Oxford United 0-3 Arsenal
The FA Cup
The Kassam Stadium
Arsenal qualified for the sixteenth finals of the FA Cup on Monday evening. The leader of the Premier League was too strong for Oxford United, the number fifteen in League One, due to three goals in the second half. A squatter awaits against Manchester City in the next round.
Exactly 20 years and 5 days ago, both teams also faced each other in the same round of the FA Cup. Then it became 2-0 for Arsenal and Dennis Bergkamp opened the score after fifteen minutes; this time The Gunners had to wait longer for the opening goal. The first half produced few serious chances for Mikel Arteta’s team, despite a great preponderance of possession.
This proved quite contrary to when Stevenage FC pulled off a football miracle in the FA Cup tournament on Sunday evening. The fourth division team was still behind on a visit to Aston Villa in the 88th minute. But still managed to win the game.
It wasn’t until the last half hour of the game that Arsenal started to run. Fábio Vieira provided the assist for the first two goals: a twisting free kick from the left flank enabled the detached Mohamed Elneny to head in the 0-1, before sending in a sharp through ball that Eddie Nketiah made good use of. Fifteen minutes before the end, Nketiah also made it 0-3 after preparatory work by Gabriel Martinelli. There was an offside smell to the goal, but a VAR was not present.
At Oxford, the Dutch defender Djavan Anderson, who is in his first season in English service, had a basic place. Former Eredivisie attacker Yanic Wildschut came in shortly before the 0-1. At Arsenal, the vanguard, consisting of Bukayo Saka, Nketiah and Martinelli, was unchanged from the league game with Newcastle United (0-0). Furthermore, only defender Gabriel kept his starting place.