Arsenal reach FA Cup fifth round

London, Jan 28 (Agencies) | Publish Date: 1/28/2020 12:51:26 PM IST

Arsenal set up an FA Cup fifth-round tie at League One Portsmouth after holding on for a hard-fought 2-1 victory against Bournemouth.

The Gunners did not waste any time getting into their stride at the Vitality Stadium as Bukayo Saka (5) finished an excellent team move to give his side the lead before Eddie Nketiah (26) doubled Mikel Arteta’s side’s advantage.
After the break, Bournemouth searched for a way back into the game with Jack Simpson and Dan Gosling both going close, and they were eventually handed a lifeline when substitute Sam Surridge scored in the fourth minute of eight additional minutes.
Eddie Howe’s side did have one final opportunity to force a replay, but Lewis Cook’s drive failed to test goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez as the Gunners held on to extend their unbeaten run to six matches in all competitions. 
Arteta’s side flew out of the traps, taking the lead inside six minutes through Saka’s powerful drive.
The Gunners worked their way up field with a 22-pass move as Joe Willock picked out Gabriel Martinelli in the Bournemouth penalty area before the Brazilian laid the ball off to the overlapping full-back. Saka looked as though he was going square the ball across the face of Mark Travers’ goal but hammered the ball home off the underside of the crossbar.
Arsenal weren’t letting Bournemouth find any rhythm and they deservedly doubled their advantage in the 26th minute.
Saka turned provider as a well-worked Arsenal move ended with the full-back crossing for Nketiah to convert from eight yards out. VAR was asked to look at a potential offside against Martinelli in the build-up, but the Arsenal fans were soon celebrating again as the goal was given.
Bournemouth finally grabbed a foothold in the game right at the end of the first half and they almost pulled a goal back when Harry Wilson thumped a volley towards goal, but Martinez stood firm at his near post to send his side in at the break two goals to the good.
Arsenal continued to dominate without any great exertion after the break, but suffered a blow when Shkodran Mustafi was carried off just shy of the hour.
Bournemouth capitalised on the defensive readjustment to cause mayhem at a corner, but Jack Simpson headed wide with the goal at his mercy after Martinez unwisely stepped off his line.
As Arsenal looked to play out the win, Surridge popped up with a smart finish after a neat piece of control. Eight minutes of added time even allowed Bournemouth to hunt an equaliser, but Cook blasted over from 18 yards as the Gunners held on.
Arsenal play next Sunday when they travel to Burnley in a Premier League fixture.

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