English Premiership

Giroud brace sinks 'Boro

2015-02-15 20:08
Olivier Giroud (AFP)

London - A quick-fire first-half brace by Olivier Giroud was enough to give Arsenal a comfortable 2-0 victory at home to Championship high-fliers Middlesbrough, who had eliminated Manchester City in the 4th round.

The French striker opened the scoring in the 27th minute at the Emirates Stadium, steering home a low cross from Kieran Gibbs.

Arsenal, who handed a debut to new defender Gabriel, added a second goal barely two minutes later when Giroud capitalised on inattentive marking to meet Alexis Sanchez's left-sided corner with a deft near-post volley.

Middlesbrough's best moment arrived deep in stoppage time, when Spanish striker Kike headed against the post.

Earlier, a half-time rallying cry from new manager Tim Sherwood inspired Aston Villa to beat Premier League rivals Leicester City 2-1 at Villa Park and book their place in the last eight.

Leicester enjoyed the best of the first half, but Sherwood, watching from the stands after being appointed as the successor to Paul Lambert on Saturday, made a visit to the home changing room at the interval and Villa were a different team in the second period.

Leandro Bacuna's 68th-minute curler put them ahead and a blunder by Leicester's Australian goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer allowed substitute Scott Sinclair to make it 2-0 before Andrej Kramaric headed in a late consolation.

On Sherwood's half-time intervention, Villa assistant manager Scott Marshall said: "Yeah, he came in there and made a few points to the lads. The boys took them on board and delivered it in the second half."

The fifth round concludes on Monday when Manchester United visit League One side Preston North End for their third consecutive away tie against lower-league opposition.

Read more on:    arsenal  |  fa cup  |  olivier giroud  |  soccer

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Sunderland v Arsenal, Stadium of Light 13:30
Manchester United v Burnley, Old Trafford 16:00
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