After a difficult week, Arsenal hosted non-league side Lincoln city for their 6th round FA Cup draw on Saturday. Pursuing their 29th semi-final, the Gunners kicked off with an unsure first half performance where they lacked the speed and composure to take the lead. However, Theo Walcott netted the first goal of the night in the final minute of injury time handing Arsenal the advantage going into the break.
Arsene Wenger’s men came back looking sharper in the second half as they ran the Lincoln team ragged. Four more goals followed, all for the north London side from Olivier Giroud, Alexis Sanchez, Aaron Ramsey and one own goal from Lincoln captain Luke Waterfall.
Arsenal’s victory came easily in the end, as it should have and here are the five major talking points from the game:
#1 Good start for the giant killers
Giantkillers of this year, Lincoln City were the first non-league side in 103 years to beat Premier League side Burnley to qualify for the quarter-final stage of the FA Cup. So, it was no surprise the visitors started the game with plenty of vigour and heart. Hardworking and relentless, the Imps kept pace with the Gunners as they managed to block every attempt on or near the goal in the opening stages.
The visitors, in fact, won a free kick inside the Arsenal half within a couple of minutes from kick-off and looked like they were in the mood to cause another upset in front of their 9000-odd fans who had travelled to the Emirates. They started strong and did not allow the Gunners to string more than three or four passes before regaining possession. Lincoln, managed by Danny Cowley in his first full season as a manager, held Arsenal back in their own area for long spells until Theo Walcott broke the deadlock with his goal.