Connect with us

Top Stories

Oxford United 0-3 Arsenal: FA Cup third round – live reaction | FA Cup




Key events

Man of the match Eddie Nketiah: “We came here and knew it wouldn’t be easy. The pitch is tough to play on. We had to up the level and we did that in the second half.

“They wanted it to be a rushed high tempo game – we had to slow it down.

“The second one was a nice little dink, so that one probably pleased me more.”

It was all pretty routine. I did suggest Arsenal would win 2/3-0 so I will take that. Oxford just completely blunt in the final third, hence their League One struggles.

Full-time: Oxford 0-3 Arsenal

The Premier League leaders struggled for long periods but eventually their quality showed through thanks to three fine assists and finishes. Oxford, frankly, never looked like scoring.

90 mins: Two minutes added on.

88 mins: O’Donkor is tripped by Zinchenko. The teenage substitute is set to play at the Kassam tomorrow night in the FA Youth Cup. Not a bad week for the lad. Long heads the free-kick towards the corner but there is no power in his effort and Turner grabs hold.

86 mins: The win for Arsenal means they will play Manchester City in the fourth round. That should be a lively match at the Etihad.

84 mins: Johnson and Fleming are on for Oxford. A nice chance for them to play against Arsenal.

82 mins: Smith Rowe receives the ball in the box but takes a poor touch and then his shot is weak. He is unsurprisingly rusty.

White and Maquinhos are on for Arsenal. Tomiyasu and Vieira off.

“Hi Will,” says Justin Madson. “I am not sure if the holiday season being over has made me a curmudgeon, but it feels like nearly every whistle (or non-call) both players from each side are demonstratively yelling at the ref. Fifa could do with taking a moment away from whichever large money pile they are currently chasing to support their referees. They are people too, and as far as I know AI is barely okay at making offside calls, much less being able to replace real referees.”

80 mins: Arsenal are killing time by keeping possession and doing it with relative ease, even if the home fans think the press might win the ball back at any second.

78 mins: Oxford have worked really hard throughout but they have found out in three key moments how much quality Arsenal possess.

GOAL! Oxford 0-3 Arsenal (Nketiah, 76)

Arsenal break on Oxford through Martinelli, he holds the ball and slides the pass through for Nketiah at the perfect time, allowing the striker to take a touch and calmly dink over the goalkeeper. I think in a VAR world, that goal would be chalked off for offside. Oh well.

Nketiah makes it three!
Nketiah makes it three! Photograph: Marc Atkins/Getty Images

74 mins: Oxford win a corner on the left but in the meantime some changes need to be made.

Saka is down on the turf and looks like his game is over. Smith Rowe will replace him.

Oxford are bringing on Goodrham and O’Donkor.

72 mins: Are we accepting that is game over? I cannot see Oxford scoring twice here.

Two moments of quality from Vieira have made the difference thus far because the rest of the game has been poor.

Nketiah celebrates with the corner flag.
Nketiah celebrates with the corner flag. Photograph: Marc Atkins/Getty Images

GOAL! Oxford 0-2 Arsenal (Nketiah, 70)

Vieira slides the ball through the defence for Nketiah to latch onto, he rounds the goalkeeper and taps into an empty net.

Eddie Nketiah rounds Oxford United’s Eddie McGinty to make it 2-0.
Eddie Nketiah rounds Oxford United’s Eddie McGinty to make it 2-0. Photograph: Ashley Western/Colorpsort/REX/Shutterstock

69 mins: Another long throw from Brown makes it into the box but it is headed out to the edge of the area where Brannagan is waiting. The midfielder sends a looping volley at goal that fails to trouble Turner.

Why is David Platt at the match? I thought he was out of professional football.

67 mins: Moore whacks into the back of Vieira as he tries to chest down the ball. I would describe that as a League One challenge there. I think that deserves a booking simple due to needless use of force.

65 mins: Robinson and Craig Short are plotting on the sidelines as they look to find a way back into the match.

GOAL! Oxford 0-1 Arsenal (Elneny, 63)

Anderson catches Martinelli on the knee to give Arsenal a free-kick in a dangerous position on the left. Vieira swings the ball into the box and Elneny is there to head home from six yards.

Mohamed Elneny breaks the deadlock.
Mohamed Elneny breaks the deadlock. Photograph: David Price/Arsenal FC/Getty Images

61 mins: Tierney and Lokonga are off, Xhaka and Zinchenko on.

61 mins: Gabriel goes down due to Taylor wrapping his arm around the defender’s neck. The Brazilian is understandably unhappy.

Brown goes in the book for pulling down Saka.

Arsenal are planning some changes …

59 mins: Brown, who has a really long thrown, launches the ball into the box but Tomiyasu is there to meet it with his head. The full-back crosses the ball in next time but Gabriel is there on this occasion to clear.

57 mins: Saka curls a corner in to the front post, forcing McGinty to come through bodies to punch to prevent the ball going straight in.

Some bad news from the car park in Oxford: the hi-viz brigade have turned up to move people on from watching the match on top of a van.

55 mins: A direct ball over the top gets Arsenal up the pitch. Vieira gets hold of it and flicks the ball to Saka, who cuts inside and shoots beyond McGinty but Bate is on the line to stop the shot.

53 mins: “There’s nothing happening in the middle of the park for Arsenal,” suggests Charles Antaki. “Lokonga is doing a very thin impersonation of Granit Xhaka, and Elneny just can’t do the take, turn and distribute that makes Partey so influential. Changes?”

Things do not seem to be improving.

51 mins: Martinelli shows some skill on the left to turn Anderson inside and out but his cross is straight at a yellow shirt. The ball goes behind but the officials give a throw-in for some reason. Tierney launches it and Anderson clears.

49 mins: Brown sends a hopeful pace that goes between two Arsenal defenders, allowing Taylor a chance of reaching it but Turner comes out quickly to smother his toe-poke.

Matt Turner thwarts Matty Taylor.
Matt Turner thwarts Matty Taylor. Photograph: James Marsh/REX/Shutterstock

47 mins: Nketiah drives for the area and has options either side; he could play in Vieira on his right but fails to do so and eventually the danger is alleviated. Arsenal’s decision making is poor.

Second half

Here we go again!

We have a broad appeal.

“Why a harsh penalty?” asks Tim Stappard. “It was a penalty nowadays. Arsenal look rubbish.”

I just think his arm has to go down like that to break his fall.

Mary Waltz wants to take the positives out of that half: “Keeping a clean sheet against the Gunners, even for just one half, is a small victory for Oxford. They will lose but they have to be happy.”

I would like to apologise for suggesting that Arsenal looked half decent at one point.

Andy ‘not that one’ Flintoff: “Re Stuart Campbell at 38 mins – as soon as the referees clamp down on unsporting behaviour (shouting at assistants, arguing with the ref, diving etc), they get pilloried for victimising players, when all they’re doing is enforcing the laws of the game, so they can’t really win. Admittedly, it would help if the various FAs supported them in doing so, rather than back down as soon as there’s any blowback.”

Half time: Oxford 0-0 Arsenal

We are yet to have a shot on target.

45 mins: One minute added on.

44 mins: A long Tierney throw is flicked on to Nketiah inside the six-yard box but he mistimes his shot and volleys the ball nowhere near the net.

42 mins: Martinelli gets the ball off Anderson on the halfway and looks to sprint away. He makes it to the edge of the box but the defender gets back to him and performs a perfect tackle.

40 mins: Arsenal seem to be getting a little frustrated with themselves at their inability to threaten the Oxford goal. We are yet to have a shot on target.

38 mins: Samuel Campbell ponders: “Although I think that probably could have been a penalty why is the referee allowing the Arsenal players and Gabriel in particular who will have run from centre half, to surround him and get in his face like that. Start handing out cards and it will soon stop. For some reason the powers that be in football seem to want to encourage this behaviour.”

I suspect the lack of VAR will have Arsenal more keen to put pressure on the referee.

Referee David Coote ignores the Gunners protests.
Referee David Coote ignores the Gunners protests. Photograph: Ashley Western/Colorpsort/REX/Shutterstock

36 mins: Lokonga thwacks a shot at goal but it hits Moore on the arm and goes out for a corner. It would be a harsh penalty but that does not stop the Arsenal players surrounding the ref. There is, however, no VAR tonight.

34 mins: Tierney drives from the left flank into the box, laying it off to Saka, who can’t find space to shoot and sends it back to Vieira to put in a bad cross.


Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *