Steve Clarke
Clarke believed several injustices cost Reading a place in the final.Getty Images

Reading manager Steve Clarke has taken aim at referee Martin Atkinson and his team of officials after defeat to Arsenal in the FA Cup semi-final.

Alexis Sanchez's double, the second coming in extra time via Adam Federici's handling error, sent the Gunners through to a record 19th final after an enthralling game at Wembley.

Gareth McCleary equalised in the second half for Reading, who worried Arsenal for long periods during their first FA Cup semi-final for nine decades, but at full time Clarke was left bemoaning a string of decisions which went against his side.

"Three of the last four league games we've been very, very good and for Reading football club it seems to be one of those seasons," he explained. "The team are not getting the breaks and they're not getting the chance to win matches.

"Today was typical of our season. You come here, you have a plan for the game and the first big decision in the game, is [Jamie] Mackie offside after 11 minutes? Clear through on goal and he wasn't offside.

"In the second half at 1-1, [Pavel] Pogrebnyak clear through, he's not offside. Handball in the box, not a handball where it is here [points at lowered arm] a handball where it's here [raises arm] and stops the cross coming in from Hal Robson-Kanu.

"It's a penalty and these are the moments that you need when you're the underdog and we're a little bit lesser than Arsenal. You need these moments to go for you but unfortunately for us they've not."

While holders Arsenal celebrated reaching a second final in a row, Federici was visibly distraught after his mistake led to Reading missing out on their first ever appearance in the final of the world's oldest cup competition.

"That is the life of goalkeeper," Clarke added. "We stick by Adam. We don't lose because of Adam, we lose as a team and we win as a team.

"I understand his worth to the squad. The supporters understand how important Adam Federici's role is for this football club so there are no worries on that.

"Adam is a strong character as well and on Wednesday night when we play Birmingham at home he will be as strong as he always is."