Search

Theo Walcott makes his point as Arsenal hit Coventry for six

21:39 26 September 2012

Arsenal

Arsenal's Olivier Giroud. Photo: Joe Giddens/PA

PA Wire/Press Association Images

Capital One Cup third round: Arsenal 6 Coventry City 1

Support your community by viewing your local businesses

Please wait

You will be able to read the article in 5 seconds

Thank you for supporting your local community

You may now read the article

Theo Walcott sent the perfect message to Arsenal fans with two goals as Arsenal’s impressive start to the season continued with a rampant dispatching of Coventry City in the Capital One Cup.

A first Gunners’ goal for Olivier Giroud set Arsenal on their way against the League One strugglers, and Walcott’s double and further goals from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Andrey Arshavin and the Spanish defender Ignasi Miquel gave rich entertainment to an almost capacity Emirates crowd.

It was a very useful night from Wenger’s point of view too, with Giroud getting off the mark after his nervy start to life at Arsenal the highlight, but the performance of several young players and the goalscoring returns for Walcott and Arshavin also surely pleasing the Frenchman.

Walcott, with his contract into its final year and the subject of much recent speculation, could not have chosen a better time to perhaps remind his manager and his club of his ability, even if much of the contract delay appears to be of the player’s making.

Wenger’s selection was the usual mixture of young players and those on the fringes of the first team. Walcott and Oxlade-Chamberlain were both used in midfield, while Giroud was up front and Arshavin in the hole just behind him.

In defence the Brazilian Andre Santos was at left-back, and the captain for the night, Johan Djourou, was in the centre, but the rest of the team were young Guns as Miquel partnered Djourou at centre-back, with Swiss 18-year-old Martin Angha at right back, and the 20-year-old Argentinian Damian Martinez in goal.

Nico Yennaris, a mascot against Coventry as a seven-year-old back in 2000 when the Sky Blues were in the top flight, was pushed forward to midfield alongside Francis Coquelin.

Unsurprisingly it took the unfamiliar line-up some time to gel, and only a fluffed shot from Walcott and an effort from Giroud comfortably gathered by keeper Joe Murphy were of note.

But on the half-hour mark the moment Giroud had been waiting for happened. Oxlade-Chamberlain and Arshavin seemed to have lost possession, but Coquelin slid in and prodded Giroud clear, and the French striker kept his nerve to chip over the advancing Murphy and in.

The relief for the summer signing from Montpellier was palpable. He had only started three games prior to this one, but the missed chances were stacking up and with every blank game the pressure increased. The goal brought instant release.

So too for the Emirates crowd. Coventry had arrived as a club in turmoil, at the foot of League One and with a new manager in Mark Robins, but were holding their own reasonably comfortably until then.

They did so again either side of half-time, but when Arshavin twisted his way clear in the box on 52 minutes, Reece Brown’s clumsy challenge saw referee Michael Jones point to the spot.

Giroud, buoyed by his goal, took the responsibility but there was something unconvincing in his run-up and although he struck the shot well, Murphy got down easily to his right to palm the ball around the post.

Momentarily, Coventry glimpsed a way back and sent a set-piece fizzing into the Gunners’ box which Martinez came out confidently to claim.

But concerns were banished before the hour mark as Oxlade-Chamberlain scored a memorable second goal, receiving a short ball from the industrious Coquelin and thumping a 25-yard drive that flew past Murphy.

That seemed to suck the life out of Coventry, but Arsenal were in the mood for a party, and the next goal was a real thing of beauty.

Yennaris, another who caught the eye, released Giroud and the Frenchman drifted wide before crossing for Arshavin to control and flick the ball home impudently.

The Russian is very much the forgotten man of the Emirates, but Wenger has made it clear he is still in his plans and here, operating in the hole, he looked genuinely lively again. The level of opposition, of course, has to be taken into account, but Wenger will certainly have taken note.

Walcott could perhaps rival Arshavin for having fallen out of favour, but he too got in on the goalscoring act and it was another excellent goal, raiding in from the right flank and rifling a low shot under Murphy.

Coventry, who had brought huge support with them to the Emirates, rewarded those fans who have suffered greatly in the last decade with a goal of their own, the substitute Callum Ball finishing well after Arsenal had been exposed on their left side.

But the four-goal cushion was restored soon afterwards, Arshavin turning creator with a precise left-foot cross on to the head of Miquel who made no mistake from close range.

Walcott ensured he had the last word with another fine run and strike for the second. If he could just be as quick to sign that contract that has been on the table for the last year, Arsenal fans might be singing his name more regularly.

Arsenal: Martinez, Angha, Djourou, Miquel, Andre Santos, Yennaris, Coquelin (Frimpong, 72), Walcott, Oxlade-Chamberlain (Gnabry, 72), Arshavin, Giroud (Chamakh, 72).

Subs not used: Shea, Squillaci, Bellerin, Eisfeld.

Coventry: Murphy, Clarke, Wood, Brown, Reckord, Bailey, Barton, McSheffrey, Moussa (Fleck, 60), Baker, Elliott (Ball, 70).

Subs not used: Dunn, Hussey, McDonald, Edjenguele, Daniels.

Referee: Michael Jones

Att: 58,351

Related articles

0 comments

Latest Sport Stories

Thu, 07:21
Left to right: Zak Chelli Sr (coach), Yahia Chelli, Zak Chelli, Tony Lucas (coach)

Times ABC coach Tony Lucas hopes the Chelli brothers can put the club “back on the map” with success at this weekend’s prestigious King of the Ring tournament.

Wed, 17:44
The Yerbury School squad, who won the Islington Schools Swimming Gala for the second year running

Yerbury were crowned borough champions for the second year running in the Islington Schools’ Swimming Gala at Ironmonger Row baths.

Wed, 17:41
Old Streetonians captain Chris McAtominey

Old Streetonians’ big day out at Allianz Park ended in another dispiriting defeat as errors and ill-discipline cost them dearly in a 31-0 defeat by Fullerians.

Wed, 17:28
Ashley Taylor-Forbes scores for Clapton Rangers. Pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO

Ashley Taylor-Forbes snatched a second-half winner as Clapton Rangers defeated Shakespeare 2-1 to go six points clear at the top of the Hackney & Leyton League Premier Division.

Most read sport

Protesters have been warned they are banned from setting up camp at the landmark.

John Cantlie features in the new IS video, in which he talks about a recent failed military attack.

From Britain First’s Facebook posts, you would assume they’d won the Rochester by-election. They didn’t, but they’re claiming it anyway.

At 100 years old, this was Ruby Holt’s first visit to the beach – and the first time she saw the ocean.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the $m.global.archantvariables.NewspaperTitle e-edition today E-edition