A good performance away at Bournemouth saw us into the last 16 of this season’s FA Cup competition on a wet Monday night on the South Coast.
With just 5 minutes on the clock, Gabriel Martinelli dinked little ball through to Saka who lashed home a rocket of a shot to put us 1-0 up. Eddie Nketiah doubled our lead on 26 minutes, side footing home from a Saka cross 8 yards out before a VAR review confirmed he was onside (only by about 14 yards though). We survived a bit of pressure towards the end of the first half, but managed to weather the storm to make it to the break.
Mustafi was subbed on the hour mark, being replaced by Rob Holding, the German stretchered off after landing awkwardly after crashing into Martinez as they attempted to clear their lines. The injury looked like it could be quite serious which could heap yet more defensive problems on Mikel Arteta for the upcoming games.
With 20 minutes left, Pepe made way for Dani Ceballos as the rain started pouring down with the score still at 0-2. As the clock ticked down, there were knocks for Bellerin and Sokratis, but neither bad enough to keep the men off the pitch as the game got scrappy.
Xhaka was pointlessly booked for time wasting, and with all of the injuries the fourth official decided there should be EIGHT minutes injury time, and with just four minutes left, Bournemouth halved our lead, their goal also surviving another VAR review.
Bournemouth could have scored a late equaliser on the 100 minute mark, but Martinez came off his line bravely to punch away the cross, and we weathered the storm and ran out 2-1 winners… just about.
The result now means we travel back to the South Coast to visit Portsmouth in the 5th round at the beginning of March, KO day and time to be confirmed – check out the weird and wonderful rules for the 5th round which the FA have made up.