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Arsenal win Liverpool in FA Cup,set to meet Everton in quarter final

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London (AFP) – Arsenal set up an FA Cup quarter-final meeting with
Everton after overcoming Liverpool 2-1 in a feisty and gripping
fifth-round match at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday.
Liverpool had trounced Arsenal 5-1 at Anfield in
the Premier League last weekend, but the London club took revenge
through goals in each half by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Lukas
Podolski.
Steven Gerrard halved Arsenal’s advantage with a 59th-minute penalty after Podolski was adjudged to have tripped Luis Suarez.
The
visitors felt they should have been awarded a second spot-kick moments
later after Oxlade-Chamberlain appeared to foul Suarez, but their
appeals were dismissed by referee Howard Webb.
“The intensity of the performance pleased me,” said Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger.
“I
am very proud of the way we responded to the huge defeat that we had
last week. Liverpool are a good side and showed it again today. It was a
great game.”
Victory in a game splattered with yellow cards means
that Arsenal will host Everton in the last eight, but they will have
bruises to nurse ahead of Wednesday’s meeting with Bayern Munich in the
Champions League last 16.
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers told
BT Sport: “I thought the best team lost. I thought the very least we
deserved was a replay.

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“Going forward we were a real threat and are bitterly
disappointed not to get something and not to get another penalty, which I
though was a blatant penalty.”
While Arsenal brought seven new
faces into their team, Liverpool made only three changes, and the
opening exchanges threatened a repeat of last weekend’s game, when the
Merseysiders had raced 4-0 up inside 20 minutes.
Daniel Sturridge
spurned two excellent chances to put Liverpool ahead in the first five
minutes, first drawing a near-post save from Lukasz Fabianski after
racing onto Gerrard’s slide-rule pass.
The England striker then
squandered an even clearer opportunity, gathering a scooped pass from
Suarez and rounding Fabianski, only to shoot into the side netting with
his weaker right foot.
Wenger said that his side’s demolition at
Anfield had made them “nervous” during their mid-week 0-0 draw with
Manchester United, but they were not cowed by Liverpool’s bright
opening.
Instead they took the game to the visitors, and after
Liverpool goalkeeper Brad Jones had tipped a Per Mertesacker header over
the crossbar, they took the lead in the 16th minute.
Liverpool
could only partially clear a free-kick, allowing Mesut Ozil to send the
ball back into the box from the right, and when Yaya Sanogo’s volley was
blocked by Gerrard, Oxlade-Chamberlain stroked the loose ball home.
Podolski
could have doubled Arsenal’s lead when he blazed over following a raid
by Ozil, but Suarez provided a reminder of Liverpool’s threat late in
the half with a half-volley that Fabianski scrambled away.
The
Uruguayan was at it again early in the second period, bamboozling
Laurent Koscielny and testing Fabianski with a low shot, but barely a
minute later Arsenal doubled their lead.
Oxlade-Chamberlain was
the creator, exchanging passes with Ozil on the right flank and then
charging powerfully to the byline before cutting the ball square for
Podolski to clip a shot beneath Jones.
Suarez and Sturridge each
threatened to pull a goal back, with Ozil working Jones with a low drive
at the other end in between, before Podolski’s trip on Suarez allowed
Gerrard to score from the penalty spot.
As evening fell and the
tension in the stadium mounted, Fabianski had to save at Sturridge’s
feet and Liverpool were then denied what appeared a clear penalty when
Oxlade-Chamberlain felled Suarez.
The England midfielder took a
swing at the ball and missed, clattering Suarez with his boot and
sending him crashing to the deck, but Webb awarded a goal-kick.
Suarez
shot straight at Fabianski as the visitors continued to push for an
equaliser, while Daniel Agger gave Arsenal a late scare when he beat
Fabianski to a Gerrard free-kick, only to head the ball wide.

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