The Telegraph
Monday , January 7 , 2013
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Gunners are held

- Suarez goal triggers controversy in Liverpool’s win over Mansfield Town

London: Swansea City and Arsenal faced an FA Cup third round replay after a lightning strike from Michu and a dramatic three-goal flurry in the final 10 minutes ended with a 2-2 draw at the Liberty stadium on Sunday.

Daniel Sturridge scored on his Liverpool debut and Luis Suarez caused controversy as the seven-time winners beat minor league Mansfield Town 2-1 to reach the fourth round on Sunday.

Sturridge, signed from European champions Chelsea, took just seven minutes to open his account on a rutted Mansfield pitch that looked more like a mudfield in places.

Suarez, who replaced the England striker in the 55th minute, made it 2-0 after just four minutes on the pitch but the goal triggered accusations of cheating after television replays suggested he had used his hand.

Neutrals hoping for an upset, in a David and Goliath clash encapsulating the magic of the world's oldest knockout competition, were given hope when Matt Green pulled one back for the Stags in the 79th and Liverpool faltered.

The game ended with Liverpool under pressure, Green having a shot turned away in stoppage time and Exodus Geohaghon rattling the visitors with his immense throw-ins.

Swansea’s big Spaniard made an instant impact in the 58th minute when he netted 73 seconds after he came off the bench to chants of “he scores when he wants to” from a spirited Welsh crowd.

Arsenal, without any silverware since 2005 and determined not to let their best remaining chance of the season slip through their fingers, equalised through substitute Lukas Podolski in the 81st.

Kieran Gibbs then sent the visitors 2-1 up with a volley two minutes later.

The Arsenal fans’ relief was short-lived with Danny Graham grabbing an equaliser from close range in the 87th in a frenetic final few minutes during which either side could have produced a winner.

Arsenal’s Theo Walcott had the ball in the net, but was ruled offside, while teammate Laurent Koscielny fired over the bar on the rebound from a Michel Vorm save.

“We should have won this game... We lacked a little bit (of) calmness and focus,” Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said.

“It’s frustrating to concede a goal just like that on a corner where we couldn't clear the ball before the corner.”

“The first half was a bit locked and one-paced, as much as the second half became much more open,” Wenger said. “Kieran Gibbs had an outstanding game,” Wenger said. “He gets better and better. When you see this kind of game, it’s very positive.”

The winners of the replay at the Emirates will face Championship (second tier) giant killers Brighton and Hove Albion, who humbled Premier League Newcastle United on Saturday, in the fourth round.

Holders and European champions Chelsea, who thrashed Southampton 5-1 on Saturday, face lower division opponents Southend United (IV) or Brentford (III) in the next round.

Premier League champions Manchester City were given an away match against the winners of the replay between Stoke and second-tier side Crystal Palace.

Tottenham have an away match at Leeds or Birmingham, while the winner of the replay between Manchester United and West Ham will play Fulham or Blackpool.

Swansea’s clash with Arsene Wenger’s trophy-starved Arsenal was a slow-burner, two passing sides sparring tentatively for much of the first half before throwing caution to the wind in the second.

Swansea manager Michael Laudrup broke the deadlock by sending on Michu, who immediately collected a header from Nathan Dyer and muscled through the defence by lifting the ball past Per Mertesacker in a strong and smooth movement before calmly slotting home.

It was his third goal against Arsenal this season, after scoring twice at the Emirates in the Premier League last month.