Brighton vs. Arsenal: Match Report

Mike Hewitt

Arsenal overcome two Brighton equalizers and, thanks to a deflected Theo Walcott goal late in the match, hang on for the 3-2 win in the 4th round of the FA Cup

6th - The Ox sent in a high cross from the right into the box, which was headed out for a corner. Ref came over to ask what everyone was doing for dinner before the corner was taken. The corner kick was dealt with properly by Brighton and play resumed.

9th - Brighton's first threat on goal turned out to be a cross-shot that bounced in front of jumping Szczesny and out for a corner. So far, so good.

11th - Rosicky found himself with the ball, space for days and an unobstructed run at Brighton's back line. Lopez appeared to test the ref's strictness and tripped Rosicky just as entered into the attacking zone. Yellow card.

14th - Stop me if you've heard this before: Mertesacker was found planted and exposed as Lopez escaped him in little space and took a dangerous shot. Offsides was called just as his shot was unleashed wide right.

16th - On the break from the near-goal for Brighton, Arsenal countered brilliantly as Rosicky found Podolski in the middle and dished perfectly to Giroud, who found just enough space stepping back from his marker and slotted home the shot past the diving keeper in the upper left for the first goal of the match. 1-0 Arsenal.

18th - A clear strategy appears to be coming through as Arsenal attack from middle and right; Poldoski, in possession 30 yards out directly in front of the goal, fed Oxlade-Chamberlain on his right, who again sent in a cross that was headed out for a corner. Ref wanted to make sure he heard everyone correctly and reconfirmed where everyone was meeting out afterwards. Corner again dealt with ease.

21st - Diaby is still playing. EMT personnel and various local hospital staff are still on standby, however.

22nd - Another Brighton cross-shot looked like it might cause our Polish keeper trouble; the cross sailed just above the upper left corner and out for a goal kick.

26th - Yet another corner for Arsenal. Oxlade-Chamberlain attempts to find Mertesacker, but the cross lacks the height needed to get to the BFG; handled with care by the 'gulls.

27th - MOAR CORNERS PLZ. Again, the Oxlade-Chamberlain corner fails to find his target - this time it's Koscielny - as it ends up in the arms of the keeper.

29th - Andre Santos made a spectacular tackle out wide and did the most Andre Santos thing ever: he stupidly followed up a brilliant tackle with an easy give-away in a dangerous position and, had it not been for a player just past our back line, the score would have leveled. Still 1-0, but it's getting a bit sloppy for the Gunners.

32nd - Brighton's first corner, thanks to Santos, ends up on the head of Barnes and hammers it with power past a terrible, passive display of keeping by Szczesny, who isn't helped out by his teammates who appear to not be ready for the kick. The camera pans to the celebrating Brighton supporters, one who is smashing the visiting supporters with both his middle fingers. 1-1.

35th - A camera shot of the linesman reveals him to be none other than San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers. Gus Poyet gesticulates wildly at no one in particular.

36th - Dickey on for the injured Greer.

38th - Corner for Arsenal. Sigh...another corner handled by Brighton.

42nd - Giroud gets fouled just outside the box. Naturally, the ref thinks he fouled himself and is awarded zero free kicks. Play resumes.

45th +1 - Santos decapitates a spectator in the stands with his attempt on goal.

45th +1 - LuaLua comes on for the injured Buckley.

45th +3 - Rosicky takes possession just wide of the box, dribbles a few times towards the center of the box and shoots just left of the goal.

Halftime. A pretty sweet Budweiser commercial comes on showing three laughing bros high-fiving each other, goofing off and wandering around what appears to be Jerusalem's Old City in search of killer beer and ladies who also enjoy smiling, laughing and high-fiving.

53rd - Oxlade-Chamberlain is fouled 25 yards out; Podolski's free kick gets above the wall and hammers the crossbar and ends up back into play and eventually out for an Arsenal corner. Brighton handle it and counter quickly; Lopez ends up firing out of play.

56th - Diaby plays a beautiful lofted ball to a cutting Giroud, who beats his marker, picks the cross out of the air perfectly and drills his first-touch shot in for his second goal of the match. Many still wonder why he hasn't scored that many goals for us. 2-1 Arsenal. Yellow to Giroud for celebrating with the away fans.

60th - Brighton threaten, but Arsenal clear it out of their end quickly and find Giroud up top with just his marker to beat. His powerful shot, though, is directly at the keeper, who punches it out of danger.

62nd - The match is becoming quicker as both sides sense urgency. This ends up hurting Arsenal as Lopez heads a perfect LuaLua cross past Szezesny, who was left exposed thanks to some awful marking by Mertesacker. This is now a trend with the German international, and his lack of mobility and overall foot speed to keep up with his responsibilities are becoming a massive liability for Arsene Wenger. 2-2.

66th - Ramsey is shown a yellow card for a late tackle.

68th - Lopez delivers a dangerous low cross in from the right as Arsenal start to lose control of the momentum. The cross is handled with care; Wenger appears to be ready to make changes as Wilshere, Walcott and Gibbs warm up on the sidelines.

69th - Walcott on for Oxlade-Chamberlain and Wilshere on for Rosicky.

71st - Twenty minutes left and no ballboy has been kicked up to this point.

73rd - Arsenal corner leads to it being cleared. Again. However, Brighton can't seem to get the ball out of the attacking zone; Koscielny gets tackled by Barnes, who is shown a yellow card. Giroud nearly gets a hat trick on the ensuing free kick as it barely sails high. Mackail-Smith on for Ulloa; Brighton are now out of substitutions.

75th - Corner, Arsenal. Wilshere's attempt is headed out by Brighton. Another corner. Another clearance by Brighton. Remind me the purpose of corners, again?

78th - Arsenal continue to attack Brighton in their zone. This goes on for a couple minutes until Santos receives a Wilshere pass and proceeds to shoot it into the nearby waters of the English Channel. Wenger decides that he's seen enough and brings on Gibbs to the delight of every Arsenal fan in the solar system. Arsenal are now out of substitutions.

82nd - Wilshere finds Gibbs barreling down the left, who crosses it into Giroud. His attempt fails, but the buildup and shot on goal are promising.

85th - Gibbs flicks the ball past two defenders and crosses, again, into Giroud, whose aerial kick is interrupted at the last-possible moment by a Brighton defender and out for a corner.

85th - Beautiful goal (FROM A CORNER!!!) by Theo Walcott; the keeper punches the corner attempt out to Walcott, whose shot is deflected from the head of a Brighton player and into the right side of the net. 3-2 Arsenal.

87th - Brighton push up nine players in an attempt to keep their FA Cup dreams alive; Jenkinson gains possession and Arsenal counter quickly. Walcott draws advantage and somehow recovers from a tackle to gain possession and gets a shot on goal. Deflected for a corner.

89th- Podolski delivers a spinning roundhouse kick just left of the goal mouth; the ensuing, powerful shot is saved by the keeper and eventually played out for a goal kick.

90th + 1 - Brighton nearly equalize; Mackail-Smith's header goes just wide left and he fruitlessly appeals for a penalty. Ref tells him they can talk more about this over dinner.

90th + 3 - Diaby gets tackled. He's still running, but may be out for up to four months depending on the severity of the tackle.

90th + 4 - Brighton's last attempt at an equalizer fails as the free kick, the push of every player and subsequent shot by LuaLua end up without the coveted goal they need to keep their run in the competition alive.

90th + 5 - Final whistle sounds. 3-2 to the Arsenal. Brighton's FA Cup run ends at home as Arsenal move on to the 5th round.

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