Arsenal 3-1 Sunderland – FA Cup 3rd Round – 9th January 2016
Holders Arsenal kept alive their hopes of a third FA Cup glory in a row, courtesy of a 3-1 comeback victory at the Emirates against Sunderland.
With the likes of Mesut Ozil rested completely, Arsene Wenger handed Nigerian forward Alex Iwobi a rare start, with Calum Chambers in central midfield alongside Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. However, it was Sam Allardyce’s mix-and-match Sunderland side who took the lead on 17 minutes, with Jeremain Lens firing past Petr Cech after a mistake from Laurent Koscielny. The Gunners eventually went level on 25 minutes, with Joel Campbell deftly netting from a Theo Walcott cut-back.
After the break, the Black Cats continued to look dangerous on the break and came close when Steven Fletcher’s header came back off the crossbar. However, the hosts started to up the tempo, with Oxlade Chamberlain seeing a fine curling effort hit the post. And eventually the Gunners went ahead, with sub Ramsey scoring from close-range after superb work from Hector Bellerin. The Spaniard then registered another superb assist, this time for Oliver Giroud, as the north Londoners ultimately ran out deserved 3-1 winners.
While the Gunners’ FA Cup adventures continue to reap rewards, Sunderland can now focus on getting themselves clear of the drop-zone in the Premier League.