20th February, 2011
Leyton Orient handed Arsenal a reality check as the npower League One side battled to a famous 1-1 draw in their FA Cup fifth-round tie at Brisbane Road.
The Gunners made 10 changes from the side which had beaten Barcelona in midweek, but lacked a cutting edge in attack before they eventually made the breakthrough when Tomas Rosicky headed in on 53 minutes.
However, Orient produced a late rally and earned themselves a replay at the Emirate Stadium in North London when substitute Jonathan Tehoue drilled home with a minute left to keep alive the dream of a quarter-final at Manchester United.
Arsenal Coach, Arsene Wenger admitted a sense of frustration that Arsenal failed to kill off Leyton Orient.
The Gunners made 10 changes from the side which had beaten Barcelona in midweek, but lacked a cutting edge in attack before they eventually made the breakthrough when Tomas Rosicky headed in at the start of the second half.
With an already congested fixture list – which includes next Sunday’s Carling Cup final against Birmingham at Wembley – the last thing Wenger will have wanted was a replay – set for March 2 – just a week before they head out to Spain for the second leg of their Champions League last-16 clash.
“We have played the game with the right attitude and could not fault our fighting spirit, but you also have to give credit to Leyton Orient because they never gave up and fought very hard,” Wenger said.
“As long as you do not score the second goal, that can happen.
“Overall it is a disappointment, but we are still in the competition and will now play at home.
“The most important thing is to go through.
“You had a match against a team which is technically superior, but fighting spirit has a chance.”
Wenger, though, added: “The most negative side of our result today is one more fixture and in fairness that is not what we needed.
“We have had problems in the cups against teams from the lower divisions to finish them off, but also we have given a lot.
“Sometimes, mentally, a breather would not be bad.
“What people forget is that since the beginning of December, we have played every three days, so sometimes to have a week where we could give the players a little breather would not be bad.”
Yet Wenger did not begrudge Orient their big night at the Emirates.
He said: “It will make their budget for the season, if not more, and to scrap that off would be a blow to all the smaller clubs in England.
“They suffer already, so you would not have a lot of supporters to do that (scrap replays).”
Orient boss Russell Slade was delighted with the result and his substitutions.
He said: “We didn’t play our best football and I was disappointed we kept turning the ball over.
Manchester City’s expensively-assembled squad of stars were indebted to 34-year-old free transfer signing Patrick Vieira for getting them past League One Notts County in their FA Cup fourth-round replay.
With City’s Â£50million strikeforce of Mario Balotelli and Edin Dzeko struggling to trouble a team 59 places below them it was left to the veteran Vieira to score with headers either side of half-time.
That gave Roberto Mancini’s side the breathing space they needed, having weathered an early storm, and substitute Carlos Tevez, Dzeko and Micah Richards all scored in the final six minutes to distort the scoreline as City ran out flattering 5-0 winners.
City now face a delayed fifth-round tie at home to Aston Villa, with the winners of that facing Everton or Reading in the last eight.
Ivan Klasnic’s second FA Cup goal in four days securedBolton a 1-0 victory over Fulham and a quarter-final trip to Birmingham.
The Croatian striker scored the winner in Wednesday’s fourth-round replay against Wigan and he was on hand again here to volley home from 12 yards.
Fulham welcomed Bobby Zamora back into action after five months out with a broken leg but they could not find a breakthrough in a fractious encounter at Craven Cottage.
Reported byÂ www. sportinglife.com