Arsenal got some measure of revenge in an unconvincing 2-1 victory over rivals Liverpool in the FA Cup yesterday that also got them to the quaterfinals. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain scored one and set up the other for Lukas Podolski while Steven Gerrard converted a penalty but Liverpool could not force an equaliser. However, the visitors felt they should have been awarded the opportunity to level from the spot when Luis Suarez was sent tumbling inside the Arsenal area by Oxlade-Chamberlain. But referee Howard Webb, who will go to the World Cup this summer as England’s top official, decided Oxlade-Chamberlain’s clumsy challenge from behind was fair. There could have been more goals for both sides but goalkeepers Fabianski & Jones were up to the challenge.
More pertinently, the win will serve to further restore Arsenal’s confidence after their Anfield thrashing in time for the visit of Champions League opponents Bayern Munich on Wednesday. A much-changed home side had barely threatened in the opening stages before Oxlade-Chamberlain broke the deadlock in the 16th minute. He pounced on a loose ball in the Liverpool box, after debutant Yaya Sanogo’s shot was blocked by Reds skipper Gerrard, to calmly steer past Brad Jones. And the England winger provided the cross for Podolski to fire in from 15 yards at the start of the second half. But the German handed a lifeline to Liverpool when he clumsily fouled Suarez from behind in the area. Gerrard confidently sent Fabianski the wrong way to halve the deficit with his eighth goal of the season – and it set up a grandstand final half-hour during which the Red attacked the Gunners goal.
Two good things for Arsenal Mesut Özil had a much better game compared to his last 6-7 games and should have scored a 3rd goal for Arsenal when he went on a good run. Also, Sonogo seems to be a good player. He’s big, he’s strong and he’s fast paced and he was lively. Hope to see more of him. Arsenal face Everton in the quaterfinals.