Arsenal, FA Cup, Premier League

Arsenal Wins In FA Cup

Arsenal beat Leeds 3-1 to move to the fourth round of the FA Cup. Samir Nasri, Bacary Sagna and Robin van Persie were the Arsenal scorers, and the Gunners will now play Huddlesfield on Jan. 30 at Emirates Stadium.

Arsenal got off to a dream start when Nasri scored his 14th goal of the season after only five minutes. Arshavin played a key role in the move (one of the few things he did all night), with Chamakh stepping over his pass to allow Nasri to dance through and slip the ball to the side of Kasper Schmeichel.

Arsenal continue to dominate the game and Schmeichel had to make a fantastic save to deny Chamakh’s header. The Chamakh produced a great cross that somehow Arshavin failed to score with.

There was no doubt that Arsenal would score again and they did in the 35th minute when Sagna fired home into the top corner with the outside of his right foot to make it 2-0.

Seemed like game over, but when Johnson scored two minutes later, suddenly Leeds had belief and Arsenal started to struggle.

Arsenal’s performance for the next 35 minutes was similar to what we have seen against Wigan, Ipswich and Leeds recently. Simply not good enough. Too many of Arsenal’s squad players are having poor seasons. Arshavin was certainly one tonight, but he was not the only one.

In a sign that Wenger was not convinced that his starters could see out the last 20 minutes and win this cup tie he sent on Cesc Fabregas and Van Persie. Five minutes later van Persie headed home a great cross from Bendtner and the game was finally over.

I think it was telling that Wenger played Fabregas and van Persie tonight. I am sure he would have preferred to keep them on the bench, but he had no confidence that his starters could keep Leeds at bay. So bringing them on says a lot about how he really feels about the strength of his squad.