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England - FA Cup
January 26, 2013
• The American Express Community Stadium, Brighton, East Sussex
Referee: M. Oliver
• Attendance: 27113
Brighton & Hove Albion
A. Barnes 34'
L. Ulloa 62'
O. Giroud 17', 57'
T. Walcott 85'
Shots on Target
Full-time! Arsenal proceed to the next stage of the FA Cup after a thrilling 3-2 win against Brighton. The hosts twice came from behind to level the scores, firstly through Barnes after Giroud's opener and then courtesy of a debut-goal from Ulloa following the Gunners forward's second, but it's the Premier League side who go through after Walcott's late winner. Arsene Wenger will be relieved but has cause for concern after some lack-lustre defending from his side - particularly Mertesacker and Santos. Thanks for joining us this afternoon, goodbye.
90' + 3'
Late pressure from Brighton as Arsenal struggle to clear a low cross from Barnes, however they eventually do get it away and then LuaLua wastes a second attack with a poor cross.
Four minutes added on at the AMEX. Can Brighton find another equaliser?
Mackail-Smith, along with the Brighton fans, wants a penalty as he topples under pressure from Jenkinson in the box, but the referee says no.
Brilliant stop from Ankergren to deny Podolski an Arsenal fourth, Walcott then going close with a follow-up effort.
Goal Theo Walcott
Goal Theo Walcott
GOAL!! Heartbreak for Brighton as Walcott puts Arsenal ahead! The hosts fail to clear a corner and the substitute stays calm as the ball falls to him in the opponent's box - slotting the ball home via a deflection off Ankergren's hand.
Gibbs charges down the left and clips a good cross into the box, Giroud's improvised overhead kick goes out for a corner...
LuaLua fires a fantastic cross into the box from the left, after cutting in onto his right foot, but it evades everyone in the area - all it needed was a touch.
Great move from Arsenal as Wilshere finds Podolski, who cuts it back for Giroud, however the Frenchman shoots into the ground and it bounces over the bar.
Jenkinson tries to find Podolski with a deep cross but it goes behind.
Santos, for the second time this afternoon, has fired way off-target from range when he had other options. He's now being replaced by Kieran Gibbs.
Some decent, patient build-up play from Brighton but Barnes is flagged for offside after the final ball.
Brighton clear two Arsenal corners as the Premier League side look to avoid a replay. Craig Mackail-Smith has replaced goalscorer Ulloa for the hosts in the meantime.
Giroud lifts it over the wall but can't bring it back down as it sails over.
Walcott swings in a corner from the left but it's headed clear, however the ball comes back at them and Bridge's clearance is poor - leading to an Arsenal free-kick in a dangerous area after a late challenge on Giroud ...
Indeed Walcott and Wilshere are now on the field, Oxlade-Chamberlain and Rosicky, who is still not fully fit after a lengthy spell out, giving way.
Bridge finds Lopez with an effortless cross-field ball, the latter's driven cross is dangerous but, just about, cleared by Arsenal's defence.
Yellow Card Aaron Ramsey
Jack Wilshere, Santi Cazorla and Theo Walcott are among Arsenal's options on the bench. Surely a change will come soon from Mr Wenger?
That goal comes on Ulloa's Brighton debut, too. Magic of the cup, and all that.
Goal L. Ulloa
GOAL!! Brighton are level again! Barnes whips in an inch-perfect cross from wide on the right and Ulloa finishes it off with a brilliant diving header, Mertesacker allowing him to get goal-side.
Back come the Gunners, though, as Rosicky finds that man Giroud with a superb long ball. The striker latches onto it perfectly but sees his strike saved well by Ankergren.
Poyet's men need to hit back quickly and they nearly do as Lopez's neat ball almost finds its way past the Arsenal defence, however it's just cut out.
Yellow Card Olivier Giroud
Goal Olivier Giroud
GOAL!! Giroud puts Arsenal ahead in style! Diaby finds the Frenchman with a delightful chipped ball in behind the Brighton defence, the striker still has a lot to do but does it fantastically with his touch and left-footed finish both sublime.
Hits the bar! The forward's left-footed strike rattles the frame of the goal, with Oxlade-Chamberlain's follow-up effort, after a proper goal-mouth scramble, diverted away from the target.
Oxlade-Chamberlain is chopped down not far outside the Brighton box and Podolski looks like he'll have a dig at goal...
Carl Jenkinson stings the palms of Ankergren after a vicious strike from outside the box, following good work from Diaby and Rosicky. The keeper can't hold on initially but collects the ball the second time around.
Santos gets forward for Arsenal but his cross is poor, the defender isn't having the greatest day at the office.
Buckley, who had been struggling with an injury towards the end of the first half, has been replaced by Kezenga LuaLua for the remainder of the match. That's two subs for Brighton, both due to injury, already.
Proceedings are back underway at the AMEX.
Half-time! After going so close to taking the lead through Barnes, Szczesny denying him with a fantastic save, Brighton fell behind following a decisive breakaway and a fine strike from Gunners striker Giroud. However, the Championship outfit go into the break on level terms after Barnes did find the back of the net, this time around poor goalkeeping from the Pole allowing him to head home from a corner. With the hosts applying a decent amount of pressure, and also having a goal disallowed for offside, an upset is still on the cards at the AMEX. Don't go anywhere!
45' + 2'
Rosicky sends a tame effort wide of the goal.
45' + 1'
Santos blasts a shot over from range, the defender completely lashing the ball high and wide. What a waste.
Three minutes are added on at the end of this first half.
Giroud is unhappy when not be awarded a free-kick on the edge of the Brighton area, the referee suggesting he went to ground too easily.
Ulloa half-deals with Oxlade-Chamberlain's corner before the hosts manage to clear the danger fully, however the ball then comes back at them again from the former Southampton man but once more the Brighton forward is there to help defend.
The defender is now being replaced by Poyet, as he limps off the pitch gingerly, and the game is back underway.
We're just having a prolonged break in the game as Brighton centre-back Gordon Greer receives treatment on the field.
Goal Ashley Barnes
GOAL! Brighton have equalised, and this time it counts! It's an error from Arsenal keeper Szczesny as he gets caught in no man's land following a corner from the hosts - leaving Barnes to head home and level the scores.
GOAL! Oh, wait, no Brighton have an effort ruled out for offside! Ullou taps home into the empty net following Calderon's cross, after Santos gave the ball away cheaply, but the linesman's flag is, correctly, raised.
The visitors win another corner but Ankergren claims the ball confidentially - Arsenal just exerting a bit more pressure of their own now.
Oxlade-Chamberlain's corner is headed away as the hosts remain firm at the back.
Brilliant link-up play from Buckley and Calderon on Brighton's right-flank, the pair really causing Santos problems, leads to a low cross into the area, however Ulloa can't quite get the ball under control.
Calderon's sliced cross from the right nearly evades Szczesny as it heads towards Arsenal's goal, but it just floats over the bar.
Brighton are continuing to press despite going a goal behind, though, and they remain slightly dominate in possession.
You have to say that's quite harsh on Brighton considering the bright start they made to this clash, but then again you can't leave yourself that open to a counter-attack against teams with the attacking threat of Arsenal.
Goal Olivier Giroud
GOAL! Arsenal take the lead! Moments after their keeper pulls off a fantastic save, the Gunners counter-attack with devastating effect - Rosicky's ball finds Podolski, who then lays it back to Giroud with the Frenchman beating Caspar Ankergren with a fine finish.
Fantastic save from Arsenal's Wojciech Szczesny to deny Ashley Barnes opening the scoring for Brighton.
Inigo Calderon shows good adventure with a long-range strike but fails to hit the target with the effort.
Yellow Card David López
David Lopez picks up an early booking for a cynical trip on Rosicky, halting an Arsenal attack.
More crosses, this time it's Wayne Bridge for the hosts from their left-flank but it's a poor delivery which goes straight behind. Good build-up play from the Championship side, though.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain crosses for the Gunners as they hit back, but it deflects behind for a corner - which Brighton defend well.
More good work from Buckley again on the right-hand-side, however when the ball gets put into the Arsenal box the danger is cleared. Decent start from the hosts.
Will Buckley shows some early signs of life by taking on Andre Santos down the right flank, the Brazilian starting ahead of Kieran Gibbs this afternoon.
And we're off.
So, as the two sides gear up for kick-off, which is just about 10 minutes away, here's a promising omen for the visiting fans - in 13 matches between these two sides Arsenal have outscored Brighton by 24 goals to five.
In the absence of Thomas Vermaelen and Mikel Arteta, and with Jack Wilshere on the Arsenal bench, Per Mertesacker captains the Gunners this afternoon.
Arsenal XI: Szczesny, Jenkinson, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Santos, Diaby, Ramsey, Rosicky, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Podolski, Giroud Subs: Mannone, Sagna, Gibbs, Wilshere, Cazorla, Arshavin, Walcott
Brighton XI: Ankergren: Calderon, Greer, El-Abd, Bridge; Bridcutt, Hammond, Lopez; Buckley, Barnes, Ulloa Subs: Kuszczak, Painter, Dicker, Orlandi, LuaLua, Vicente, Mackail-Smith.
Hello and welcome to Goal.com's play-by-play text commentary of this afternoon's FA Cup fourth-round clash between Brighton and Arsenal. Gus Poyet's men have already sent Premier League side Newcastle packing in this season's competition but will face another stern test in the shape of the Gunners this time around, who name a strong line-up including Lukas Podolski, Olivier Giroud and Tomas Rosicky. Full teams to follow...
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