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Match Reports

REPORT Oxford United 0 Arsenal 3

Brave U's go out of the FA Cup. Full time report

9 January 2023

Match Reports

REPORT Oxford United 0 Arsenal 3

Brave U's go out of the FA Cup. Full time report

9 January 2023

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A devastating second half from the Premier League leaders saw Arsenal knock Oxford United out of the the FA Cup this evening with a 3-0 win at the Kassam Stadium.

The U's were deservedly level at the break but Arsenal turned on the style after the interval and a headed goal from Mohamed Elneny and two sublime finishes from Eddie Nketiah sent the visitors safely through.

It was a different story in the first 45 minutes. Arsenal paid United the honour of fielding a strong side and put the U’s under pressure in the first half without really looking too dangerous. Cameron Brannagan set the tone for those around him, charging into challenges and raising the tempo as well as having the first shot of the night, even if it was blocked at source, after 24 minutes, but his side were more than a match for their high-flying visitors and full value for parity after half an hour.

090123 Arsenal (1).jpg

When the Gunners did finally begin to create chances, United were superb in defence. First skipper Elliott Moore was on hand to block Albert Sambi Lokonga’s drive, Arsenal claiming handball with little success, and then when Gabriel Martinelli threatened to break away, Djavan Anderson chased him down and timed his tackle perfectly after a 60-yard foot-race.

United hadn't created too much, but then they were playing the team at the top of the Premier League and had worked heroically, with the midfield trio of McGuane, Brannagan and Bate outstanding. The latter made a good block when Bukayo Sako threatened soon after the break, McGinty doing well to scramble the following corner off the line under pressure, but gradually the Gunners' pressure began to look more and more ominous.

Oleksandr Zinchenko and Granit Xhaka came off bench to try and unlock the United back line and within two minutes the visitors were ahead. A top-flight side will always have excellent delivery from set pieces and that proved decisive when Fabio Vieira whipped in a superb free kick from the left and Elneny thumped his header past the exposed McGinty.


With 20 minutes to go, the Wembley dreams were put to bed when Arsenal doubled their lead with a superb second goal. Viera was again the creator, weighting a ball beyond the United back line for Nketiah to run clear, round the sprawling McGinty and roll casually home beneath the shining new scoreboard.


With 14 minutes left, Arsenal, undoubtedly the better side, booked their passage to the fourth round with their best goal of the night when Martinelli slipped Nketiah in again and he clipped the ball over McGinty to end the game as a contest.

No shame in defeat and for the U's to end the game with four of their Academy products - Long, Johnson, O'Donkor and Goodrham - playing in front of a sold-out crowd should not be underestimated.

A valiant effort and now Arsenal head for Manchester City in the next round, while United are the side heading for Highbury...

See you at Fleetwood on Saturday.

Att: 11,538

Away: 1,736

Report by Chris Williams, pictures by Steve Daniels. Steve Edmunds and Rex/Shutterstock


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