Report: Brighton 2-3 Arsenal (inc. goals)

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Arsenal: Szczesny, Chambers, Koscielny, Monreal, Gibbs, Flamini, Walcott, Ramsey, Ozil, Rosicky, Giroud

Subs: Martinez, Mertesacker, Bellerin, Coquelin, Cazorla, Alexis, Akpom

Tomas Rosicky starred as Arsenal continued their defence of the FA Cup with a tense 3-2 victory away at Brighton. Theo Walcott scored his first goal of the season to give the Gunners an early lead, before the Czech international assisted Mesut Ozil and rifled home a volley either side of Chris O’Grady’s early second half strike. Sam Baldock’s strike on 75 minutes gave the Seagulls a sniff of a draw but the Gunners held out to seal safe passage to the Fifth Round.

Pre-game

Arsene Wenger made seven changes to the side that beat Manchester City last weekend. Wojciech Szczesny was handed a first start since his ‘exploits’ at Southampton, a clear sign he’s now playing second fiddle to David Ospina, while Laurent Koscielny and Nacho Monreal formed a centre-back partnership flanked by Calum Chambers on the right and Kieran Gibbs on the left. Mathieu Flamini anchored the midfield in place of the rested Francis Coquelin with Tomas Rosicky and Aaron Ramsey in front of him. Olivier Giroud spearheaded the attack with Theo Walcott and Mesut Ozil also getting valuable game time. Per Mertesacker, Santi Cazorla and Alexis provided the experience on the bench.

First half

Arsene Wenger’s defending champions couldn’t have made a better start at the AMEX Arena taking the lead inside two minutes. After a period of prolonged possession from kick-off Chambers bound down the right wing, picked out Walcott who took one touch to control the ball before hammering a vicious low effort across Brighton keeper Stockdale to open his account for the season. (1-0)

The Gunners kept the pressure up. Ramsey had an effort deflected wide three minutes later and from the resulting corner Giroud’s header was blocked on the line. The movement in the final third was mesmerising. As was the willingness to track the ball down when the home side had it.

Theo Walcott looked dangerous on the break, but was erratic on the ball. On 20 minutes he had a great chance to feed Rosicky after stealing the ball only for the ball to get caught up under his feet. It was the only time it happened. The Czech fired his teammate a look of utter disdain. Thankfully, though the veteran took his frustration out on Brighton.

First he had a shot that bundled wide then, on 22 minutes, he produced an absolutely stunning defence-splitting ball that freed Ozil inside the box. The German controlled the ball seven yards out and calmly slotted home to double Arsenal’s lead. It was his first goal since September’s visit to Aston Villa and he was quick to acknowledge the brilliance of Rosicky’s assist. . (2-0)

Brighton did have a chance to reduce the deficit before the half hour mark only for Sam Baldock to make a hash of a good chance from close range. It was the Seagull’s only real opportunity in an opening 45 minutes that was totally dominated by the men in yellow.

Second half

Arsenal should have extended their lead just after the break when fine interplay by Giroud, Ozil and Ramsey saw Theo Walcott given the perfect opportunity to kill the game on the volley. The England international fluffed his lines as he burst into the box. He didn’t even get a shot off.

Buoyed by the let off Brighton promptly went up the other end and scored. Rosicky made a hash of a clearance, Chambers lost a header and neither Flamini nor Koscielny could stop Chris O’Grady’s low shot sneaking in at Szczesny’s near post. (2-1)

The goal brought the home fans to their feet, the noise around the AMEX rose to a crescendo and Chris Hughton’s men responded on the pitch with five minutes of intense pressure. The optimism didn’t last long as Tomas Rosicky nipped the recovery in the bud.

Stealing the ball high up the pitch the 34-year-old fed Giroud and then stole to the edge of the area where he lashed home a glorious volley from the Frenchman’s dinked return pass. It was an awesome strike from a player who really caught the eye on the day. (3-1)

With 20 minutes remaining Giroud and Walcott were replaced by Chuba Akpom and Alexis Sanchez. To Brighton’s credit they kept plugging away and they again reduced the deficit with 15 minutes remaining. Monreal and Koscielny were left all at sea as Baldock stole in behind to chip Szczesny. (3-2)

Arsene Wenger’s reaction was to sure things up by replacing Ozil with Francis Coquelin. The plan was obviously to sit deep and then counter. It nearly worked as Akpom had a low effort parried away after a break by Sanchez.

The all-energy Chilean took a endured a regular kicking during his short cameo as his manic movement caused havoc in the Brighton defence. His first free-kick clipped the top of the bar via a deflection. A second set piece in stoppage time forced another decent save from Stockdale, a third went over the bar. Aaron Ramsey should have sealed the game with the last kick of the game but his volley bounced into the ground and out of play.

Just as it did two seasons ago it ended 3-2 and we progress to the next round knowing most of our rivals are already out. A fine weekend.

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hank1979

That was quick blogs

James

Arseblog – It’s fuckin’ excellent.

Ólafur

Wonderful win, this weekend couldn’t have gone better, cheers gooners!

Remember the invincibles

Yeah in the end, but we always contrive to makes Ars work of it. Flamini must be the most I’ll disciplined DM ever. For their first goal he ran the whole length pitch to get back. So by the time he was needed he was spent from 80 yards and couldn’t do his job. Will be glad when he’s gone and we sign a proper midfielder who can contribute defensively. I hope we stick with the same 11 that beat City at the weekend.

obvious stater

I love how flamini gets the blame when most of the blame should go to Kos. Nowt like a bit of favouritism.

DR

I think you need to see the 1st goal, that they scored, again. Flamini was right there with him and then he went past him with ease, took a shot and goal.

Also, Coquelin has started to make me feel that this team is safe when he is there.
I know too early to say such a thing, but hope the lad keeps it up.

obvious stater

You should watch it again. Yes he turned flamini, but that’s going to happen, he’s not going to win every battle, even the best DM is going to get beaten sometimes.

At least flaminin was trying to do his job, god only knows what Kos was doing.

Xxxrob

First goal chambers didn’t really cover himself in glory either. Can’t help but feel debuchy would have dealt with the ball while it was still airborne
Meh, we’re through
Come on Bolton and Cambridge!!

SB

Very happy with the result but boy did we make it difficult for ourself!

Proff Gooner

Couldnt agree more. And to know Chelsea, Man City & Tottenham are out makes it that little bit sweeter.

Great to see Akpom’s potential too with Rosicky, Walcott and Ozil embracing the competition.

Forever COYG!!!

Gunner From Another Mother

If you would have asked me who I’d like to see score before the match, Walcott, Ozil, & Rosicky would have been my answers. Walcott & Ozil to boost their confidence on their return, and Rosicky because he’s just my favorite and I love to see him happy 🙂

The Ox is a fox

Forget about the Chavs, Citehs and Spuds. I’m glad that Soton’s out!

Maniac

Agreed. Just a shame I had to listen to Robbie Savage’s awful commentary though.

the farmer

Can’t agree more – what a complete obnoxious bellend. When you are forced to watch your matches with the sound turned off, the TV execs who think it is a good idea to employ him should get a poke with a very sharp stick. The morons at half time weren’t much better – for the first goal “Chambers should have been kicked into row Z”!!. Give me strength.

Rosicky's Little Toe

I love it when I bag a goal!

SB

It will be a shame if we let go of Rosicky at the end of the season.

LANS

Don’t worry mate, I’m on the case.

Erwandy

COYG!

Silent Stan's Content Mustache

Rosicky MoM for me, nice to see Theo and Ozil score. Never in doubt, bring on the fucking scum.

xi

Absolutely love Rossa, a true professional, doesnt sulk and start whining when he doesnt get game time, just work his socks off every time when called upon. Sure cant find many of such players, what a role model for his younger team mates. What a shame he suffered that dreadful hamstring injury back in 2008, robbed off his best years as a player imho.

proudakb

nervy stuff, coquelin looked the best of the midfielders after he came on, akpom looks the real deal

WengersNoseHair

Better than Rosicky? What have you been smoking.

Craig Pires

Good first half second not so good. Koscielny at fault both goals. Rosicky brilliant. Main thing is we march on!! COYG!!!

La Défense

Rasitsky!

La Défense

Rasitski!!

spinner

Rosicky – 34 years old? Plays like a 27 years old.

I like the look of Apkom, he’s is going to be a star player in years to come.

La Défense

Yes, looks sharp. Still, should have passed to Sanchez in the end there.

Deano

Yeah lost out on £50 there. Does look a good talent though.

TR7 a joy to watch when he’s in the mood

John

The pass line was blocked, he was just making space for the pass when got fouled.

The Ghost of Paul Robinson

Probably wouldn’t have been blocked if he could pass with both feet.

Remember the invincibles

Bit selfish though.

Exiledgooner

I’d say young and enthusiastic. Sometimes that thirst for glory can overpower your judgement. He’ll learn.

ENJ

A lot of people when we signed welbeck made a lot of comparisons to sturridge. But in all honesty I’d say akpom reminds me of him the most. He’s quick but he’s got that selfish side to him that top strikers need to have. He’ll come good eventually

masterofthegoonaverse

Well he is out of contract this summer

WizardOfOzil

Tomas Rosicky is obviously a guinea pig for some new form of superhuman steroid not available on the market yet.

A xerioz gunner

The steriod sample is produced using Alexis DNA

Trez

I’ve been saying this….why take steriods when you can use Alexis DNA. His blood sample should be used on all arsenal players.

David Hillier Handled My Luggage

Who needs Charlie Sheen’s tiger blood when we’ve got Alexis’

Cracked

Considering how comfortable we were for most of this game it’s annoying how tight it was at the end.

eternalflamini

Sounds like my trousers before and after dinner.

gar14

Sounds like my trousers before and after your mum walks into the room 🙂

Rambo's Thai retreat

But who cares. We won! Never looked like losing it either.

happy gunner

We never ever do anything easy do we !!

CB

2 away goals for 6out of the last 7 FA Cup away games. They do put us through it.

Good win, especially after yesterday’s results.

CB

* goals conceded, that is.

returnofoz

monreal at cback don’t work,thank god for gabriel.Tomas was the best player on the pitch today!

Clock End Mike

i thought Monreal did very well actually. Reliable, good positioning, didn’t make a mistake that I saw. Kos, on the other hand was a bit careless. I think he missed his BFF.

Dick Swiveller

All I’ve seen is the highlights, so he may well have been brilliant in the rest of the game but his positioning was godawful for their second goal. Having said that, it’s partly due to his synergy with Koscielny so not all his fault, but I’m glad with Gabriel coming in Monreal will be back at LB.

offbeat madooda

i think chambers and kos would’ve worked better. chambers and met are relatively similar, and nacho and kos play a similar game. Rem the issues of kos and verm? CB especially is about having the right mix of capabilities in the partnership.

Since Gabriel can (apparently) play at CB and LB, we have 3 players who can cover RB, 3 covering LB and 5 who can play at CB. defensive depth looking much better. going to be interesting to which combinations of payers work best.

onearsenewenger

Nice win. on a realted note flamini should never be on a football pitch playing for arsenal again. horrendus today

Moonie

Obviously we didn’t set out to defend like in the citeh game and weren’t overly bothered about maintaining any sort of shape. Having said that, Flamini was dreadful, Chambers’ early season form has completely vanished (expected being so young), and Gibbs was dreadful as usual- he’s played over 170 games for Arsenal, still can’t cross, block crosses or get his positioning right.

Gunner From Another Mother

Gibbs was dreadful as usual? Have you been watching our games over the past year???

RoyaleWithCheese

Incredible how someone can be so wrong about a player.

WengersNoseHair

And Chambers did fine, too.

ANDR

Dreadful?
Apart from their first goal he was rather good. Thought his passing was good as well.
He really needs to work on not letting players get better of him on the turn. Not the first time that he has been found wanting in that division.

The Ghost of Paul Robinson

Unlikely the leopard will change those particular spots, especially given he’s over 30 now.

Forfuckssake

According to Savage every illegal challenge on an Arsenal player should be applauded. Glad he knows this site hates him.

neutral

I don’t understand why the foul on Chuba, when he and Alexis were 2 on 1, was not a red card. Last defender and if Chuba had not been fouled it would have been 2 on 1 vs the keeper. Not even a yellow card there, FA refs certainly favor the underdog.

Then again, he could have given a penalty for the ball hitting Chamber’s arm.

Exiledgooner

I’ve ranted on this site before about how shitty the BBC is at covering football, and fellow gooners have told me not to worry about it. I appreciate they were being nice, but I do worry about it, as British gooners have to pay a license fee to watch television, money which goes to the BBC (£140 odd), which means that we are paying for the unbelievably crass and vulgar likes of Savage and chums to spout their thundercuntery over the radio. Having heard the commentary of today’s match, I’m steamed and intend to remain that way.

obvious stater

It was on BT?

Exiledgooner

I was listening to the BBC’s radio coverage while driving across Yorkshire. They do dredge up the most awful commentators.

masterofthegoonaverse

It wasn’t on BBC…………..

SB

If he gave a penalty for that, then we should have had one earlier when one of their blokes blocked Theo’s take down with his arm.

neutral

yeah, I thought that Theo’s was more of an obvious penalty as the Brighton defenders arm moved to the ball, chambers just got the ball kicked into his arm, but most defenders have their arms behind their back, or at least at their sides in that position. It was ball to hand, but chambers should not be holding his arms out like that, on another day it could be a penalty

ClockEndRider

Only if the handball rule is changed to say that whenever a ball contacts the arm there is an offence.
Just because our crap referees don’t know the rule doesn’t make the occasional gifting of a penalty for such occurrences correct.

aloha

What’s the difference with the ball to Chamber’s hand and the hand blocked pass in bha pen box in the first half?

arsepedant

There is no difference, and Swarbrick got both of them right. In both cases, the defender’s arm was pretty much by his side, and the ball was kicked at speed into the arm. It was ball to hand, not hand to ball.

arsepedant

Tsk, Oliver not Swarbrick. Smegs sake, I’m going to have to change my name now.

Indian_Gooner

What a performance by Rozza. Has to start next weekend.

I am not commenting on his performance today and I don’t want to be too negative, but is it a coincidence that we never keep a clean sheet with Scz in goal?

A Yank

No.

CB

Most clean sheets in the league last season.

Rarely has he played behind Per and Kos this season (this has mostly been Martinez and Ospina). I thought Kos was at fault for both, though he was playing on the opposite side to where he usually does. Agreed he was poor v Souhampton, though so was the defence and Chambers in centre mid.

Still a good young keeper, too easy to criticise without looking at the situation.

RoyaleWithCheese

People talk about how Koscielny makes Mertesacker look good, which is true. But that definitely works the other way around as well. Remember how shaky the partnership of Koscielny and Vermaelen looked, Mertesacker is just as important for our defence as Koscielny is.

CB

Excellent point. Kos is usually excellent but was relatively poor today without Per, see the first goal.

Dick Swiveller

I think it’s partly due them being the only competent partners at CB (Chambers is young and looks to have great potential there though) for a while. Vermaelen was dodgy in the last season he played for us, which led to him being dropped, and we don’t have anyone else who can play CB (imo, some people seem convinced by Monreal there, I am not), with Gabriel coming in we’ll see less of Monreal there and I can relax.

La Défense

Didn’t have his best game. Felt he could have done better on the 2nd goal – started coming out too late and in the end caught out in no-man’s land. Made it too easy for them.

WizardOfOzil

Jury still out on that one as with no Per at the back or Coquelin in cdm today, our defence looked casual in their approach today. He did win golden gloves last season after all..

Deano

Kept a few clean sheets last season. Got a little shiny trophy to prove it.

A Yank

Unless you’re talking about the Fourth Place Trophy, then no. Fabianski played in all the FA Cup games last season.

Kall Me When You're Sober

A Yank, I think he’s referring to the fact that Szczesny (and Petr Cech) won the Golden Gloves trophy for keeping the most clean sheets in the Prem last year.

A Yank

Ha! You are correct. My bad. Still think Szc has regressed this season.

arsepedant

A large part of Szczesny’s Golden Glove award last year was the fact that he had a pretty much permanent defensive line in front of him. The pairing of Mertesacker and Koscielny is far and away our best, and when they’re playing every game together, it’s a huge help to the keeper (whoever the keeper is). If our partnership of the future is Chambers and Gabriel, then as long as they play together the majority of the time, that too will help our keeper win another Golden Gloves.

Alright mate

I remember with Almunia, many times we would cop an early goal, and this would dictate the rest of the game. And when Szcz came in, how many times he made a crucial save to keep the game level early on. Particularly in big games. This has been forgotten in recent times but I have full faith he can be our Number 1 for many years.

De Gea was swapped out for times a couple of years ago, but now he is excellent. Hopefully Szcz will follow a similar path.

AK 57

On the edge for the second half but made it through in the end. It showed the value of Coqueline really. In second half, they were going through the midfield without any challenges. Introduction of Coq cut down the supply line and we looked more secure. Sign him up Arsene.

Proff Gooner

It did feel reassuring when Wenger brought in Coquelin.

RoyaleWithCheese

The difference in class between Coq and Flamini is quite extraordinary. Coq seems to be better at everything, and I don’t say that to bash Flamini.

Le Jim

Meh… Was never really worried despite them twice cutting out two goal leads.

One thing I did notice though, was that that Calderon bloke looks scarily like The Hound from Game of Thrones.

COYG xx

obvious stater

Someone give Rosicky a new contract. Still my favourite player even though we now have the likes of Ozil and Sanchez.

Love the way he can glide past 3 or 4 players and the way he always looks to pass forward.

Big Chief from Antarctica

Rosicky’s no-look-pass to set up his volley. Sweet, sweet, little Mozart!

WineArse

How much better are our corners with Ozil taking them? Geez.

AK 57

And our free kicks with Sanchez taking them up.

rambo sambo

Amazing how Rosicky and Coquelin have both made themselves undroppable due to their performance in recent games. Two of my favorite players right now.

obvious stater

Rosicky was dropped last week.

Craig Pires

Already knew it but I gotta say it, Robbie Savage what a prick!

obvious stater

Sounds constipated, not sure how they pick pundits these day. He knows fuck all as does Michael Owen, as for shteeeeeve mcmanaman, FUCK OFF.

Dear BT/BBC/ITV please get co commentators with a normal voice you slackers.

obvious stater

*spackers

Alexis trousers

Good win. Right now though I simply can´t trust Szeszcny anymore. Call it irrational, even superstitious, but there’s got to be something beyond luck that explains why every time he’s on goal Arsenal concede with the first shot on target. Someone should check evey goal we have conceded with the first shot on target and provide an explanation. It’s truly baffling.

johnny

FA Cup weekends don’t get much better than that! Good job lads these type of matches aren’t easy and you have to work hard so fair play to them

sambo

Akpom looked unfazed with his first touched including a beautiful little trick. If it wasn’t for the blatant fouls that cut him down in a flurry of chances he had he could have grabbed a hatrick the kid looks quick, sharp and a worker. Love it. Would have liked him to have come closer to the player with the ball when he was off the ball, or attack the front post to drag a defender but on the ball he looked naughty. My 2 cents

Alexis trousers

Yet he was too eager to get on the scoresheet. At least 3 times he could have released a teammate for a clear cut chance. Despite that, there’s a player in Akpom.

sambo

I honestly think he was going to pass to Sanchez, the only reason he checked back was to slide that ball through until he was fouled.

Ozil'seyedoctor

Harry Kane who? AKPOM is the future!

WineArse

Unfortunately, he’s probably someone else’s future. Shop window time for Chuba, I’m afraid.

DR

The good part is, with Podolski/Sanogo/Campbell all out, he ll get a lot more chances.

Mr.burns

Szc was absolutely awful today, the first goal was saveable, and if you watch the second goal again, why did he come out like that? He shouldve stayed on his line, kos was already there to tackle or shepherd him out. Not to mention szc pacing of the game is not smart at all. Near the end of the game, why would he quickly throw the ball out to a defender? Keep the ball and slow the game down.

WengersNoseHair

Every man and his dog is an exquisite goal-keeping coach these days. Meh.

The Beast

This Alexis guy needs to slow down, he comes on for 15 mins only and still gets man of the match

texasgooner

Some of my reflections:

1. Ozil and Walcott looked good, welcome back. The goals must have really done a lot for their confidence.
2. There was a clear difference when Coquelin came on
3. Akpom looked great
4. Rosicky

Glocken

Happy to be through considering the weekends results. Brighton gave us a really good game.

Only negative is that we conceded a couple of sloppy goals, let’s hope we work on that.

I was really impressed with Akpom, came on and was pacy. With Poldi, Sanago and Campbell gone he has a good chance of getting some game time and hopefully prove he’s worth a new deal.

ForeignGooner

Loved the no-look pass from Rosicky.

TanzanianGun

Uncle Tom is a true Legend

Chuck

Tom Terrific! 😀

Pavan

Rosicky I’d working on the ronaldinho pass! Looking one way while passing another! Such a wonderful display by him!

Zenithreptile

Theo just used LANS in his post match. Akpom is gonna be a weapon. Rosicky is fucking unreal. I feel like we could beat anyone at the moment, so strange how things can change in a few weeks.

I AM ARSENAL

Pretty good performance sans the goals…Only we can completely dominate a game and somehow conspire to concede two goals. Other than the goals we defended well.

Vishnu

I was not at all nervous 😛

naija gooner

Oh my Rosicky!!! please how old is that guy again?

Fucking love that dude

gooner 4life

great win never worried about them coming back we were clinical in front of goal rosicky man of the match today. what a hilarious weekend its been for us gooners. into round 5 we go!

minato

Anyone notice the sheer gulf in quality between Flamini and Coquelin?

Alexis trousers

Flamini’s done.

Chuffy

Despite the assist I found myself getting increasingly angry at Chambers. He isn’t good positionally to play at full-back, nor is he quick enough to recover if he gets caught high up. He also seems to pull out of challenges. Now I know he is only 19, but so is Bellerin and he looks far more willing to put his foot in. Another word on Flamini, after this poor performance, this must be his last season. The fact that Wenger needed to put Coquelin on to sure things up spoke volumes in my opinion. On the positive side, we are… Read more »

CB

Wenger on his interview said the signing of paulista is done, so seemed confident on the work permit issue.

Looks a fast, aggressive defender on YouTube clips.

RoyaleWithCheese

Chambers shouldn’t be our right back. I think it’s pretty obvious that Chambers is supposed to be Mertesacker’s successor, with Bellerin to take over for Debuchy in a few years time. I believe both lads are future starters for us.

WengersNoseHair

You are a Spud and I claim my £10.

Iceman

Rosicky the man!!! What a wonderful wonderful footballer. Would love for him to retire with us

I AM ARSENAL

Rosicky ran the show so can be forgiven for his miskick in the lead up to the goal. However Chambers was awful ( had a decent performance overall) allowing the guy to head it, then Flamini and Kos where poor allowing the guy to turn. Walcott and Ozil where very good i thought, rustiness was expected but i thought they both made an impact. Giroud wasn’t his best but he was still a handful and linked up well at times. Slight negatives being that Chambers is just not a right back. Although he did well for our first goal he… Read more »

mendelson

I cannot but wonder why sczezny is always in a hurry to release the ball like a hot piece of yam even when arsenal is one goal ahead and some calm is needed. What happened to the good old lying on the ball to earn some seconds and wind down the clock? Forgive me but i missed david ospina’s mature melancholic approach. Overall, good display by arsenal, especially considering yesterday’s ‘big team tsunami’.

I AM ARSENAL

Same reason he was caught smoking in the shower…He has horrendus arrogance mixed with stupidity.

GunnerDareMacedonia

We can see clearly today that flamini don’t cut it for our team anymore he is past it. He is to slow in 4-5 situations he was turn easily and to slow to intercept the ball and i thought if coq was in those situations i’m certain he would get the ball 4 times out of 5. But great win, i think the team relaxed a little beat in the second half and that demonstrate how easily the game could be on if you concede, they have to be alert all game. Bring on 5th round and a good home… Read more »

Eamonn

Great performace – Great win. HOWEVER…..as our confidence grows….Flamini does look increasingly average. It is a relief to know that we have Coq to rely on instead.

Other than that brilliant performance!

COYG

like a red head Ljungberg

Akpom! yeah rosicky… but akpom.

like a red head Ljungberg

no ospina and coquelin and we concede 2, coincidence?

Ozil'seyedoctor

cant wait for an attack of Alexis- Giroud- Theo with Ozil/ Cazorla behind to fuck shit up at shite hart lane. COYG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

oluwapunkey

MOTM performance by Rosicky …plus the coq introduction in the deep end gives our defense some cover.