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Dublin: 12 °C Tuesday 15 October, 2019


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Good evening and welcome along to our minute-by-minute coverage of this highly-anticipated FA Cup fourth round clash between Arsenal and Manchester United.

A fixture which needs no introduction, two of the Premier League-era’s oldest foes come face off tonight in the stand-out game of the round under the floodlights at the Emirates.

The Ole Gunnar Solskjaer revolution shows no signs of letting up and with seven wins on the bounce heading into tonight’s game his Manchester United side will fancy their chances in London.

If a potential top four finish is not enough to secure the Norwegian the top job on a permanent basis, perhaps the FA Cup could be the cherry on top which could give him the nod.

Arsenal v Manchester United - FA Cup - Fourth Round - Emirates Stadium Source: EMPICS Sport

Arsenal, meanwhile, are on their own run of form lately. Unai Emery’s men looked like potentially slipping away from the running for a Champions League place, but crowbarred their way back into contention with a crucial 2-0 win at home to Chelsea on Saturday.

These sides are the two most successful in the history of this competition and boast 25 FA Cups shared between them. That semi-final in 1999, Giggs’ goal, Keane vs Vieira and the shoot-out in in Cardiff back in 2005, there are an abundance of iconic FA Cup moments from this fixture down through the years. Here’s hoping this is another one to remember.

Kick-off at the Emirates is coming up in just over an hour at the peculiar time of 7.55pm.

Let’s get started with the team news…

So, this evening’s teams will line out as:

Arsenal: Cech; Maitland-Niles, Sokratis, Koscielny, Kolasinac; Torreira, Xhaka; Iwobi, Ramsey, Aubameyang; Lacazette.

Substitutes: Leno, Mustafi, Monreal, Lichtsteiner, Elneny, Guendouzi, Ozil.

Man United: Romero; Young, Bailly, Lindelof, Shaw; Herrera, Matic, Pogba; Lingard, Lukaku, Alexis.

Substitutes: Grant, Dalot, Jones, Fred, Mata, Martial, Rashford.

TEAM NEWS: Unai Emery makes a number of changes from the side which beat Chelsea last weekend. Petr Cech returns in goal to replace Bernd Leno, while Ainsley Maitland-Niles comes in for Hector Bellerin at the back. Alex Iwobi replaces Mattéo Guendouzi in midfield to line up alongside Ramsey and Aubameyang, with Lacazette up top.

TEAM NEWS: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer also makes a number of changes from the side which defeated Brighton 2-1 on Saturday. Sergio Romero replaces David De Gea between the sticks, while Eric Bailly and Luke Shaw come in at the back in place of Phil Jones and Diogo Dalot. Midfield remains as is, but both Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez come in to replace Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial up front.

Right, half an hour to go before kick-off. How do we see this one going? Let us know below!

Poll Results:

Man United win (361)
Arsenal win (132)


An early corner for Manchester United is easily cleared as Alexis Sanchez causes a few issues for Ainsley Maitland-Niles, forcing the defender to boot the ball out of play behind his own goal. The forward receives a light chorus of boos playing against his former club.


Interesting early set-up from Solskjaer here. Romelu Lukaku has drifted out to the right wing, with Jesse Lingard taking up that central role in front. They are joined by Alexis Sanchez in applying a lot of pressure, running in packs at Sokratis and Koscielny.

Arsenal v Manchester United - FA Cup - Fourth Round - Emirates Stadium Source: EMPICS Sport


Good opportunity for a first sight at goal for Arsenal at the other end. Alex Iwobi does well down the left wing before finding Alexandre Lacazette with a cross into the penalty area. The French striker did well to pull away from his marker, but his first touch is well off — the ball bouncing off his shin and out of play.


Some really good attacking play from Arsenal here. The hosts are getting a lot of luck down that left wing, this time it’s Sead Kolasinac who crosses, but Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang shoots wide of the target. Good start for Unai Emery’s men early doors.



A brilliant piece of play from Paul Pogba sees Man United respond at the other end following a solid period of Arsenal pressure. Pogba takes possession outside the box, before fooling Sokratis with a clever exchange of passes with Jesse Lingard. He tries to chip the ball over Petr Cech who is forced to come from his line, but the goalkeeper does well to smoother the ball and force it clear.


That was the best chance of the game so far, but Arsenal are still dictating the match in terms of possession. Granit Xhaka and Lucas Torreira are seeing a lot of the ball sitting in front of their back four, and Alex Iwobi is getting a lot of success on the counter up against Ashley Young.

Arsenal v Manchester United - FA Cup - Fourth Round - Emirates Stadium Source: John Walton


A bit of worry for Arsenal fans now as Sokratis goes down injured after contesting a high ball alongside Jesse Lingard. There was no clash in the air, but it seems to be the way in which the big Greek defender landed. He seemed to pull the back of his knee and could be forced to come off here.


In tonight’s other FA Cup fourth round match, Ireland international Callum O’Dowda has given Bristol City the lead against Bolton Wanderers. A fine, fine finish too.


Yep, Sokratis‘ night is over prematurely here after just 20 minutes. The 30-year-old did come back on for a brief few moments to see if he could continue after hurting the back of his knee, but immediately he pulled up again and signalled to the bench that he wasn’t right. He is replaced by Shkodran Mustafi off the bench.


Ashley Young comes out on top against Alex Iwobi with some calm and measured defending to see the ball away from danger. The pair are providing an intense one on one battle early on in this game. Very intriguing.


Chances at both ends at the game explodes into life. At one end Aubameyang forces a low save from Sergio Romero at his front post, before Man United break away quickly on the counter. Lingard crosses, but Lukaku can’t provide the finishing touch as the ball floats past the number nine and out the other side of the box. It easily could have been 1-0 at either end there.

Arsenal v Manchester United - FA Cup - Fourth Round - Emirates Stadium Source: John Walton


End-to-end stuff at the moment now. Alexandre Lacazette powers a strong, left-footed effort hurtling towards Romero, but the Argentinian again keeps his composure to save with relative ease. The goalkeeper has done well so far tonight, with big gloves to fill replacing David de Gea between the sticks.


GOOOOOOOAL! It had to be him, oh it just had to be him. Alexis Sanchez scores against his former club to give Manchester United the lead at the Emirates. It’s all about the pass from Romelu Lukaku, however, with the Belgian playing Sanchez clean through with the deftest of passes from just outside the box. Sanchez rounds Cech and slots it into an empty net.


GOOOOOOOAL! Man United double their lead with two goals in the space of three minutes. It’s another excellent assist from Romelu Lukaku, who crosses from the right to pick out Jesse Lingard. He takes one touch to set himself up and one more to slot the ball into Petr Cech’s bottom corner for 2-0. Incredible.

Arsenal v Manchester United - FA Cup - Fourth Round - Emirates Stadium Source: John Walton



Out of no-where this game has been turned on its head. Arsenal were all over the place at the back for both goals, at sixes and sevens. United’s front three took full advantage and you have to give a lot of credit to the vision of Romelu Lukaku for both goals. Excellent passes in both cases. Unai Emery’s men have a mountain to climb here.



Arsenal try and respond with a short corner. Aaron Ramsey plays it to Alexandre Lacazette, who in turn tries to flick it on. But Ashley Young is smart to the danger and hoofs the ball high and away. That was one right off the training ground, but it just didn’t manage to come off.


GOOOOOOAL! Arsenal halve the deficit right before the break and we have a game on our hands now lads. Aaron Ramsey does brilliantly down the left wing to dance and dribble his way to the byline. He then sends an inviting ball right across goal and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is the free man at the back post to poke it home with no-one in his way. Game on.

Arsenal v Chelsea - Premier League - Emirates Stadium Source: Chris Radburn


It looked like Manchester United might have run away with this with those two quick-fire goals in succession, one after the other in devastating fashion. But Emery’s men haven’t let the head drop and have managed to find a way back into this. They have a renewed sense of confidence now and perfect timing right before half-time.


There will be three minutes of stoppage time to come at the end of the first half.


Alexandre Lacazette does well down the right and forces a late corner off Luke Shaw. Granit Xhaka provides the delivery, but it’s headed clear at the first hurdle. Arsenal are going for the equaliser late on here.

Arsenal v Manchester United - FA Cup - Fourth Round - Emirates Stadium Source: EMPICS Sport


Wow, what a first half. Manchester United powered into a two goal cushion with goals from Alexis Sanchez and Jesse Lingard but right when you thought this game was swinging one way, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang halves the deficit from close range before the break. A chaotic, but thoroughly enjoyable 45 minutes. Plenty more action to come shortly!


Save! A sublime stop from Sergio Romero denies Aaron Ramsey what looked to be a certain equaliser. Ainsley Maitland-Niles provided the cross and Ramsey got serious neck muscles behind his header aimed towards the top corner, but Romero had lightning-quick reactions to claw the ball up and over the crossbar.


Arsenal very much going for it now, carrying that momentum they had at the end of the first half right into the second half. Alex Iwobi lines up a curling shot from outside the box after a host of nearly-misses from his team-mates, but his shot is blocked down by Victor Lindelöf.


Paul Pogba takes possession outside the box and drifts past one challenge before going down looking for a free-kick. There may have been some contact, but referee Craig Pawson is not interested and instead waves play on to the midfielder’s frustration.

Britain Soccer FA Cup Source: Matt Dunham


Arsenal constantly knocking on the door here, but no luck in front of goal. Aaron Ramsey tentatively dribbles into the box but right when he was ready to pull the trigger the ball slipped out of reach with a heavy touch.


At the other end Man United try and add to their advantage with a free-kick from outside the area. Romelu Lukaku stands over it, but he balloons a really poor effort well and truly over the crossbar.


Laurent Koscielny is down on the ground requiring medical treatment after he came together with Romelu Lukaku. The United striker was backing up and accidentally saw his boot backheel the Arsenal defender’s face on the ground. Koscielny is bleeding at the moment after a cut emerged on his cheek as the game comes to a pause.


Unfortunately Laurent Koscielny’s night is over. The defender took a serious knock to the face and to his jaw there. He seemed to want to continue, but his jaw is causing him a serious amount of pain and he won’t be in a position to play on. He is replaced by Matteo Guendouzi off the bench as play resumes after an eight minute delay.

Arsenal v Manchester United - FA Cup - Fourth Round - Emirates Stadium Source: EMPICS Sport


Right before that injury Mesut Özil was also sprung from the bench by Unai Emery. The German has not been a starter for the Gunners of late, but he comes on now to try and make an impact, replacing Alex Iwobi up front for the final half an hour.


Close from Arsenal again as the game tries to restore to that high-flying tempo. Ramsey takes possession just outside the box but curls a strong effort just wide of Sergio Romero’s top corner.


A double switch for Man United now as Romelu Lukaku is replaced by Marcus Rashford and Alexis Sanchez comes off for Anthony Martial. Arsenal still on top, but are struggling to find any sort of penetration in the second half so far. Time is slowly slipping away but clearly Ole Gunnar Solskjaer fancies one more goal to try and put this game to bed.


A sustained period of pressure from Arsenal as Romero is forced to save from Alexandre Lacazette. The ball eventually falls to Granit Xhaka on the edge of the box, but he drives his shot high and over the crossbar.


Frustration grows and grows for Arsenal as Matteo Guendouzi sends a poor effort off target. Moments before Jesse Lingard picked up a yellow card for dissent after being called back for a foul. He argued his case that it was a fair 50/50 challenge on Sead Kolasinac, but referee Craig Pawson disagreed.


Alexandre Lacazette sees an opening on the edge of the box and gets ready to pull the trigger, but Luke Shaw stands his ground and gets an important block in at the last second. Great defending.

GOOOOOAL! Manchester United may have put this game beyond any doubt. Paul Pogba surges through midfield with time and space on his side. He tries his luck with a shot from outside the box which Petr Cech parries, but Anthony Martial is on hand to provide the killer finish from close range to make it 3-1.


It’s all kicking off now as both sets of players get rowdy on the sideline. Jesse Lingard argues with Sead Kolasinac after the Arsenal defender and Marcus Rashford squared up and went head-to-head. Kolasinac picks up a yellow card, as does Rashford. A very heated exchange involving a whole host of players from both sides.


There will be a decent chunk of stoppage time to be added on following that injury suffered by Laurent Koscielny, but Arsenal will require a minor miracle here to get anything out of this game. They trail by two with five minutes of normal time to go.


Jesse Lingard is replaced by Phil Jones off the bench. He appeared to get quite worked up during those exchanges with the Arsenal players and — already on a yellow card — his manager takes no risks and brings him off.


There will be ten minutes of stoppage time to come at the end of the second half.


Arsenal pushing and probing but can’t seem to find anyway through here. That third goal from Martial was a real sucker bunch which has proved decisive. Emery’s men did look like drawing level a number of times, but is appears to be too late now as stoppage time runs away from them.

Well, there we have it. It’s eight wins on the hop for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Manchester United are through to the fifth round of the FA Cup. Another impressive display which makes it even harder for Ed Woodward & Co. to consider not giving him the gig full-time. Arsenal looked promising after Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang halved the deficit, but a late second-half goal from Anthony Martial put the result beyond doubt. Thanks a million for joining us tonight — you can read our full report here.  Cya!

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About the author:

Aaron Gallagher


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