LONDON - Hull City staged a stirring second half fightback to book their first FA Cup final appearance with a thrilling 5-3 win over Sheffield United at Wembley on Sunday. Steve Bruce's side survived a stern test from the League One underdogs in a sensational semi-final and will face Arsenal on May 17 in the first major Cup final in Hull's 110-year history.

United led through Jose Baxter and although Yannick Sagbo equalised Stefan Scougall restored their advantage before half-time. The Premier League team finally made their extra quality tell after the interval and goals from Matty Fryatt, Tom Huddlestone, Stephen Quinn and David Meyler secured victory in Hull's first FA Cup semi-final for 84 years despite Jamie Murphy's late reply for United. "We are absolutely delighted. We needed one hell of a turn-around but the one thing you can't do with this team is write them off," Bruce said. "There are always going to be nerves and it is how you handle it. We certainly found it difficult in the first half, but we won OK in the end." United boss Nigel Clough added: "We are proud of the players' efforts, but we are a bit disappointed because we were so close."

Clough's men, the first third tier team to reach this stage of the competition since 2001, had already defeated Premier League opposition in Aston Villa and Fulham en route to the last four. Hull were unable to establish any momentum and it was no more than the Blades deserved when they took the lead in the 19th minute. John Brayford crossed from wide on the right and Baxter timed his run perfectly to poke home at the near-post.

Earlier on Saturday night, Lukasz Fabianski saved two penalties as Arsenal beat holders Wigan Athletic 4-2 in a shootout at Wembley to reach their first FA Cup final for nine years. Having stunned Manchester City in last season's final, before being relegated from the Premier League, Wigan looked set for another famous Wembley day when Jordi Gomez put them ahead with a 63rd-minute penalty. But Per Mertesacker made amends for conceding the penalty by heading in an 82nd-minute equaliser and with the score still 1-1 at the end of extra time, Fabianski took centre stage in the shootout. The Pole, usually a deputy to compatriot Wojciech Szczesny, saved Wigan's first two attempts, from Gary Caldwell and Jack Collison.

, before Santi Cazorla dispatched the decisive spot-kick to send Arsenal through.

"I'm relieved, because we were under big pressure, but I expected a difficult game and I was not disappointed," said Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger. "We needed to show some character, and some resilience, and as well some nerves, and we did it in a very united and resilient way." Victory took Wenger's team into their first FA Cup final since 2005, when they last won a trophy, and helped ease the pain of being knocked out of the Premier League's top four by Everton earlier in the day.

Uwe Rosler's Wigan, meanwhile, must turn their attentions back to the Championship promotion chase, having been thwarted in their attempt to become only the seventh club to retain the FA Cup. "I couldn't ask for any more than what they've given me," said Rosler, whose side eliminated his old club Manchester City in the last eight. "Arsenal are one of the top teams in the country and we did very well. I'm absolutely proud of how they played and what they put in."