Arsenal 4 Coventry City 0
(Podolski 15, 27, Giroud 84, Cazorla 89)

It had all the potential of a banana skin of a FA Cup 4th round tie, but under rain drenched Emirates stadium skies, it proved to be just a matter of how many Arsenal would get past League 1 Coventry City. Lukas Podolski started in a side with six changes from the win over Fulham, the German struck after 15 minutes, and then netted again twelve minutes later, with a header which Arsenal purists will recognise after a near post flick on by Per Mertersacker. As City tired, substitute Olivier Giroud fired in Arsenal’s third after 84 minutes and five minutes later another substitute Santi Cazorla volleyed in the Gunners’ fourth goal which sees Arsene Wenger’s side secure safe passage to the fifth round.

Arsenal’s third substitution of the night created a little piece of history. Gedion Zelalem wasn’t even born when Wenger took charge in North London, but the midfielder who is predicted to have a big Arsenal future ahead of him replaced Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain with 20 minutes remaining, and acquitted himself very well with some neat touches and intelligent play.

By the time City managed their best passage of play, they were already two goals down. Carl Baker tested Lukasz Fabianki, with a shot that he had to save, and having followed that sequence by losing possession, the visitors were then punished. Mesut Özil won the ball in midfield and fed Podolski who cut in from the left to score from a tight angle.

Carl Jenkinson saw a lot of the ball and his pace and crosses from the right bodes well for the defender’s confidence. Serge Gnabry, Oxlade-Chamberlain and Podolksi had chances to add to the first half tally, the latter finally doubled Arsenal’s advantage soon afterwards. Özil’s corner was met by Mertesacker’s head at the near post and flicked on to his countryman Podolski to head into City’s congested net.

Things looked ominous for the Sky Blues as Arsenal had barely gotten out of second gear. In the second half however, City pressed the Gunners a lot higher up the pitch, a tactic that almost saw Leon Clarke score but his shot came off the outside of Fabianski’s upright. Billy Daniels then hit his effort high when well placed.

But you sensed that Arsrnal were just toying with their visitors who are separated by fifty three places in the respective Leagues. Nicklas Bendtner was unable to capitalise on his chances and Podolski had a chance to grab his hat-trick but chose to cross having taken Jack Wilshere’s clever pass, when a shot would have been rewarded.

Six minutes before the end, Arsenal want further ahead. Kieran Gibbs was menacing in attack all evening, and from one of his marauding runs, he picked out Giroud who struck like a lethal assassin. Moments later Jenkinson found Cazolra, but the Spain midfielder hit over the bar. A minute from normal time, however and Cazorla would not be as wasteful. Jenkisnon’s efforts merited a goal, but when his shot was parried, Cazorla was on hand to arch his back and fire in Arsenal’s fourth goal on the night.

Comfortable and comforting on the eye, Arsenal march on.