Chamakh and Clichy also score in FA Cup victoryA hat-trick from Nicklas Bendtner helped secure Arsenal’s comfortable progression into the last 16 of the FA Cup over Leyton Orient at the Emirates.
Marouane Chamakh and Gael Clichy also found the net for the hosts as Arsene Wenger's side ensured they bounced straight back from their Carling Cup defeat on Sunday against Birmingham City.
Arsenal came in to the game having made ten changes to the side that capitulated against Alex McLeish's charges at the weekend. With Wenger’s need to keep his top stars fit for the Premier League and Champions League campaigns, the Frenchman had limited depth after sending 18 members of his squad out on loan. Bendtner, Denilson and debutant Conor Henderson were all given substantial playing time.
It was the hosts who had the better of the game in the opening minutes which culminated in Chamakh putting Arsenal into the lead after just seven minutes of play. The Moroccan received the ball from a low cross in from the right by Tomas Rosicky just outside of Orient’s six yard box and coolly placed his shot low and to the left of Jamie Jones in goal.
Just five minutes later Orient nearly levelled when Charlie Daniels worked his way out wide on the left and with a magnificent effort under pressure cut a cross low and hard into the near post to the awaiting Alex Revell who, despite his efforts to the contrary, managed to put the ball just wide and out for an Arsenal goalkick.
Rosicky tried to increase the Gunners’ lead to two with a speculative long range effort after calls of handball from the Orient players. No freekick was given, but it mattered not as the shot went well wide to the right of goal.
The Emirates Stadium had to wait nearly 25 minutes for the Arsenal fans to make themselves heard, the stadium quickly fell quiet again as the home side were finding it much harder to penetrate the Orient defence than in the opening minutes of the fixture.
Though on the half hour mark they succeeded in breaking through again when after an extended spell of possession Arsenal made it 2-0. Kieran Gibbs floated a ball into the heart of the Orient penalty area from wide on the left, which was met by Bendtner. Towering above the Orient defence the Denmark international looped a headed effort over Jones on the back foot.
Any hope Orient had of a comeback was all but extinguished when three minutes before the end of the first half Bendtner got his second goal of the game, taking his tally up to two and his team’s to three.
The Dane picked up a ball the Orient defence failed to clear and with a few touches in from the left flank found himself right on the edge of the Leyton Orient penalty area and poked a low, strong shot from range into the back of the net.
As the second half kicked off Leyton Orient were present with the mammoth task of trying to make some kind of dent in a 3-0 Arsenal lead. But again it was the home side that came out on top with an early second half chance from Abou Diaby.
He broke into the Orient penalty area, skipping past several defenders in the process, but screwed his shot wide across the face of the goal from the right hand side and out for a goal kick.
Orient had a spell five minutes into the second half where they showed some real attacking intent. Three times breaking down the left flank and twice delivering crosses into dangerous areas, which reinvigorated the travelling fans – whose songs could be heard echoing around the rarely noisy Emirates Stadium.
Rosicky took a slight knock and was replaced by Samir Nasri and promptly made his way down the tunnel, on foot, in what looked more like a precautionary move by Wenger, rather than a serious injury.
With half an hour remaining Kieran Gibbs was brought down in the Orient area, after a mazy run from wide on the left, by Revell and Arsenal were awarded a penalty. Bendtner stepped up to take and secured himself the match ball when his blasted spot kick caused the back of the O’s net to ripple.
Clichy replaced Diaby on 66 minutes and just eight minutes later made it five for Arsenal after a cross from Eboue found its way through a packed Orient box and fell to the feet of the French left-back. With a strong left footed strike Clichy easily beat Jones and cemented the end of the east Londoner’s FA Cup campaign.
Dean Cox had a late chance of a consolation goal for Orient as he broke through the Arsenal defensive line at pace after a ball through from teammate Carroll. He spurned his chance however as the ball went high and wide of the right post.