FA Cup 2016/17: Preston North End 1-2 Arsenal - 5 Talking Points
The visitors started brightly to put Wenger's side under immense pressure and got their just reward when Robinson capitalised on some slack defending to put his side one goal to the good. It could have gotten worse for the Gunners but a combination of poor finishing from the Preston strikers and some fairly decent keeping from Ospina ensured that the sides were separated by just a goal going into the break.
Whatever Arsene Wenger told his side at half-time seemed to have worked as they came out all guns blazing and netted an equaliser under a minute from the restart. The goal did the Gunners a world of good as they regained some of their poise and began stringing a few passes together.
Giroud thought he had won the game for his side when he put a Lucas Perez cross into the back of the net only to see the linesman’s flag being raised. He did, however, have the last laugh as he got on the end of a Perez back-heel to finish low and hard past the keeper.
Here are five major takeaways from the game that took place at Deepdale Stadium:
#1 Preston’s fast start
The home side got off to a flier and took a well-deserved lead as early as the 7th minute. Arsenal were rocked by the goal and struggled to find any kind of rhythm as Preston piled on the pressure, pressing high and winning the ball in the Arsenal half.
Simon Grayson’s men dominated the midfield in the early stages and created numerous chances with Aiden McGeady, Ben Pearson and Callum Robinson looking especially threatening. Despite their attacking intent, they were extremely compact at the back and did not allow the likes of Olivier Giroud, Alex Iwobi and Lucas Perez even a sniff.
The goal, itself, was a thing of beauty. Aiden McGeady slipped past the challenges of a couple of Arsenal defenders before feeding it through for Hugill who was upended by Monreal. The ball, however, fell kindly to Robinson who slotted it past the keeper and into the back of the net.