Arsenal have booked their place in the FA Cup Semi-Final at Wembley with a 5-0 win over non-league outfit Lincoln City at the Emirates Stadium this evening.
The Gunners, who set out to avoid an upset with a strong line-up, took the lead late into the first-half, but goals from Alexis Sánchez, Aaron Ramsey and Olivier Giroud added greater comfort en route to victory in the second period.
Fresh from midweek disappointment in the UEFA Champions League, the under-fire Arsène Wenger looked towards Kieran Gibbs, Petr Čech and Ramsey to freshen up a side that lost 5-1 at home to Bayern Munich on Tuesday, with the latter putting his name behind Arsenal’s first real chance with a shot directed wide from the edge of the box after nine minutes of football.
Theo Walcott sought for better luck than the Welshman and almost brought joy for the hosts with a first-time volley that required Paul Farman between the sticks to push the effort onto the post.
At the other end, Lincoln’s Nathan Arnold made the underdogs dream with a mazy run into Arsenal’s box which ended with the winger pulling a fingertip save out of Čech on the half-hour-mark.
Walcott emerged once more as the sharpest tool in the box, this time reacting to Sánchez’s cross before anyone else, but the Englishman’s left-footed shot did little to trouble Farman.
A Mesut Özil cross that almost crept in at the far-post sprung Arsenal into life on the brink of half-time, with Walcott finally breaking the deadlock with a deflected effort inside the box in the 46th minute.
The goalscorer turned provider in the second-half when following up a strike from Olivier Giroud to set Gibbs for a free header, but the left back fluffed his lines and headed the ball over the desired target four minutes in.
This was a different Arsenal, however, who were knocking on Lincoln’s door again by the 53rd minute, as Héctor Bellerín fashioned some space for himself in a passing move and assisted Giroud for a routine tap-in.
Gibbs hit the byline in search of Frenchman to bag the third in the 57th minute, but it was Luke Waterfall who did the finishing for the striker when deflecting the cross into his own net.
Sánchez was able to show off his own capabilities when skipping past a whole host of bodies and casually curling an effort past Farman from outside of the box, as the North Londoners raced on with a 4-0 lead.
The Chilean took centre stage in Arsenal’s next move, shifting in and out before delivering a low ball into the far post that was met by Ramsey and taken around the goalkeeper for the easiest finish of the evening.
Sánchez neared a brace with a free-kick against the crossbar in the 85th minute, but 5-0 would be the final word on the quarter-final between Arsenal and Lincoln ahead of a trip to Wembley.
By Patrick Ribeiro
Petr Čech (6); Héctor Bellerín (9), Shkodran Mustafi (6), Laurent Koscielny (6), Kieran Gibbs (7); Granit Xhaka (6), Alex-Oxlade Chamberlain (5), Aaron Ramsey (6); Theo Walcott (8), Alexis Sánchez (7); Olivier Giroud (6)
Subs: Mesut Özil (7), Lucas Perez (5), Francis Coquelin (5)