London - Arsenal have set up an FA Cup quarter-final meeting with Everton after
overcoming Liverpool 2-1 in a feisty and gripping fifth-round match at
the Emirates Stadium on Sunday.
Liverpool had trounced Arsenal 5-1
at Anfield in the Premier League last weekend, but the London club took
revenge through goals in each half by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Lukas
Steven Gerrard halved Arsenal's advantage with a 59th-minute penalty after Podolski was adjudged to have tripped Luis Suarez.
visitors felt they should have been awarded a second spot-kick moments
later after Oxlade-Chamberlain appeared to foul Suarez, but their
appeals were dismissed by referee Howard Webb.
Victory in a game
splattered with yellow cards means that Arsenal will host Everton in the
last eight, but they will have bruises to nurse ahead of Wednesday's
meeting with Bayern Munich in the Champions League last 16.
Arsenal brought seven new faces into their team, Liverpool made only
three changes, and the opening exchanges threatened a repeat of last
weekend's game, when the Merseysiders had raced 4-0 up inside 20
Daniel Sturridge spurned two excellent chances to put
Liverpool ahead in the first five minutes, first drawing a near-post
save from Lukasz Fabianski after racing onto Gerrard's slide-rule pass.
England striker then squandered an even clearer opportunity, gathering a
scooped pass from Suarez and rounding Fabianski, only to shoot into the
side netting with his weaker right foot.
Arsenal manager Arsene
Wenger said that his side's demolition at Anfield had made them
"nervous" during their mid-week 0-0 draw with Manchester United, but
they were not cowed by Liverpool's bright opening.
took the game to the visitors, and after Liverpool goalkeeper Brad Jones
had tipped a Per Mertesacker header over the bar, they took the lead in
the 16th minute.
Liverpool could only partially clear a
free-kick, allowing Mesut Ozil to send the ball back into the box from
the right, and when Yaya Sanogo's volley was blocked by Gerrard,
Oxlade-Chamberlain stroked the loose ball home.
have doubled Arsenal's lead when he blazed over following a raid by
Ozil, but Suarez provided a reminder of Liverpool's threat late in the
half with a half-volley that Fabianski scrambled away.
Uruguayan was at it again early in the second period, bamboozling
Laurent Koscielny and testing Fabianski with a low shot, but barely a
minute later Arsenal doubled their lead.
the creator, exchanging passes with Ozil on the right flank and then
charging powerfully to the byline before cutting the ball square for
Podolski to clip a shot beneath Jones.
Suarez and Sturridge each
threatened to pull a goal back, with Ozil working Jones with a low drive
at the other end in between, before Podolski's trip on Suarez allowed
Gerrard to score from the penalty spot.
As evening fell and the
tension in the stadium mounted, Fabianski had to save at Sturridge's
feet and Liverpool were then denied what appeared a clear penalty when
Oxlade-Chamberlain felled Suarez.
The England midfielder took a
swing at the ball and missed, clattering Suarez with his boot and
sending him crashing to the deck, but Webb awarded a goal-kick.
shot straight at Fabianski as the visitors continued to push for an
equaliser, while Daniel Agger gave Arsenal a late scare when he beat
Fabianski to a Gerrard free-kick, only to head the ball wide.