Arsenal 0 Blackburn Rovers 1

This was set up for the fall. Arsenal dominate, and with their first assault on Wojcech Szczesny’s goal, Colin Kazim-Richards’ mis hit shot finds the target for the winning goal to dump the Gunners out of the FA Cup. It was the first time Arsene Wenger’s side has lost an FA Cup tie to a side from a lower division, and spoke volumes of the lack of the level of the depth of this Arsenal squad.

Not only will Arsenal fans find this to be the lowest point in the Wenger era, but also the manner in which the Gunners have misfired to lower league teams in both domestic cup competitions will get those demanding Wenger go, an even greater platform to shout from. Somewhere in Baveria, news will reach Bayern Munich of what transpired in north London. The Bundesliga outfit already buoyed with the news of Pep Guardiola agreeing to take over from next season, will hardly arrive at the Emirates fearing a once mighty Arsenal in their Champions League last 16 first leg tie on Tuesday.

Arsenal may have dominated the possession, but Rovers were set up to defend and they did that very well. When they were breached, a combination of poor Arsenal finishing, and fine saves from Jake Kean in the Rovers’ goal was to deny the Gunners.

For all the times that Arsenal fans have questioned Gervinho’ ability in the Premiership – his five Premiership goals notwithstanding, we saw the nub of their frustration two minutes before the break. After a quick interchange of passes from Abou Diaby and Tomas Rosicky, Gervinho found himself clear of the last defender. With only Kean in his vision, the Ivorian hit his shot low and hard, but woefully wide. For a player at this level of the game, that was just not acceptable.

He was not the only culprit either. Earlier, Diaby rose well and got power behind his header that was thundering in, until Kean saved for a corner. It was to be a familiar theme. A total of sixteen corners, twelve in the opening 45 minutes alone, was insufficient for the Gunners to open the scoring, and they would be would be made to pay dearly for that profligacy.

Szczesny would have felt that his afternoon would be an easy one, and in the absence of any real Rovers’ threat we could understand why. Further poor Arsenal finishing followed, bar the excellent strike from Rosicky which clipped the bar, with Kean beaten.

Wenger had seen enough and elected to bring on Theo Walcott, Santi Cazorla and Jack Wilshere for Gernvinho, Alex Oxlade- Chamberlain, and Rosicky respectively. The changes had barely been made, when Rovers took the lead. Martin Olsson let fly with a shot that Szczesny parried into the danger zone, where Kazim – Richards pounced. The Turkish striker was brought up not too far away from the Emirates stadium, and sought the corner of the jubilant Rovers fans to celebrate.

This wasn’t in the script, and Arsenal stormed forward in search of the leveller. Wilshere crossed for Walcott to head straight into Kean’s arms. Having his first taste of FA Cup action, Nacho Monreal elected to shoot when Olivier Giroud was well placed. With seconds remaining. Giroud was unable to shake off his marker to meet another Wilshere cross, with Mikel Arteta blasting into the side netting for the follow up.

A very disappointing game all around was unsurprisingly meet with a chorus of boos at the final whistle, as Arsenal were dumped out in the FA Cup fifth round.