The Telegraph
Monday , February 17 , 2014
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Wenger’s men send Liverpool packing

- Intensity of the performance pleased me, says Arsene

London: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain scored a goal and set up another as Arsenal defeated fierce rivals Liverpool 2-1 to advance to the quarter finals of the FA Cup on Sunday.

Following their 5-1 thrashing at Anfield in the Premier League, the Gunners got their revenge after putting on a more consistent display at the Emirates. They will next face Everton, who beat Swansea 3-1.

“The intensity of the performance pleased me. I am very proud of the way we responded to the huge defeat that we had last week,” said Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, chasing his first piece of silverware since the 2005 FA Cup.

Chris Porter scored twice in stoppage time as Sheffield United also advanced by beating Nottingham Forest 3-1.

Liverpool again looked the strongest team in the early stages. Steven Gerrard’s superb through ball first found Daniel Sturridge, with the England striker’s low shot kept out by Lukasz Fabianski.

Luis Suarez’s flicked pass then picked out Sturridge’s run behind Per Metersacker, but Fabianski forced him to shoot wide.

Arsenal struggled to keep the ball but did not concede. And it was against the run of play that Oxlade-Chamberlain put the Gunners ahead after Liverpool failed to clear a free kick. Yaya Sanogo, making his first start for Arsenal, saw his shot blocked by Gerrard but the ball rebounded for Oxlade-Chamberlain, who confidently slotted home from close range past Brad Jones in the 16th minute.

Arsenal was sharper on the ball after opening the scoring but Liverpool remained dangerous on the break, with Suarez combining well with Sturridge on a swift counterattack.

Raheem Sterling then showed his speed and great technique down the left flank, rounding Carl Jenkinson before his tired effort from a narrow angle was diverted into a corner.

Suarez had two more opportunities to put his team level before halftime but Fabianski, having a superb game, dived well to deny his low shot before the Uruguay striker missed the target with a chip from the edge of the box.

Suarez went close immediately after the interval when he almost beat Fabianski with a low shot that forced the keeper into a beautiful reflex save.

Arsenal doubled their lead on the next move, as the Gunners rediscovered their slick passing game on a counterattack concluded by Lukas Podolski, who scored with a clean finish from Oxlade-Chamberlain’s back pass in the 47th.

Arsenal then had a good spell of possession but, after Suarez unleashed a powerful volley over the bar and Mesut Ozil threatened Jones with a low shot, the Uruguay striker won a penalty when Podolski clumsily clipped his ankle in the box.

Gerrard coolly converted from the spot to pull one back, sending Fabianski the wrong way in the 59th minute.

Suarez was jeered by Arsenal supporters when he went down after a hefty collision with Oxlade-Chamberlain in the box with 26 minutes to go. Referee Howard Webb ignored the visitors’ appeals. Cazorla should have restored Arsenal’s two-goal lead in the 73rd when he thumped a volley far over the bar while unmarked from the edge of the box. (agencies)