By Chris Wright
With Robin van Persie out nursing his rickety knee, Nicky Bendtner was reinstated up top for Arsenal against Leyton Orient last night and duly helped himself to the majority of the goals as the unsurprisingly superior Gunners eventually ran out 5-0 winners over their League One opponents at the Emirates.
Grease-swathed mullet aficionado Marouane Chamakh opened to scoring by steering Tomas Rosicky’s cross past Jamie Jones after just 7 minutes, with Gael Clichy’s 75th minute thumper sandwiching a smartly-converted Bendtner hat-trick.
Orient were cheered on by some 9,000 supporters after earning themselves a replay via a last-minute equaliser at Brisbane Road ten days prior though, while carving out a couple of decent chances, they never really had a prayer of engineering yet another upset.
That said, with last night’s gate receipts reported to have added around £700,000 to the O’s Las Vega fund, it’s probably fair to say that they won’t consider the heavy defeat as a particularly poor night’s work in the long run.
Leyton Orient players huddle before the game
Marouane Chamakh opens the scoring for Arsenal
Nicklas Bendtner rises to loop a header past Jamie Jones and score his first goal of the night
An Orient fan sings his heart out from the stands
Bendtner scores his second goal with an angled finish from the edge of the box
Orient’s Alex Revell concedes a penalty by bringing down Kieran Gibbs in the area…
…and Bendtner crashes the spot kick home to complete his hat-trick
Gael Clichy thumps a shot into the far corner to notch Arsenal’s fifth goal
Done for the evening: Hat-trick hero Bendtner makes way for Jack Wilshere with half-an-hour left to play
The Gunners will now play Manchester United in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup, with the game scheduled to take place at Old Trafford on Saturday 12th March.
Photos courtesy of the PA.