Johnson dived to head in a free kick from Whittingham.

Middlesbrough, which lost to Chelsea in the 1997 FA Cup final, is ranked 12th in the Premier League. Cardiff is 14th in the League Championship.

”We played some good football and defended when we had to. The win was thoroughly deserved and we performed fantastically,” Cardiff manager Dave Jones said. ”I don’t think Middlesbrough can have any complaints. We knew if we played to our potential we would have a chance and we got what we deserved.”

Barnsley and Portsmouth both reached the semifinals on Saturday with upsets. Portsmouth’s 1-0 win was its first at Manchester United in 51 years, while Barnsley beat Chelsea by the same margin, proving its elimination of Liverpool in the previous round was no fluke.

Emmanuel Adebayor, Nicklas Bendtner and Cesc Fabregas all had multiple chances for Arsenal, but the club’s passing game was affected by the poor condition of Wigan’s field.

The JJB Stadium is also home to rugby league club Wigan Warriors, which played on the field a week ago.

It’s the third consecutive league draw for Arsenal and comes five days after it eliminated defending champion AC Milan from the Champions League.

Everton scored the only goal of the game when Andrew Johnson put a cross from Mikel Arteta into the net in the 55th minute. The Toffees now have 56 points, the same as Liverpool.

Sunderland, which was beaten by Everton 7-1 at Goodison Park in November, remains in 16th place.

Tottenham beat London rival West Ham 4-0 with two goals from Dimitar Berbatov in the first 15 minutes, with Tom Huddlestone setting up both.

Huddlestone’s free kick was headed in by Berbatov in the eighth minute. Three minutes later, the two combined again for Berbatov’s second header.

Spurs defender Gilberto made it 3-0 in the 85th and Darren Bent headed the fourth in injury time.

West Ham lost Luis Boa Morte in the 44th minute because of a second yellow card after fouls on Huddlestone and Aaron Lennon.

It’s the third consecutive 4-0 loss for West Ham in the Premier League and leaves it 10th in the standings, five points ahead of 11th-place Tottenham.

On Saturday in the Premier League, it was: Blackburn 1, Fulham 1; Liverpool 3, Newcastle 0; and Reading 2, Manchester City 0.

On Wednesday, Aston Villa will Middlesbrough, Chelsea will clash with Derby and Portsmouth will take on Birmingham. – Sapa-AFP

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