Arsenal: Cech, Bellerin, Mustafi, Kosciely, Gibbs, Xhaka, Ramsey, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Alexis, Walcott, Giroud
Subs: Martinez, Gabriel, Monreal, Coqeulin, Iwobi, Ozil, Lucas
The magic of the cup returned today as underdogs Arsenal pulled off a giant-killing, beating Lincoln City 5-0 at the Emirates this evening.
Arsene Wenger started a very strong team, with Petr Cech in goal, Olivier Giroud up front and Theo Walcott and Alexis Sanchez either side of him.
The game began with the visitors enjoying a bright spell and most of the first few minutes were played in the Arsenal half. Forward Matt Rhead crashed his elbow into the face of Mustafi which required the German to have some treatment.
The Gunners had the first chance of the game though, Aaron Ramsey side-footing wide after being set up just inside the box by Hector Bellerin in the 10th minute.
A few moments later Theo Walcott’s smart volley from a headed clearance saw the Lincoln keeper make a save, pushing the ball onto the post and away to safety.
Granti Xhaka picked up a 24th minute yellow card for a challenge on the fella who pretended to be injured but wasn’t, and there was an early change when Oxlade-Chamberlain had to be replaced by Mesut Ozil in the 27th minute because of a hamstring issue.
There was danger at our end when Nathan Arnold went on an excellent run into the Arsenal box, cut inside Koscielny and forced Cech into a good save from close range.
Rhead required some treatment after catching a Koscielny elbow in the face – if you dish it out and all that – before Walcott had another go from an Alexis cross, but his left-footed effort was easy for the keeper.
The Arsenal captain was next into Anthony Taylor’s book, picking up a yellow card when a Lincoln player literally ran into him in the centre-circle and then fell over.
Ramsey had another effort, trying to dink the ball into the far corner when a poor clearance fell to him, but the ball flew wide. However, in the 6 minutes of first half injury time, Arsenal took the lead.
The ball bounced around the Lincoln area after a corner, Giroud headed it down, Gibbs laid it into the path of Walcott whose shot deflected off a defender and into the far corner. 1-0.
There was another chance for Ramsey who blasted over from a Walcott pass, but the goal in injury time was enough to see Arsenal into the break with the lead.
There were no changes from either manager at half-time, and Arsenal had the first effort via Ozil which deflected wide.
Giroud then tested the keeper with a stinging shot which the keeper saved well, but when Walcott put the rebound back across goal, Kieran Gibbs could only head over from close range.
The non-league side were under some significant pressure with most of the game being played in their final third, and that pressure came to bear with a second goal.
Ozil played the ball in from the left, Sanchez and Bellerin combined and the full-back pulled the ball back for Giroud who finished with his right foot to double the lead. 2-0.
Bellerin nutmegged a defender then side-footed a shot just wide before the lead was extended further, a Lincoln defender poking the ball into his own net after a low Gibbs cross. 3-0.
That prompted Arsene Wenger into his second change, putting on Francis Coquelin for Xhaka in the 61st minute, followed not long after when Lucas Perez replaced Olivier Giroud.
Ozil headed over on the run from an Alexis cross as Arsenal looked to extend the lead even further, and the two combined again to add the fourth. Alexis picked the ball up from Ozil, drove infield, a Lincoln defender tackled fresh air, he continued and curled the ball into the bottom corner from just outside the box. 4-0.
The tails were up and we got the fifth just minutes later. Arsenal pressured Lincoln on the edge of their box, Alexis showed some trickery in the box, crossed it, and it came to the back post where the Welshman was there to step inside the keeper and finish from basically on the line. 5-0.
Cech did have to make a save from Power in the 80th minute, Lucas was denied a penalty by Anthony Taylor and when some clogger launched himself off the ground into Ozil’s legs even Taylor couldn’t not give a free kick. From the set-piece Alexis smashed the bar.
Walcott shot wide from a corner, Lucas saw an effort fly not far wide of the far post, and in the end Arsenal were well deserved winners. The win made BT Sport and Anthony Taylor and Piers Morgan sad
ps – We had to listen to Chris Sutton for 90 minutes. This man is a pillock. Just wanted to share that.