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February 17, 2014
• Emirates Stadium, London
Referee: H. Webb
• Attendance: 59801
A. Oxlade-Chamberlain 16'
L. Podolski 47'
S. Gerrard 60'
Thank you for joining me today. I hope you have enjoyed the action in what was a brilliant and intense FA Cup fifth round tie at the Emirates Stadium. I have been Ryan Benson. Farewell.
90' + 3'
FULL-TIME! Arsenal go through to the FA Cup quarter-finals to play Everton thanks to a battling 2-1 win over Liverpool. The visitors started as the brighter side and should have opened the scoring on numerous occasions, but Arsenal capitalised and took the lead through Oxlade-Chamberlain. Podolski added a second just after half-time, before Gerrard pulled on back from the penalty spot. Liverpool should have been given a second penalty as Suarez was brought down by Oxlade-Chamberlain, but the Gunners held on to the slender win and got their revenge for the 5-1 defeat to Liverpool last weekend.
90' + 1'
The officials have announced that three minutes of stoppage time will be played.
Thankfully for the hosts Gerrard's free-kick has too much on it. Fabianski rises above everyone else to bring the ball into his clutches. The Poland international has been excellent today.
Liverpool's late pressure continues with a free-kick in an advanced position on the right flank. Arsenal could end up kicking themselves for continuously giving away needless fouls.
Here is another change for Arsenal as Wenger replaces young forward Sanogo with Olivier Giroud. The hosts have two minutes plus stoppage time to hold on.
Great chance for Liverpool! Gerrard floats the free-kick into the danger area and Suarez meets it ahead of Fabianski, but he heads the ball agonisingly wide of the goalkeeper's left-hand post. Was that the chance they were looking for?
Free-kick in a deep position in the Arsenal half now for Liverpool as Arteta cynically fouls Coutinho a few seconds after carelessly giving the ball away.
Jenkinson tries his luck down the right as he gets the ball and runs at Flanagan, but the Liverpool man deals with him very easily. Jenkinson's movements were so telegraphed and laboured and Liverpool get a goal kick.
We are in store for a fast and furious final ten minutes here. Liverpool definitely look the more likely to net next as they continue to throw men forward, but Arsenal have looked threatening on the break.
Another decent chance comes by the way of Cazorla. As before, the Spaniard was lurking on the edge of the box and he comes in to pounce on the bouncing ball, but he completely misses it and kicks Skrtel.
Liverpool are causing so many problems at the moment. Gerrard produces another brilliant pass from the centre, playing Coutinho into the left side of the area and he gets a tame shot away which Fabianski palms to safety.
It's end-to-end stuff here at the moment. Suarez gets himself another chance as Henderson's right-wing cross is cut back to him on the edge of the area, but his clipped volley is straight down the throat of Fabianski.
The excellent Oxlade-Chamberlain leaves the pitch and is replaced by Kieran Gibbs, who will no doubt go over to help Monreal deal with Sterling.
Gerrard is very lucky to escape a second yellow card as he completely misses the ball and brings down Oxlade-Chamberlain on the counterattack. Free-kick in a good position.
Good run and movement by Sterling as he jolts into the channel between Mertesacker and Jenkinson. The German, however, hooks the ball away with his long legs.
What a chance for Arsenal to put this to bed! Liverpool made nothing of their corner chance and the hosts were quick to counter. Oxlade-Chamberlain's cross from the right was cut out in the area by Agger, but he inadvertently knocked the ball straight to the edge of the box for Cazorla. The Spaniard had so much time and shot quickly, slicing over the crossbar. That should have been 3-1.
Sterling is at it again, but this time Cazorla provides better cover and support for the struggling Monreal. Still, the England winger holds both of them off and wins a corner.
Delightful skill by Sterling as he produces a stepover and skips past Monreal. He then takes on Cazorla and crosses into the centre, but Arsenal briefly clear.
With Arsenal's stranglehold on this match becoming looser by the minute, Wenger reacts with a change. Podolski makes way for Santi Cazorla.
This is getting very spicy now. Liverpool clearly feel hard done by following that penalty claim, and rightly so. Henderson tracks back to tackle Ozil in the visitors' area. The two clash after the ball has gone, but the referee seemingly failed to notice their argument.
Huge penalty claim for Liverpool! Suarez gets on to a loose ball just inside the Arsenal area and Oxlade-Chamberlain blatantly brings him down. Webb inexcusably ignores their protests, however.
Gerrard and Suarez both stand over the ball, but it is the latter who steps up to take it. However, the former Ajax star puts his shot straight into the wall. What a waste that was!
Flanagan does well to retrieve the ball in attack after coming in from the left. He pokes the ball past Arteta, drawing a foul from the Spaniard. Great position.
Brilliant goalkeeping by Fabianski. Sturridge is slipped into the area and instead of shooting he opts to take the ball past the keeper, but the Pole makes a crucial tackle with his right hand.
Bold move from Rodgers as he takes off Cissokho, moves Flanagan to the left, brings Sterling to the right and puts Henderson on. Will that be the change to help bring Liverpool level?
Penalty Goal Steven Gerrard
GOAL!!! Liverpool pull one back from the penalty spot! Captain Gerrard steps up and confidently buries his kick into the bottom-left corner, sending Fabianski the wrong way. Game on.
Penalty for Liverpool! Suarez drifts to the right side of the Arsenal area, spins to face his marker and is then kicked by Podolski. It was a tame foul, but the German deserves to be penalised for making such a bizarre decision.
Risky move by Jones in the Liverpool goal as Sanogo races to latch on to a lofted pass from the back, but ultimately his decision pays off as he clears just in time.
Liverpool are straight back on the attack after that scare. Sterling gets to the byline and chips the ball towards the far post. It is too high for Sturridge and although Suarez gets to it, he blazes over from the acute angle.
Excellent opening for Arsenal as Ozil is played into the left side of the area. He takes a touch and fires low towards the bottom-right corner of the goal, but Jones makes a magnificent save with his left hand.
Great effort by Suarez! Flanagan advances down the right and cuts a pass back to the Uruguayan on the edge of the area. He tees the ball up for himself and hits a half-volley, but it goes just over.
Strong tackle from Podolski as he brings down Coutinho near the centre circle. Once again he escapes a yellow card after his poor challenge on Flanagan in the first half.
STAT! Podolski has now scored four goals in as many FA Cup matches for Arsenal. (Opta)
The hosts are unable to win a third corner in quick succession as Liverpool sort themselves out at the back and subsequently clear their lines. That second goal has seemingly knocked the stuffing out of Rodgers' men. He needs to make a change.
Liverpool half clear the corner, but Oxlade-Chamberlain gets possession again on the left. He holds off two markers and then wins a corner. He is everywhere at the moment!
Arsenal's good start to the second half continues as Sanogo does well to win a corner down the right after showing a good turn of strength. What can they do from this?
Assist Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain
Goal Lukas Podolski
GOAL!!! Arsenal double their lead! Just seconds after Suarez missed a glorious chance of his own, the hosts capitalise and get a second. Oxlade-Chamberlain is released down the right and his incredible change of pace takes him away from Agger. He cuts a pass back towards the penalty spot and Podolski is on hand to stroke past Jones.
Lightning start to the second half by Liverpool. Allen does well down the right and then squeezes a pass into the area for Suarez. The forward drifts past Koscielny and shoots, but Fabianski turns it past the post with his foot.
Here we go for the second half. Liverpool get the action restarted.
HALF-TIME! Webb blows his whistle to end the first half at the Emirates Stadium. After a hard-fought first period, Arsenal hold a 1-0 lead thanks to Oxlade-Chamberlain's strike in the 16th minute, but Liverpool have certainly had some chances of their own. Suarez has not been quite at his best after being shifted on to the right flank, but Arsenal will be wise to stay alert in the second half.
Jenkinson does well against Sterling as he knocks the ball against the winger to win a goal kick. The Liverpool man is adamant he should have a corner, however, and he aggressively approaches referee Howard Webb. He luckily escapes a yellow despite putting a hand on Webb's chest.
Great effort by Suarez! He latches on to a lofted pass into the right side of the area, brings it down and unleashes a powerful half-volley. Fabianski, however, palms it away.
Yellow Card Steven Gerrard
The break is ended by Gerrard as he cynically trips his England team-mate Oxlade-Chamberlain when Liverpool really looked to be in trouble. Gerrard gets a yellow card, but he won't mind that when the possible alternative was a goal.
Clever feet on the edge of the Arsenal area by Coutinho sees a chance open up for the Brazilian after skipping past Flamini, but Mertesacker covers well to end the visitors' attack and start a counter for Arsenal.
More good play by Arsenal. This time Liverpool are caught on the ball and Oxlade-Chamberlain is released down the left. He crosses, but the powerful delivery is a little too high. A waste, but promising nonetheless.
Wenger's men are certainly putting passes together more confidently than they were in the early stages. Ozil has started to liven up, while Oxlade-Chamberlain's movement has been excellent.
Positive move by Arsenal. Ozil links well with Podolski before jolting past two defenders. He shoots from a narrow angle in the left side of the area, but his effort is blocked. Podolski then receives the loose ball only to fire well over.
Yellow Card Mathieu Flamini
There is the latest yellow card as Flamini goes flying through Gerrard, who had already released the ball. The two land in a pile and they exchange words afterwards as the Frenchman gets his seventh yellow card of the season.
Very clever run by Sterling as he attacks down the left and somehow breezes round the outside of Koscielny. The winger flies into the area alongside the byline, but his final decision is poor as he goes for goal instead of cutting a pass back into the danger area. He puts a shot into the side netting.
Gerrard gives Koscielny a bit of a kick in the centre circle and Arsenal have a free-kick. A few of the home players were asking for a yellow card, but the referee rightly ignores them.
Corners have not been particularly fruitful for either side thus far and this latest set-piece is no different. Arteta's delivery heads towards the six-yard box, but Jones plucks it out of the air.
Excellent ball retention by Ozil as he comes across to the left. He plays a one-two with Monreal and then slips Podolski into the area. His attempted cross is blocked by Gerrard and Arsenal have a corner.
Flanagan is invited forward down the right for the first time today. He collects the ball in an advanced position and crosses first-time, but his delivery is more Chris Smalling than Cafu as it soars over the goal and out of play.
While this match has been entertaining in its intensity, there has been very little flow or pattern to the opening 27 minutes. Neither side is dominating the play or looking particularly convincing in possession.
Suarez looks to be in a bit of pain after running straight into Podolski off the ball. The German had absolutely no idea what had hit him and Suarez clutches his face. He does not need medical attention, however.
Mesut Ozil has been anonymous in this match so far. The German takes up possession on the left, for what could quite possibly be his first involvement, but Flanagan pressures him into running off the pitch.
Suarez somehow finds himself in acres of space on the right wing. Gerrard plays a searching ball towards the penalty area for the Uruguayan to run on to and he subsequently collects. He gets into the box, but after taking his time to pick out a target, Arsenal crowd him out.
Yellow Card Coutinho
Good play by the lively Oxlade-Chamberlain as he gets forward down the right with purpose. Coutinho comes across to tackle him, but their legs tangle and the Brazilian concedes a free-kick and gets booked.
That goal has the stadium rocking now. Arsenal's start was far from perfect as Liverpool created several excellent openings, but they eventually woke up and have the lead. The away side must really chase this now.
Goal Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain
GOAL!!! Arsenal take the lead at the Emirates! The initial free-kick was cleared by Liverpool, but the ball is put back into the area from the right wing and after Sanogo's good play to bring the ball under his control and shoot, Oxlade-Chamberlain pounces on a block to slot past Jones.
Yellow Card Jon Flanagan
Flanagan is the latest to go into the book as he fouls Monreal with a cynical attempt to get the ball. Excellent position for Arsenal to get the ball into the penalty area here.
Koscielny comes to the near post to meet Arteta's in-swinging corner and although he gets a good touch to it, Jones sees it wide. This is some good pressure for Arsenal.
The hosts combine numerous passes and seemingly create a decent opening. Space opens up for Monreal on the left as Liverpool invite him forward. The Spaniard tries to cross first-time, but his effort deflects behind for a corner.
Good delivery from deep by Suarez as he searches for Sterling's penalty area-bound run, but Jenkinson uses his body expertly to just nudge the winger out of the way.
Flamini halts the Liverpool counter, effectively launching one for Arsenal. Sanogo picks up the ball on the right flank, holds off Cissokho and then cleverly flicks a pass inside for Oxlade-Chamberlain. The winger charges into the area, but his driven cross from the byline is not met by anyone.
The corner is played in and it is a good delivery, but Jones does well to claw it away, initially at least. The hosts try to put the ball back into the danger zone, only for Liverpool to steal the ball back as they look to spring a counterattack.
Arsenal have endured a nervous start here, but they are finally having a prolonged spell of possession inside their own half. Eventually they work it forward down the left and win a corner.
Yellow card for Nacho Monreal after a crunching challenge on Allen by the touchline. Gerrard fires the free-kick into the Arsenal penalty area and although the likes of Sturridge almost connect with it, the ball goes all the way out for a throw-in.
Yellow Card Monreal
Suarez is released down the right flank by Allen after a quick one-two. He looks set to burst into the area from the wing, but Koscielny makes a last-ditch tackle to concede a throw-in.
What a start to proceedings! More marvellous play by Liverpool. This time it is Coutinho who slips a pass beyond the hosts' defence for Sturridge and after skipping around Fabianski, the England man puts his shot into the side netting. Arsenal are living dangerously.
Arsenal get themselves straight back down the other end in no time and they also win a corner. Down the right flank they get the set-piece out of nothing, but Liverpool eventually clear their lines.
Huge chance for Liverpool! Gerrard produces an exquisite through-ball into the area for Sturridge, who, after finding space shoots straight at Fabianski. Mertesacker puts the ball behind on the rebound, but the visitors create nothing from the corner.
Encouraging opening seconds for Liverpool as Sterling bursts through the centre and almost plays Suarez in towards the area, but Per Mertesacker gets an important toe on the ball.
Arsenal get the action started in London, kicking from left-to-right.
But before kick-off, there will be a minute of silence for Preston North End legend Sir Tom Finney, who recently died at the age of 91.
The players are now out on the pitch at the Emirates Stadium. What a tie we have in prospect here. Can Arsenal get revenge for that 5-1 drubbing by Liverpool just a few days ago?
Following the quarter-final draw, the winner of this tie will face Everton at home. So, could we be in store for a Liverpool derby in the last eight? We will find out by the end of the day!
Brendan Rodgers has picked a team which is not far from his strongest like-up. Brad Jones starts in goal as Simon Mignolet takes a place on the bench, while the full-back berths are filled by John Flanagan and Aly Cissokho. Joe Allen starts alongside Steven Gerrard in the middle, but their dynamic front four remains intact as Luis Suarez, Daniel Sturridge, Philippe Coutinho and Raheem Sterling all appear from the beginning.
Arsene Wenger has made some interesting changes to his side today. Lukasz Fabianski starts in place of Wojciech Szczesny in goal, while Carl Jenkinson slots in at right-back. Lukas Podolski starts on the left of their attack, but the most notable inclusion is French youngster Yaya Sanogo, who starts up top after his injury-plagued start to life in England.
And Liverpool's subs are: Mignolet, Toure, Moses, Henderson, Kelly, Aspas, Teixeira.
Liverpool's starting line-up is: Jones; Flanagan, Skrtel, Agger, Cissokho; Gerrard, Allen; Coutinho, Sterling; Suarez, Sturridge.
And the Arsenal subs: Viviano, Sagna, Gibbs, Wilshere, Cazorla, Gnabry, Giroud.
The Arsenal starting XI today is: Fabianski; Jenkinson, Koscielny, Mertesacker, Monreal; Flamini, Arteta; Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ozil, Podolski; Sanogo.
Good afternoon and welcome to the live text commentary of this FA Cup fifth round tie between Arsenal and Liverpool. My name is Ryan Benson and I shall be describing the action for you today. The Emirates Stadium is today's setting as the two sides battle it out for a place in the quarter-final.
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