Sunday 16 February 2014

FA Cup review: Oxlade-Chamberlain and Podolski sink Liverpool

Arsene Wenger's charges progress to quarter-finals where they will host Everton, who beat Swansea

  • Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (left) opens the scoring against Liverpool

  • Leighton Baines scores from the penalty spot to knock out Swansea

  • Chris Porter converts a last-minute spot-kick for Sheffield Utd against Nottingham Forest

Arsenal gained a measure of revenge for their recent Barclays Premier League defeat by Liverpool, by knocking the Merseysiders out of the FA Cup in an exciting fifth-round victory at Emirates Stadium.

Goals in either half by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Lukas Podolski gave the Gunners a two-goal advantage, which was halved when Steven Gerrard pulled one back from the penalty spot. But Arsene Wenger's side, who lost 5-1 at Anfield last Saturday, held on for a satisfying victory that keeps their treble hopes intact.

Daniel Sturridge might have twice given Liverpool the lead inside the first six minutes but was denied by Lukasz Fabianski, and then fired a shot into the side-netting. However, Arsenal steadied the ship and took the lead when Oxlade-Chamberlain pounced on a blocked shot by Yaya Sanogo in the 16th minute.

Early in the second half, and moments after Fabianski had thwarted Suarez with an outstretched leg, the Londoners doubled their lead when Mesut Ozil played Oxlade-Chamberlain in down the right channel and his cutback was dispatched from 15 yards by Podolski.

The visitors hit back when Gerrard sent Fabianski the wrong way from his spot-kick, Podolski having fouled Suarez in the area, but Brendan Rodgers' side were unable to deny the hosts a place in the quarter-finals, where they will face Everton at home.

Roberto Martinez's side overcame Swansea City 3-1 in the earlier fixture, with Lacina Traore giving Everton the perfect start with a backheel four minutes into his Blues debut. The Swans drew level thanks to Jonathan de Guzman's header on the quarter-hour mark, but the introduction of substitute Steven Naismith proved telling. The Scotland international scored five minutes after coming on and then drew the foul from Ashley Richards, which led to Leighton Baines' 72nd-minute penalty.

A spot-kick also helped decide Sunday's other fifth-round tie as Chris Porter struck twice in stoppage time to earn Sheffield United a 3-1 success at the expense of Nottingham Forest, who had taken a 28th-minute lead through Jamie Paterson's header. The League One side were on level terms when Conor Coady pounced on a mistake by Dorus de Vries to score and, with a replay beckoning, took the lead when Greg Halford handled Shaun Murphy's cross and Porter kept his nerve from the spot. The same player still had time to score again in time added on.

Sheffield United will face their city rivals Sheffield Wednesday in the last-eight stage provided the latter come through their tie against Charlton Athletic, which was postponed yesterday, while Manchester City will meet the side who vanquished them in last year's final after being drawn to face Wigan Athletic at Etihad Stadium. Should Hull City overcome Brighton & Hove Albion on Monday night, they will meet Sunderland in the quarter-final.

FA Cup sixth-round draw

Arsenal v Everton
Brighton & Hove Albion or Hull City v Sunderland
Sheffield United v Sheffield Wednesday or Charlton Athletic
Manchester City v Wigan Athletic

The four ties are scheduled to be played on 8-9 March.

FA Cup fifth-round results

Sunday 16 February
Everton (Traore, Naismith, Baines) 3-1 Swansea City (De Guzman)
Sheffield United 3-1 Nottingham Forest
Arsenal (Oxlade-Chamberlain, Podolski) 2-1 Liverpool (Gerrard)

Saturday 15 February
(Gardner) 1-0 Southampton
Cardiff City
(Campbell) 1-2 Wigan Athletic
Sheffield Wednesday P-P Charlton Athletic
Manchester City (Jovetic, Nasri) 2-0 Chelsea

FA Cup fifth-round fixture

Monday 17 February
7.45pm Brighton & Hove Albion v Hull City

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Key Points

  • Arsenal overcome Liverpool 2-1 to reach sixth round of FA Cup thanks to goals by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Lukas Podolski
  • Gunners will face Everton in quarter-final after Blues knocked out Swansea City
  • Man City face Wigan in sixth round, while Sunderland will meet either Brighton & Hove Albion or Hull City