The FA Cup
BrightonBrighton & Hove Albion2ArsenalArsenal3

Brighton & Hove Albion 2-3 Arsenal

By Saj ChowdhuryBBC Sport
FA Cup: Brighton and Hove Albion 2-3 Arsenal highlights
  • Arsenal impress at the Amex Stadium
  • Ozil scores first Arsenal goal since September
  • Rosicky grabs third with sublime volley

Defending champions Arsenal reached the FA Cup fifth round but were forced to hang on for victory against a spirited Brighton side at the Amex Stadium.

Theo Walcott gave the Gunners the lead on 89 seconds when he converted Calum Chambers' cross from the right.

Mesut Ozil then made it 2-0 when he slotted in from inside the area.

Tomas Rosicky volleyed home a sublime third after Chris O'Grady had reduced the deficit, before Sam Baldock's effort set up an exciting finale.

Arsenal should have been comfortable by then, however, unlike Chelsea and Manchester City, they avoided the ignominy of going out to lower league opposition and will be strongly fancied to defend their title.

As for the Seagulls, aside from the goals and some late pressure, their forays into the opposition area were few and far between with Baldock's wayward strike from eight yards their only other clear chance.

Manager Chris Hughton - appointed as Sami Hyypia's replacement on New Year's Eve - will now fully concentrate on Championship survival, while his counterpart Arsene Wenger will fancy his side's chances to defend their title with 10 Premier League sides out, including Chelsea and Manchester City.

The Gunners left in-form attacking duo Santi Cazorla and Alexis Sanchez out of the starting line-up, but replacements Walcott and Ozil justified their selection with two good displays.

Walcott showed signs he is close to full match fitness since returning from a nine-month injury absence, and gave the Gunners an early lead when he converted Calum Chambers right-wing cross with a precision finish.

And Ozil, who himself has been hindered by injury and poor form, produced a competent display, scoring the second when he steered his shot past David Stockdale.

Two-nil scorelines do not guarantee cup victory as Chelsea found out against Bradford, so when O'Grady drilled in after holding off Calum Chambers some in the Amex Stadium must have thought a repeat was on the cards.

But back came the Gunners with 34-year-old Rosicky scoring the goal of the match when he struck a stunning low volley after a cute one-two with Olivier Giroud.

Baldock made amends for his earlier miss with a clipped finish as Brighton again threatened to dampen Arsenal's day, but it was not to be.

Brighton manager Chris Hughton:

"We gave ourselves a mountain to climb and then all you can ask for is a reaction.

"You can't afford to start like that against the quality Arsenal have but we showed great spirit and a decision went against us that on another day could have got us the result we wanted.

On penalty appeals after the ball hit Chambers' hand in the box late in the game:

"My first impression was that it was very close, and generally that doesn't go your way but the arm was outstretched and on a lot of occasions recently referees have given penalties.

"This is a very ambitious club, at the moment we are in a position in the league where we don't want to be and we have a lot of work to do to.

"This division is full of clubs that have been Premier League clubs and then found it difficult. Our priority at the moment is to get that stability that we need."

Brighton fans
Brighton fans hoped for an upset after a day of upsets on Saturday
Arsenal's Theo Walcott
But their hopes took a hit when Arsenal's Theo Walcott gave Arsenal an ideal start
Arsenal's Mesut Ozil
Arsenal's Mesut Ozil - making his first start since suffering a knee injury in October - then added a second
Arsenal's Tomas Rosicky
Arsenal's Tomas Rosicky capped off a fine performance with a fine goal after O'Grady's goal - the Gunners then held on after Sam Baldock's late strike



Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 13Stockdale
  • 2BrunoSubstituted forMarchat 63'minutes
  • 3GreerBooked at 87mins
  • 5DunkBooked at 90mins
  • 30Bennett
  • 22HollaBooked at 79mins
  • 24Ince
  • 14Calderon
  • 18Forster-CaskeySubstituted forColungaat 82'minutes
  • 9BaldockBooked at 73mins
  • 11O'Grady


  • 4Hughes
  • 7Colunga
  • 12Mackail-Smith
  • 15Chicksen
  • 26Rea
  • 27March
  • 31Walton


Formation 4-1-4-1

  • 1Szczesny
  • 21Chambers
  • 6Koscielny
  • 18Monreal
  • 3Gibbs
  • 20Flamini
  • 14WalcottSubstituted forSánchezat 70'minutes
  • 7Rosicky
  • 16Ramsey
  • 11ÖzilSubstituted forCoquelinat 80'minutes
  • 12GiroudSubstituted forAkpomat 70'minutes


  • 4Mertesacker
  • 17Sánchez
  • 19Cazorla
  • 26Martinez
  • 34Coquelin
  • 38Akpom
  • 39Bellerin
Michael Oliver

Match Stats

Home TeamBrightonAway TeamArsenal
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Brighton and Hove Albion 2, Arsenal 3.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Brighton and Hove Albion 2, Arsenal 3.

  3. Post update

    Attempt missed. Aaron Ramsey (Arsenal) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Tomas Rosicky with a cross.

  4. Post update

    Attempt missed. Alexis Sánchez (Arsenal) right footed shot from outside the box is just a bit too high from a direct free kick.

  5. Booking

    Lewis Dunk (Brighton and Hove Albion) is shown the yellow card.

  6. Post update

    Hand ball by Lewis Dunk (Brighton and Hove Albion).

  7. Post update

    Attempt saved. Alexis Sánchez (Arsenal) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top right corner.

  8. Post update

    Chuba Akpom (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  9. Post update

    Foul by Lewis Dunk (Brighton and Hove Albion).

  10. Booking

    Gordon Greer (Brighton and Hove Albion) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  11. Post update

    Chuba Akpom (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  12. Post update

    Foul by Gordon Greer (Brighton and Hove Albion).

  13. Post update

    Corner, Brighton and Hove Albion. Conceded by Mathieu Flamini.

  14. Post update

    Corner, Arsenal. Conceded by Chris O'Grady.

  15. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Alexis Sánchez (Arsenal) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

  16. Post update

    Alexis Sánchez (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  17. Post update

    Foul by Gordon Greer (Brighton and Hove Albion).

  18. Substitution

    Substitution, Brighton and Hove Albion. Adrián Colunga replaces Jake Forster-Caskey.

  19. Post update

    Attempt saved. Chuba Akpom (Arsenal) left footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Alexis Sánchez.

  20. Substitution

    Substitution, Arsenal. Francis Coquelin replaces Mesut Özil.