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Arsenal 3-1 Sunderland: The FA Cup defense gets off to a good start

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Arsenal turned it on after going behind and ended up winning comfortably.

today's goal brought to you by the letter "S"
today's goal brought to you by the letter "S"
Paul Gilham/Getty Images

The initial returns on Arsenal's rotated team weren't great. I believe one intelligent online commentator referred to it as a "disjointed clusterf*ck." And that was before Kieran Gibbs left Laurent Koscielny out to dry, and Kos put himself in deeper trouble by trying to do some kind of Cruyff turn. That ended in a Sunderland goal.

But the rise of Joel Campbell – somewhat unexpected, to be fair – continues unabated, and he took another step towards establishing himself as an Actual Good Player by finishing a Theo Walcott cross to equalize. The goal coming in the first half gave some hope that Arsenal would be able to find at least another.

It took a while, but it came. About five minutes after coming on alongside Mikel Arteta as a substitute, Aaron Ramsey gave Arsenal the lead. A great buildup through Campbell led to a Héctor Bellerín cross that Ramsey finished with aplomb. The lead was doubled shortly thereafter, as Olivier Giroud scored (after a fairly anonymous performance) on the other end of an amazing Bellerín assist. It was – and I don't say this lightly – Özilesque.

The draw for the fourth round comes on Monday. Arsenal remain on track to defend the FA Cup once again.