FA Cup 5th round Leyton Orient 1 v Arsenal 1

Just before kick-off of their FA Cup 5th round clash with Leyton Orient, Arsene Wenger will have seen the Gunners drawn away to Manchester United in the quarter-finals, but the small matter of getting past Orient was still on his agenda. Fast forward 90 minutes and Wenger is still left none the wiser as to that anticipated clash at Old Trafford after late drama in the east end of London saw substitute Jonathan Tenhoue level for the home side. Tomas Rosicky had headed Arsenal into a 53rd minute lead as the Gunners looked comfortable and on track to face United.


They talk about the romance, the magic, the mystery of the FA Cup and it could be argued that all were present at Orient, who have now secured a lucrative replay that could see the League 1 club turn a profit for the season. For Wenger it will be another fixture his players could have done without, but then the personal trusted to achieve the win that Arsenal needed just did not do what was required. Wenger made ten changes from the starting line up that beat Barcelona mid-week, giving a debut to 18 year old Ignasi Miquel in central defence.


The Gunners were into their stride from the off, comfortably playing their passing game, but not creating any clear cut chance. Having netted 11 times in his first Premiership season Marouane Chamakh has not scored since late November last year, and given his touch and apparent lack of confidence, that scenario did not look likely to change, and especially after the Morocco forward hit wide after Kieran Gibbs and Andrey Arshavin worked an opening from the left. Nicklas Bendtner was given another right sided role and his pass to Andrey Arshavin was hit over by the Russian when when placed.


Eight minutes after the break, Arsenal took the lead. Bendtner found Rosicky whose header from 10 yards out was guided beyond the full stretch of Jones. The sell out 9,136 urged their team to attack, and with 20 minutes remaining the lively Tenhoue was introduced. Still Arsenal looked comfortable with Alex Song and Denilson mopping up in midfield, but a minute before full time, Orient levelled. Tenhoue had no right to go past both Gibbs and Ignasi, but he did and let fly with a shot that Manuel Almunia will feel he should have done better to save. Still 1-1 is how it finished and Wenger will have to reshuffle his pack for the replay at the Emirates, on March 2nd, with United awaiting the victors.