Arsenal 5-0 Lincoln: Gunners pull clear to reach FA Cup semi-finals

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Arsenal 5-0 Lincoln: Gunners pull clear to reach FA Cup semi-finals

Arsenal proved too strong for non-league Lincoln as they scored four times in the second half to win their FA Cup quarter-final 5-0 on Saturday.

With around 9,000 fans at the Emirates, the visitors more than held their own until the deadlock was broken in first-half injury-time by Theo Walcott.

Arsenal asserted their authority after the break as Olivier Giroud settled any nerves in the 53rd minute and then Luke Waterfall deflected into his own net.

Alexis Sanchez and Aaron Ramsey extended the advantage as the Gunners finished strongly to join Manchester City in the semi-finals.

The win provides some relief for Arsenal after their 10-2 aggregate Champions League defeat to Bayern Munich, and keeps alive their only realistic hope of silverware this season.

As in midweek before the defeat to Bayern there were some fans who protested against manager Arsene Wenger before the match.

And the first half was largely one of frustration for the hosts as, despite naming a full-strength side, they struggled to assert any authority on the game.

Lincoln became the first non-league team to reach the quarter-finals since 1914 with their win over Burnley in the previous round, but they were far from over-awed by the occasion, and seemed to settle into the game quicker than the hosts.

Still, it was the Gunners who created the first chances as Ramsey fired wide from just inside the box and Paul Farman then made a brilliant save to tip a volley from Walcott on to the post.

Lincoln’s quick pressing denied Arsenal further opportunities, while Matt Rhead made his presence felt as he tussled with both Shkodran Mustafi and Laurent Koscielny.

The visitors even went close to breaking the deadlock in 29 minutes as Nathan Arnold cut into the area and saw a shot well saved by Petr Cech.

Arsenal continued to be subdued until getting the breakthrough in first-half injury-time as Walcott’s shot deflected into the corner.

Ramsey blazed over before the end of the half, and Arsenal finally turned the screw after the break.

Having seen a shot well saved by Farman minutes earlier, Giroud made it 2-0 when he finished from Bellerin’s cut-back.

Bellerin then fired wide when he looked set to score before Waterfall turned a cross from Kieran Gibbs into his own net.

Lincoln looked as though they were starting to tire and Sanchez scored the fourth in the 72nd minute with a fine finish from 25 yards.

Ramsey added the fifth shortly afterwards and it could have been more in the closing stages as Sanchez hit the bar with a free-kick and Walcott volleyed wide.

Alan Power had Lincoln’s only shot on target of the half that Cech saved, but the visitors were still given a standing ovation by their fans when the final whistle sounded to end their cup run.