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March 8, 2014
• Emirates Stadium, London
Referee: M. Clattenburg
• Attendance: 59719
M. Özil 7'
O. Giroud 83', 85'
R. Lukaku 32'
That's all that we have time for, but we hope that you enjoyed our live coverage of Arsenal's clinical 4-1 FA Cup quarter final win over Everton. I've been Simon Harrison, and I hope to see you again next time.
The scoreline is somewhat flattering, but Arsenal deserve their win, after looking relatively comfortable all game, with Fabianski having a relatively easy afternoon. Arsenal march towards the final, as Wenger looks to orchestrate an end to the Gunners' silverware drought, and his side are looking in good shape to kick on following the international break.
FULL TIME! There we have it! Arsenal win 4-1 at the Emirates to defeat Everton in the FA Cup quarter final, with two goals from Giroud, a converted penalty from Arteta and an early finish from Ozil handing the Gunners a place in the semi-final. An equaliser from Lukaku gave Everton hope, but in the end, the home side were too clinical.
90' + 2'
Neither side are playing at full pace, with Everton seemingly conceding that their cup run is over for another season. Arsenal still press forward for another goal, but Baines clears under pressure from the onrushing Giroud.
Three minutes of stoppage time have been awarded, with the result of this game being a formality at this point.
Arsenal's fans are gleefully singing of their future visit to Wembley, as this game heads into the dying embers. Lukaku musters a weak shot, which Fabianski is able to clutch with ease, much to the amusement of the Emirates crowd. It's been relatively comfortable for Szczesny's deputy today.
Blink and you'd have missed it! Everton have gone from having half a chance of reaching the semi-final, to being three goals behind and having absolutely no chance of progressing. The Toffees have tailed off in the past 15 minutes, but this scoreline is flattering. Giroud is fed by Rosicky, before arrowing a low drive wide of Joel's far post.
Assist Mesut Özil
Goal Olivier Giroud
GOOOOOOOAL! GIROUD GRABS ANOTHER AND IT'S 4-1! The Gunners are heading to Wembley, and two goals in as many minutes from Giroud have sewn this game up! An incisive break, with Ozil setting the ball up on a plate for the France international to slide home!
Assist Bacary Sagna
Goal Olivier Giroud
GOOOOOOAL! GIROUD MAKES IT THREE! Arsenal are so close to reaching the FA Cup semi-final now, they can almost taste it! Sagna marauds down the right, before waiting at the byeline for Giroud to arrive, before the French striker turns the ball home instinctively!
Everton look to press onto the edge of the Gunners' penalty area, but McGeady is penalised for a high foot on Vermaelen, who was attempting to head a loose ball. Mertesacker, moments earlier, made a very important clearing header to turn away a Coleman cross.
As we head into the dying stages of the game, Everton really need to come up with something if they are to stay in contention for a place in the semi-final. They've seen more possession in the second half, but there's a sense that Arsenal have been prepared to sit back since their goal. Deulofeu is still on the bench, and the Barcelona loanee has a brief history of scoring late against Arsenal.
Wenger also looks to his replacements, and opts to replace Oxlade-Chamberlain with Tomas Rosicky, with the Englishman receiving great applause for his endeavor to win the second-half penalty. The Arsenal boss likes to play the Czech midfielder in the big games, due to his experience and intelligence, and this change might show that the Gunners want to ride this game out.
Everton look to their substitutes' bench, with the injured Pienaar hobbling off, while Mirallas sprints off the field in a spirited fashion. McGeady and Osman are the men to come onto the field, which may translate into Barkley sliding out to the left hand side, or Osman directly taking Pienaar's place.
Great clearance from Oxlade-Chamberlain, who prevents a Pienaar cross with a leg held aloft. Barry picks up the pieces, before cutting a pass back to Barkley, who strikes first-time from 25 yards. The low drive dips narrowly wide of the far post, and Fabianski was worried! Great effort.
Half decent save from Fabianski! He atones for his previous error, making a good save low to his right, before pouncing on it at the second attempt. Arsenal are prepared to sit deep and invite pressure on, presumably happy to try and hit Giroud with a long ball and then counter.
Although they've fallen behind, Martinez still has three changes to make an impact on this game, which they're certainly not out of yet. Arsenal continue to look comfortable, with Fabianski being very sporadically tested in this second half. Baines makes a good cross from the left hand side, and the Polish goalkeeper flaps at it, before the loose ball fortunately falls to an Arsenal player.
Arteta held his nerve, and now Arsenal are in pole position heading into the final 20 minutes. The home fans are in great voice, taking heart from their team's performance. Giroud is fed in behind the visiting defence, but Stones covers brilliant to shield the ball back to Joel.
Yellow Card James McCarthy
Penalty Goal Mikel Arteta
GOOOOOOAL! THIS TIME HE CONVERTS IN A MORE COMPOSED MANNER! Arsenal lead 2-1! Despite it being a re-take, the Spaniard slots the ball into the top right hand corner, though he nestled his first effort into the bottom left. Mind games galore, but Arteta beats Joel!
Yellow Card Olivier Giroud
GOOOOOAL! MIKEL ARTETA CONVERTS THE PENALTY! But wait, it's been pulled back! Arsenal have to re-take, Giroud has ran into the penalty area before Arteta takes the spot-kick, meaning that the goal is chalked off and Arteta must take again.
PENALTY TO ARSENAL! Oxlade-Chamberlain ghosts beyond Barry, and the veteran defensive midfielder brings down the England international at the second attempt. That's a stonewall penalty, no complaints from the Toffees defence.
Mikel Arteta is claiming for absolutely everything, his head has completely gone here, possibly as a result of facing his former club. Whether it be the linesman or the referee, he's determined to complain about absolutely everything, almost embodying El-Hadji Diouf.
GIROUD! Great defending from Distin, who slides in excellently to deny his compatriot. Cazorla sweeps the ball out to Ozil, who delivers a low pass to the front post, but Distin reads the pass, sliding in ahead of Giroud, who can't believe his luck.
The change which should have been made ten minutes previously, has finally come into effect, with Giroud replacing Sanogo. The Frenchman should be fresh after Benzema was preferred to the former Montpellier man during the international break, and his first touch is far, far superior to that of the man he is replacing.
Mikel Arteta isn't happy, after Coleman throws himself into a challenge which looks to catch the Spaniard on the ankle. He takes his boot off and throws the ball onto the ground in frustration, before Everton put the ball out of play sportingly. There wasn't much in it, but Arteta looks absolutely livid.
Everton are creeping their way ahead in this game, with Arsenal picking their moments to break forward with numbers and pace, in the form of Ozil and Oxlade-Chamberlain. The Germany international has been impressive today, with his movement off the ball allowing for the Gunners to break forward effectively and consistently.
Good save by Joel! He was slightly unsighted, but was able to beat Cazorla's curling effort away from the back post, turning it behind for a corner. He's been more assured in this second half, but palms the corner delivery away from danger once again, rather than catching it. Fearful of the physical challenges of Mertesacker and Sanogo, perhaps.
COLEMAN! The right-back cuts in from the right flank, before shaping to shoot with his left foot instead of spreading the play wide to Baines. Three Arsenal shirts are in his way, and the strike cannons off the first of them, leaving Baines rather unhappy.
BARKLEY! What a mistake from Vermaelen! The Belgian defender makes an absolutely unexplainable error, tripping over himself as he tried to clear upfield, allowing for Lukaku to pick up the loose ball and cut it back to Barkley on the edge of the box. The youngster can only dip an effort narrowly over the bar.
A few free-kicks in quick succession for either side, but neither can force the issue, as this second half remains rather cagey. Neither outfit can grab the game by the scruff of the neck, before Cazorla blasts a volley miles over Joel's crossbar.
SANOGO! Another half chance for the Frenchman goes begging, as he just can't sort out his first touch. Gibbs lays a pass in behind his teammate, making it difficult to control, and he can only deflect the ball towards Joel.
OXLADE-CHAMBERLAIN! The former Southampton youngster is tempted by a looping ball to the edge of the 18-yard box, swinging a foot at it in an attempt to dip a volley into the far corner. The contact isn't great, however, and the ball bobbles into Joel's grasp.
A slow start to the second half, with both sides looking to find their feet quickly. Joel is fed a backpass sharpish, and releases possession with a good pass, which should stand the young keeper in good stead for the second half. No doubt that Martinez will have spoken some faith-instilling words to his compatriot at the break.
We are back underway! Around 45 minutes of second half action stands between one of these teams and the semi-final of the FA Cup, and the first half's occurrences have suggested that this will be a close one to call! Let's see what the Emirates has in store for us!
Be sure to stick around for the next ten minutes, before we get stuck in to all of the second-half action once again! This game is poised excellently, with two high-quality sides having the realistic potential to make it to the FA Cup final. A second 45 minutes of high stakes awaits, don't go anywhere!
Joel Robles hasn't been convincing in goal for the visitors, but aside from his catalogue of bizarre choices and errors, both sides have been relatively solid. If the Spaniard can cut out his mistakes in the second half, it's very hard to predict which side are capable of progressing to the semi-final.
HALF TIME! An even game, with Arsenal having a few more chances, but there can be no doubt that both outfits have some quality players and the two goals were worthy of an FA Cup quarter-final. It's Arsenal 1-1 at the break, and both managers can have faith in their side heading into the second half.
45' + 1'
Joel has another flap! This time, it isn't necessarily Joel's fault, as Lukaku heads the ball from in front of the Spanish keeper, who tried to claim the corner delivery, and the shows a breakdown in communication. Either that, or Lukaku can't trust his keeper to make a simple catch, which could be justifiable.
We're almost at the half time break, and this has been a very interesting match-up, with definable ebb and flow. Two excellent goals, with Arsenal perhaps having the edge over their opponents slightly, mainly due to the sheer amount of corners that Wenger's men have won. Sanogo has been ineffectual, but otherwise the hosts have done well.
Plenty of set pieces for the home side, but Everton are managing to deal with them at the moment, with Distin and Stones playing particularly important roles. Oxlade-Chamberlain gives away the ball in midfield, before Lukaku goes on a great driving run, but the recovering England international gets back excellently to dispossess the Belgian striker just inside the penalty box, who was a little selfish there.
CAZORLA! Joel is completely wrong-footed, as a Cazorla volley strikes Distin and bobbles wide of the post for yet another Gunners' corner. A great Ozil ball picked out the Spain international, as he cut back a lovely dink to the edge of the box displaying wonderful awareness.
Cazorla clips an excellent ball over Distin, allowing for Ozil to get in behind the Frenchman, but the German playmaker accidentally dribbles the ball out of play at the byeline. Had he failed to have an impact in this game, the home fans might have got on his back over that, but due to his goal, they're happy to let his mistake slide.
Half chance for Mertesacker! Cazorla floats in a good free-kick delivery, but the ball evades the German central defender, before Sanogo fails to get a telling touch at the back post. It deflects off Stones and into Joel's grateful grasp. The game is becoming gradually more even now, as we approach the half time break.
MIRALLAS! The Belgian is released by Lukaku, before opting to shoot rather than hang the ball up to the back post for the Chelsea loanee. His strike is straight at Fabianski however, and another chance goes begging. The former Olympiakos man can be selfish at times.
OXLADE-CHAMBERLAIN! Great run from the youngster to get away from Baines, before forcing Joel into his first good save of the game, palming the ball behind for a corner, which comes to nothing. Finally, the Spaniard might have something to draw confidence from.
Assist Kevin Mirallas
Goal Romelu Lukaku
GOOOOOOAL! ROMELU LUKAKU STABS HOME FROM TWO YARDS OUT! Everton are back in this game, after Mirallas squares the ball from the byeline to the Belgian striker to cushion home! Barkley makes a beautiful run down the right hand side, before picking out a sumptuous cross across the six yard line which Mirallas turned back into Lukaku's path! Wonderful stuff!
We're 15 minutes from the half-time break, and Arsenal's early lead now seems deserved, given how the Gunners have pushed on since Ozil's 7th minute opener. Lukaku hasn't been able to make an impact against the similarly physical Mertesacker, and Arsenal are looking comfortable, it must be said.
Stones does well to clear Ozil's corner away from the penalty area, despite Joel coming halfway and then thinking better of it. The Spaniard may well be Martinez's chosen cup goalkeeper, but Tim Howard won't be too worried for his place in the first team based on this outing.
Arsenal continue to press forward, and are looking by far the better side, with Joel having an absolute shocker. The Spanish goalkeeper now fluffs a clearance, skewing the ball to Flamini as opposed to clearing his lines, and isn't making his defence very confident whatsoever. Players are having to think of how they have to compensate in case Joel makes another error, rather than focusing solely on their own jobs.
Yellow Card Mathieu Flamini
JOEL PALMS THE BALL ONTO HIS POST! A swirling cross floats its way to the back post, and Joel appears to become disorientated, pushing the ball onto his own woodwork, rather than firmly pushing it over the bar for a corner. He's looked very shaky in the opening half an hour.
CAZORLA! A cross is whipped into Sanogo, who lays off a poor pass to his Spanish teammate, forcing him to re-arrange his feet as opposed to striking it first time. As a result, Everton close ranks, and chance disappears.
Joel is forced to palm away another strike, and elects to punch a Sagna cross clear of the penalty area, despite not being under any pressure. His defenders look at him in a bemused fashion, he has to be catching that.
We're 20 minutes into this FA Cup clash, and the Emirates is rather happy with what it has seen thus far. Arsenal have controlled the majority of the game, forcing Joel into several saves and really forcing the momentum in their favour, Wenger can afford to sit on his bench and look rather smug at the moment.
SANOGO! The young Frenchman gets up well over Stones in the Everton penalty area, but he can't get enough contact to turn the ball towards goal. Arsenal continue to threaten, with Everton very much taking a back seat for the last 10 minutes.
GIBBS! The young Englishman sees a shot blocked by Stones inside the penalty area, after great work down the left from Chamberlain. The Gunners' midfield is extremely fluid, Everton might have trouble keeping tabs on all of Wenger's creative talent. After a hectic start, Arsenal have began to settle down, with Everton seemingly happy to take a breather for the time being.
Ozil looks a far cry from the man who has been recently jeered for his lack of commitment to the cause in the Champions League, tracking back well and getting involved in plenty of phases of play. Though it's cliched, that goal may just have given the former Real Madrid man the inspiration that he needs.
Great defensive work from Ozil! Barkley releases Mirallas down the right with a brilliant diagonal ball, before the Belgian winger chops inside with a tidy first touch, but is outmuscled by his marker. The Everton forward asks for a foul, but the referee instead awards the decision in favour of Arsenal, due to how Mirallas barged into the goalscorer in an attempt to get beyond him.
Sanogo is yet to get involved for Arsenal, as the home side win a couple of corners and look to try and double their advantage, which isn't entirely deserved. Everton have moved the ball far better, but thus far, Wenger's side have showcased the clinical edge required to manoeuvre past tough sides like the Toffees.
The home fans are suddenly in great voice, buoyed by the game's opening goal, and the Gunners look to press on immediately, firing two shots at Joel's goal in quick succession! Everton then press upfield, with Lukaku cutting back a cross from the byeline for Pienaar, who can't make contact with the pass!
What a great start for Arsenal! Everton may have dominated the early possession, but a lovely finish from Ozil has given Wenger's men the perfect platform to build upon. He put in a decent performance for Germany against Chile on Wednesday, and has seemingly kicked on from there.
Assist Santi Cazorla
Goal Mesut Özil
GOOOOOOAL! MESUT OZIL SCORES TO MAKE IT 1-0! He hasn't scored since his finish against Everton in December, and the Germany international has come back to haunt the Toffees once again! He's slipped through on goal by Cazorla, before steering the ball into the bottom corner from just inside the penalty area.
DISTIN! Half chance for the centre-half, who finds himself challenging for Baines' cross at the back post. It's scrappy from the Frenchman, who can't dig the ball out from under his feet, before Flamini blocks the Everton defender's second bite at the cherry.
Everton get into their stride, despite Barry briefly being knocked off his, as Baines and Coleman come straight to the fore from the off. The two full-backs make the playing surface incredibly wide, and the chasing which Arsenal are needing to do in these early stages could sap the Gunners' energy.
Barry returns to the field, but it's Arsenal who start the game the better of the two sides, moving the ball well in the opening minutes. Both of these sides are capable of keeping hold of the ball and making the pitch wide, so it should be interesting to see who has the cutting edge.
Gareth Barry goes down in the first minute, with the veteran defensive midfielder being caught in the face with a stray elbow from former Toffees midfielder Mikel Arteta. The visiting players protest that it was an unfair leap from the Spaniard, and Barry receives some early treatment.
We are underway in the first half! Both sides look very strong, Everton especially, with Thomas Vermaelen slotting in at centre-half for Arsenal, breaking up the impressive defensive partnership of Mertesacker and Koscielny. There remain a few question marks over Joel Robles in the Toffees' net, but Martinez will be hoping his faith in the Spaniard is repaid with a good showing today.
With a win this afternoon, the triumphant side would see themselves progress into the semi-final of the FA Cup, giving them more than a good chance to give their supporters a day out at Wembley before the end of the campaign. Given Arsenal's recent drop in form in the league table, and Everton struggling to close the void between themselves and the Champions League places, a trip for their loyal supporters might be a good way to keep everybody connected to the club happy.
Olivier Giroud watched France's win over the Netherlands from the bench during the international break, as Karim Benzema kept his compatriot off the field courtesy of an excellent performence, but Wenger seems keen to give Sanogo a chance regardless. Presumably against the physically imposing figure of Distin, the young France U21 striker has a battle on his hands today, which his skillset suggests he can handle himself in.
In a little over 15 minutes, we'll be plunged into action at the Emirates, so be sure to stick around until then, to stay fully informed with all of the in-match occurrences. With both sides in patchy form, with Arsenal managing two wins out of the last five games in all competitions, and Everton managing three during the same period, either side can triumph this afternoon.
Everton substitutes: Hibbert, McGeady, Deulofeu, Naismith, Osman, Howard, Browning.
Everton starting line-up: Joel Robles; Coleman, Stones, Distin, Baines; McCarthy, Barry; Mirallas, Barkley, Pienaar; Lukaku.
Arsenal substitutes: Rosicky, Podolski, Giroud, Viviano, Jenkinson, Gnabry, Miyaichi.
Arsenal starting line-up: Fabianski; Sagna, Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Gibbs; Flamini, Arteta; Cazorla, Ozil, Oxlade-Chamberlain; Sanogo.
TEAM NEWS: Joel Robles is given his usual start in the cup competitions, with John Stones filling in at centre-half in the absence of Phil Jagielka. Aside from these two alterations, Roberto Martinez has named a predictable strong side. Deulofeu and McGeady are named on the bench for the visitors, but can probably be expected to get some minutes at some point during today's action.
TEAM NEWS: Jack Wilshere is sidelined for the hosts, after picking up an injury during the international break with England, while Laurent Koscielny isn't risked following a suspected hamstring problem - leaving Thomas Vermaelen to replace the Frenchman. Yaya Sanogo gets another start in an Arsenal shirt, while Mesut Ozil gets a start in the number 10 role. Fabianski is given a chance in between the sticks for the Gunners.
I'm Simon Harrison, and I will be keeping you fully informed with all of the action from the Emirates, as Arsene Wenger's side looking to remain in the running in yet another tournament, in a bid to end the Gunners' recent silverware drought. There are a couple of high profile injuries for both outfits, but this promises to be a quality game of football, in spite of the short gap between the international break and today's fixture.
Hello and welcome to live coverage of this afternoon's FA Cup clash between Arsenal and Everton, with today's hosts looking to translate good home form into progression towards the next round of the competition. Both sides have a realistic chance of grasping the trophy at the end of the season, and have thus named very competitive sides, with the aim of appeasing their fans from recent faltering league form.
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