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Leyton Orient 1 - 1 Arsenal: FA Cup match report

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0 - 1 Tomas Rosicky 53'
1 - 1 Jonathan Tehoue 88'

Arsenal were denied an FA cup fifth-round victory at Brisbane Road after a late Jonathan Tehoue strike cancelled out a Tomas Rosicky header with a little under two minutes remaining.  The replay will take place on Wednesday, March 2, with the winner off to Old Trafford to take on Manchester United in the sixth round.

It was a mostly drab affair, but perhaps it was always going to be so after the excitement of the Barcelona match four days prior.  Arsène Wenger made ten changes to the side that faced the Spanish champions, only Alex Song making an encore.  Manuel Almunia deputized in goal for Wojciech Szczesny; Bacary Sagna, Sebastien Squillaci, reserves captain Ignasi Miquel, and Kieran Gibbs formed the back four; Denilson and Tomas Rosicky replaced Jack Wilshere and Cesc Fabregas, and up front, Andrei Arshavin, Marouane Chamakh, and Nicklas Bendtner all started.

Wholesale changes often bring about a lack of coordination, and today would fall into that pattern, as Arsenal, for all their possessive dominance, rarely found fluency in attack and at times looked questionable at the back.  Miquel, for all his inexperience, had a mostly solid day, breaking up an Orient attack eight minutes in.  The first half was a jumble of bad touches, wide efforts, and nearly-theres, Chamakh having the best chance for either side on 35 minutes, sliding in but only managing to poke a Gibbs cross wide of the far post.

The second half began much as the first had ended.  Orient brought on Thomas Carroll for Jason Crowe, Arsenal made no changes.  Nine minutes in, however, the visitors had scraped a goal from an unlikely place.  Nicklas Bendtner, playing in from the right, looped a cross into the box, and Tomas Rosicky, of all people, glanced the header expertly home at the foot of the far post past a despairing Jamie Jones.  Arsenal had finally managed to extract a goal from a cloggy and resolute O's defense after failing to find much room in front of goal.

Chances were few and far between as the second half continued.  Rosicky produced a really good save from Jones fifteen minutes after scoring with a low effort before Alex Revell ran up the other end and had a good effort on Almunia's goal.  The game slowed considerably again after this brief flurry, although Orient were beginning to press harder.  Seven minutes from time, a shot hit Squillaci full in the right side of his face and deflected away, the Frenchman needing a minute to collect himself.

Arshavin raced through four minutes later and cracked a shot off the outside of the far post, and then it all came undone for Arsenal.  Substitute Tehoue dribbled around Gibbs and Miquel, found himself free in on goal from 15 yards, and beat Almunia low.  All three involved Arsenal parties should have done about 200% better, but Orient would not care, as the team held out through four minutes of extra time to earn the draw and a payday at the Emirates at the start of March.

Full-time stats from Orbinho:

Leyton Orient v Arsenal Shots 8-22 On target 3-6 Fouls 9-6 Duels Won 56%-44% Passing accuracy 63%-87% Possession 28%-72%