Arsenal fightback stuns Villa

2012-01-29 20:03
Robin van Persie and Theo Walcott (AP)

London - Arsenal staged a remarkable recovery from 2-0 down to beat Aston Villa 3-2 and keep their FA Cup hopes alive with a dramatic fourth round win at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday.

The Gunners, without a major trophy since winning the FA Cup seven years ago, were booed off by their own fans at half-time after a Richard Dunne header and Darren Bent strike had put Premier League rivals Villa 2-0 in front.

But three goals in eight second half minutes courtesy of two Robin van Persie penalties separated by a Theo Walcott effort, after an Alan Hutton clearance rebounded in off the England international, turned the match on its head.

Arsenal, still in the Champions League but 18 points behind Premier League leaders Manchester City, will now play either Sunderland or second-tier Middlesbrough in the last 16 after they drew 1-1 earlier on Sunday.

Middlesbrough were on course for an upset win at north-east rivals Sunderland's Stadium of Light when Barry Robson gave them a 16th minute lead with a spectacular volley.

But the hosts levelled just shy of the hour mark when Fraizer Campbell struck a first time shot from a cross by James McClean after Robson's poor attempted back pass gifted Sunderland possession.

Results on Sunday in English soccer (home teams listed first):

FA Cup

Fourth Round

Arsenal 3, Aston Villa 2
Sunderland 1, Middlesbrough 1


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