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Saturday, January 4, 2014
FA Cup third round: Arsenal 2 Spurs 0
Goals from Santi Cazorla and Tomas Rosicky sent Arsenal through to the fourth round of the FA Cup at the expense of their north London rivals.
Cazorla fired home an unstoppable drive just after the half-hour mark and Rosicky added the second after the break to end Tottenham’s interest in the competition.
Spurs started well and they went close when Laurent Koscielny’s careless clearance allowed Christian Eriksen a run at goal, but the Dane’s left-foot shot was turned behind by Lukasz Fabianski.
The Gunners began to dominate as Tottenham’s defence struggled to deal with the pace of Theo Walcott, who was deployed as a central striker in place of Lukas Podolski.
Walcott might have opened the scoring in the 12th minute, galloping onto Serge Gnabry’s pass and turning Vlad Chiriches before firing a low shot through the defender’s legs that Hugo Lloris did well to tip wide.
Another curling effort by Walcott was deflected behind soon afterwards, and Gnabry and Jack Wilshere combined neatly to release the England international again, but Lloris came to Tottenham’s rescue.
However, Arsenal deservedly gained the advantage when Bacary Sagna found Gnabry, who weaved his way past two opponents and laid the ball off for Cazorla to rifle a first-time finish past the exposed Lloris.
Spurs rarely looked likely to manufacture a response, although Roberto Soldado dragged half-chances off target either side of the break and ex-Gunners striker Emmanuel Adebayor slipped as he lined up a shot on the turn.
At the other end, a through ball from the outstanding Gnabry picked out Walcott again and, although he evaded Lloris, the angle proved too tight.
But the home side doubled their lead in the 62nd minute when Rosicky robbed Danny Rose on the halfway line and sped clear to clip his finish coolly beyond Lloris.
That second goal effectively ended the contest and Arsenal could have inflicted further punishment on their rivals when Gnabry pounced on a slip from Chiriches to set up Walcott, whose low effort flew fractionally wide.
Arsenal went down to 10 men in the closing stages, having used up all their substitutions when Walcott was stretchered off after misjudging his challenge on Rose, but it made little difference to the outcome.
In fact, the depleted Gunners could have added a third goal late on when Gnabry played Mesut Ozil in, but Lloris saved Tottenham again with a low fingertip save.
Arsenal: Fabianski; Sagna, Koscielny, Vermaelen (Mertesacker 45), Monreal; Arteta (Ozil 75); Gnabry, Wilshere (Flamini 71), Rosicky, Cazorla; Walcott.
Spurs: Lloris; Walker, Dawson, Chiriches, Rose; Lennon, Dembele, Bentaleb, Eriksen; Adebayor, Soldado (Chadli 63).