Arsenal 2 Tottenham Hotspur 0
(Cazorla 31, Rosicky 62)

Arsenal dumped Tottenham out of the FA cup with a scintillating display in their third round tie at the Emirates stadium on Saturday evening. Goals in each half from Santi Cazorla and Tomas Rosicky with his first strike of the season proved to be too much for the visitors. Cazorla’s arrowing strike from Serge Ganbry’s cross gave the Gunners the lead after 31 minutes. Just past the hour mark, a slip by Danny Rose on the half way line allowed Rosicky to race away and deliver the Gunners’ second with a delightful chip over the advanced Hugo Lloris. The Gunners were reduced to ten men when Theo Walcott suffered a knee injury. Arsene Wenger had used all his permitted substitutes, but despite their numerical advantage, Spurs were headed for the FA Cup exit door.

Faced with a striker crises of sorts, Wenger elected to start with Walcott at the apex of the Arsenal attack, and his pace and movement proved to be too much for Spurs in this north London derby. It was the visitors however had the first sighter at goal after Laurent Koscielny’s attempted clearance ended up in the path of Christian Eriksen. With only Lukasz Fabianksi ahead of him, Eriksen saw his shot saved for a corner.

Thomas Vermaelen and Nacho Monreal lined up in the Gunners defence, with Gnabry entrusted with combative midfield duties. The Arsenal teenager continues to impress and could have gotten on the scoresheet himself after working a neat opening with Walcott, the shot however was marginally over Lloris’s bar.

Walcott then showed his power of pace and movement which could have opened the scoring, but for Lloris to save as the Gunners ramped up the pressure. That pressure eventually proved too much for Spurs and led to Arsenal taking the deserved lead just past the half hour mark.

Bacary Sagna started the move which saw Gnabry power through the Spurs’ rearguard. Walcott pushed wide taking two markers with him, leaving Cazorla in space over on the left. Without breaking his stride, the Spain midfielder hit a low arrowed left footed drive which Lloris saw fly past him and into the net.

Arsenal were in menacing mood, passing and showing strength of a side that sits on top of the Premiership. On this kind of form, the reward their football deserves in the form of trophies, surely cannot be too far away this season. However, this FA Cup north derby still needed winning and Arsenal were up for the challenge.

It was an energetic start to proceedings thus far, with the side show of Jack Wilshere and Moussa Dembele having more than just a brief exchange of views. Having arrived at their arch rivals home, Head Coach Tim Sherwood continued with his policy of two strikers, with Robert Soldado partnering former Gunner Emmanuel Adebayor, and the Emirates faithful needed no invitation to make Adebayor aware of their sentiments towards him.

Still the game continued in an open vain, with the visitors never really making any other real threat on Fabianksi’s goal.

Vermaelen was unable to return for the restart and Per Mertersacker was called on to add his experience to the mean Gunners defence. Adebayor had a chance to grab a leveller soon after the restart, but having controlled the ball, only managed to slip and scuff his shot. Cue more derision in his direction.

Asked to play the line striker, Walcott did not look out of place. His pace and directness continued to cause all sorts of problems for the visitors. After 62 minutes however, Rosicky netted his sides’ second of the afternoon and his first goal of the season.

The last Spurs’ defender Rose tried to be too cute with the ball. Rosicky picked his pocket and raced away with the ball. Under pressure as Kyle Walker attempted to retrieve the danger, Rosicky chipped the ball over the exposed Lloris to double the Arsenal lead.

The sheer delight and ensuing pandemonium in red and white contrasted with those of the visitors who knew they were already beaten. When Walcott went over clutching his left knee having tussled with Rose, Arsenal were forced to play the final ten minutes plus time added on with ten men, as Mathieu Flamini had replaced Jack Wilshere and Mesut Özil came on for Mikel Arteta.

Walcott had to be stretchered off, and under a chorus of boos, the Arsenal number 14 merely smiled and signalled the scoreline to the visiting fan section.

Despite their numerical advantage, Spurs lacked conviction to claw back a two goal deficit. By then the damage had been done. Wenger had guided his side to another win in the north London derby, and it will be Arsenal who will be in the draw for the FA Cup fourth round.