1 - 0 Olivier Giroud 38'
2 - 0 Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain 57'
3 - 0 Andrei Arshavin 64'
4 - 0 Theo Walcott 74'
4 - 1 Callum Ball 79'
5 - 1 Ignasi Miquel 81'
6 - 1 Theo Walcott 90'
Arsenal started slowly tonight against League One side Coventry City, not generating any kind of threat for the first half hour, but when the Gunners got rolling, Olivier Giroud scoring his first goal on 38 minutes, it was all running downhill from there against a side that Arsenal really should have, and did, beat by a lot. Here's how all the action went down:
As far as we know, the first three minutes of the match didn't exist, because someone forgot to turn up the microphones at Arsenal Player. Arsenal started with an Olivier Giroud offside, but nine minutes in, Coventry had a good chance, Martin Angha beaten.
Theo Walcott had a couple of chances as time wore on towards 20 minutes, but he wasn't able to make any of them work out, in a week when his contract issues have really come to the fore again. Granted, he hasn't had much football lately, but the longer Coventry stayed level, the harder things were going to get for Arsenal. Francis Coquelin was brought down cynically from behind on 20 minutes, but Adam Barton escaped without a booking. A couple minutes later, Andrei Arshavin turned and immediately nearly played Walcott through, but just missed the connection. Walcott tried to score with the outside of his foot from an Arshavin corner on 25 minutes, but missed the target.
At that point, if Walcott just stopped and sat down, he probably would have been about as useful. He missed Olivier Giroud with a cross a minute later. Giroud forced a save, finally, from Joe Murphy on 37 minutes. Angha put in a good cross a couple minutes later, but Giroud didn't arrive on time and Coventry cleared.
Then it came. It finally happened. Arshavin played the ball to Coquelin, who slid it through to Giroud, and the Frenchman didn't miss, calming chipping it over Joe Murphy.
Ignasi Miquel tried to overhead kick a shot in off a corner on 43' before Mike Jones blew up for halftime.
Arsenal rang precisely zero changes for the second half, and Coventry didn't either. 48 minutes in, Arshavin ran behind the Coventry defense and was brought down, winning a penalty. Before Giroud could take it, though, there was a small pitch invasion, two supporters icing Giroud.
It worked, because Murphy saved his penalty well. Coventry took a little wind from that save, Carl Baker winning a free kick on 53 minutes which was headed down but not on target. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain decided he was fed up, and struck from 24 yards, and scored, because he is awesome.
2-0 Arsenal, 57'.
Coventry weren't giving up; Stephen Elliott couldn't quite bring it down on 63 minutes in the area before Ox brought it up and had another shot that Murphy had to save. Giroud was causing problems still, too, getting behind the Coventry defense trying to get on the end of passes. A minute later, he would, and after an interchange, he fed Arshavin, who buried it.
3-0 Arsenal, 64'.
Johan Djourou nearly scored with a diving header a couple minutes later, and Coventry broke hard on the counter, but Elliott blazed his shot over the bar. He came off a couple minutes later, Callum Ball taking his place. Arsenal rang the changes, Emmanuel Frimpong, Serge Gnabry, and Marouane Chamakh coming on, while Ox, Coquelin, and Giroud came off.
Theo then scored. So...uh...sure. Sure Theo! Score now. It was a brilliant goal, though, Nico Yennaris sliding him through on the right and Theo blazing past Coventry defenders before placing it home.
4-0 Arsenal, 74'.
Coventry weren't giving up, though, and on 79 minutes, Callum Ball had a good take and scored. 4-1, no more clean sheet, unreasonable anger. Gnabry nearly scored a minute later, but his curler was deflected wide. From the corner, though, the ball bounced around and Ignasi Miquel (!!!!!!!!!!) headed it home, burying a bullet at the near post.
5-1 Arsenal, 81'.
Baker nearly scored. Gnabry nearly scored. Nobody really gave a darn about defending anymore with six or seven minutes remaining. Walcott hit the side netting on 84 minutes. Arshavin played him through again a minute later, and his shot was blocked, barely. Arshavin and Walcott were running wild all over the Sky Blues as full time neared.
As the final whistle loomed, Theo brillianted again, just outpacing tired Coventry defenders, to curl in at the far corner.
6-1 Arsenal, 90'.
Martinez made a good save on Gary McSheffrey in extra time before Mike Jones brought proceedings to a close.