Arsenal 1 Manchester United 3
Aubameyang 43, Sanchez 31, Lingard 33, Martial 82

Arsenal suffered FA Cup elimination at the hands of Manchester United with former Gunner Alexis Sanchez returning to the Emirates stadium to score the game’s opener just past the half hour mark. Barely two minutes later and United doubled their lead when Jesse Linagrd raced onto a three on two counter attack move to beat Petr Cech. Arsenal had looked comfortable in the early exchanges, but failed to really test Sergio Romero. He was finally beaten however as Arsenal rallied late into the second half with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang tapping in at the far post. Romero’s early second half save from Aaron Ramsey’s header kept United in front. Soktratis had already gone off with an ankle injury, and when Laurent Koscielny went off with what may be a broken jaw, Arsenal were up against it. Substitute Anthony Martial made it 3-1 as the Gunners exited the competition in Unai Emery’s ultimately unsuccessful first attempt to land the trophy.

The manner of the FA Cup 4th round exit spoke volumes of how Arsenal need to tighten up at the back. Time and time again (and over the years) teams have sat back, allowing Arsenal the ball and then pouncing when they lose possession. Sanchez had given United the lead after a cut back from Romelu Lukaku. Sanchez then rounded the on rushing Petr Cech to slot home from a tight angle. His every touch was boo’d by the very fans who once adored him and it was no different now. Where was the marking? United knew that and also knew that Sead Kolasinac and Ainsley Maitland-Niles are happy going forward and seemingly less so happy when needing to swiftly get back.

Luke Shaw’s run from deep went unchallenged. Lukaku signalled where he wanted to the ball, with Kolasinac nowhere in sight. The Belgian fed Lingard whose measured effort beat Cech low to his left. It was awful viewing, and especially given that Arsenal had seemed to be in the ascendency, with Alex Iwobi especially getting joy down the left.

Arsenal’s further response finally drew reward. Iwobi dazzled and found Ramsey. A few step overs from the former Wales captain and Aubameyang was able to pass the ball into the net at the far post just before the break. Soon after the re-start and the Gunners almost drew level when Ramsey’s goal bound header was tipped  onto the bar by Romero. Alexandre Lacazette worked an opening which resulted in a powerful low shot from the France striker. Romero was able to make the save.

On came Mesut Ozil for Iwobi after 64 minutes and the creativeness returned. However after ten minutes of on the field medical attention, Koscielny had to be replaced by Matteo Guendouzi with the Arsenal captain the unfortunate accidental recipient of what appeared to be Lukaku’s boot. Arsenal’s defensive line up had already been depleted with Sokratis having gone off with an ankle injury after 21 minutes. The Gunners needed another goal and poured forward in search of it.

You could see United relishing what would come next, and that moment arrived in the 82nd minute. Lacazette and Ozil were unable to keep the move alive deep in the United half, and Paul Pogba pounced. Long powerful strides and in almost no time at all, Pogba cut through unchallenged. His low shot was parried by Cech, but following up from the left was substitute Anthony Martial for United’s third goal.

Matters seemed to boil over with an almost full teams conflict initiated when Rashford and Kolasinac touched heads. Both received a yellow card, however the FA may deem it necessary to take further action on both clubs.

Even with the ten minutes of time added on due to Koscielny’s injury, Arsenal seemed have lost any hope of a further response. The injuries to Sokratis and Koscielny will see the Arsenal defence even further down to the bare minimum.

Cardiff City next arrive in the Premier League clash on Tuesday when the Gunners will look to get this FA Cup exit out of their system.