The FA Cup - Third Round
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Blackpool 0-3 Arsenal in FA Cup third round: Joe Willock with double for Gunners

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FA Cup: Blackpool 0-3 Arsenal highlights

Arsenal cruised through to the FA Cup fourth round with teenager Joe Willock scoring twice at Blackpool.

The 19-year-old striker headed in after Aaron Ramsey's free-kick hit the post and tapped in another before half-time.

League One Blackpool struggled to keep pace with the Gunners, whose arrival at Bloomfield Road was delayed when a protestor sat on top of their bus.

But after Armand Gnanduillet went close, they improved after the break before Alex Iwobi's late finish.

The hosts had run Arsenal close during their fourth round Carabao Cup tie earlier in the season, which ended 2-1 to the Gunners.

But despite six changes to the Arsenal team, there was still a gulf in class from the start as Willock became the first Gunners teenager to score in the FA Cup since Ramsey - who ran the show here - in 2010.

Another teenage forward, Eddie Nketiah, could have had a hat-trick before the interval.

Any hope of creating a hostile atmosphere for the visitors was impossible amid ongoing protests about the way the owners run the club, which has seen fans stay away from games.

With 3,777 home fans present, added to Arsenal's 5,218, Bloomfield Road was half-empty as Unai Emery's side easily moved a step closer to adding to their record 13 FA Cup trophies.

Aaron Ramsey
Ramsey showed his professionalism in midfield despite coming to the end of his Arsenal contract

Departing Ramsey at heart of Arsenal's endeavour

The protesting fan, who was later arrested, and a warm-up injury to skipper Laurent Koscielny threatened to throw Arsenal off course.

But Ramsey, who is set to leave the Gunners at the end of the season, played in a deeper role and offered guile and experience to keep the visitors on track.

The 28-year-old was the subject of several chants from the visiting fans, including "we want you to stay".

No wonder. His passes were precise and his running energetic, and there is no lessening of his commitment as he nears the end of his contract.

He had already helped set up a chance for Nketiah, who hit the side-netting after three minutes, before his free-kick crashed against the post and Willock nodded in the rebound.

By that stage, Gnanduillet had already had his effort saved after waltzing through the Gunners defence.

But it wasn't until the second half that Blackpool, FA Cup winners in 1953, asked more questions with Michael Nottingham blazing over from close range.

Alexandre Lacazette replaced Nketiah after 64 minutes to add some extra pace to Arsenal's attack and Blackpool were not helped when goalkeeper Mark Howard came off with an unspecified injury.

With eight minutes left, Ramsey's strong run led to a shot which Christoffer Mafoumbi saved, before Iwobi poked in to put the result beyond doubt, although the Arsenal midfielder looked offside.

Laurent Koscielny
Laurent Koscielny was injured in the warm-up and has only just returned from an Achilles injury

'We imposed our quality on the game' - manager reaction

Arsenal manager Unai Emery: "We did everything today, every player worked so hard. It was important for us to win today because we have 13 victories in this competition so today with this mentality we did well.

"We imposed our quality on the game and stuck to our game plan and it was good to see the young players do well today as well.

"I am very proud of Willock and Eddie [Nketiah] because Eddie had three good chances to score and Willock scored two. They train very well in the second team and with us in training as well."

On Laurent Koscielny's injury in the warm-up, he added: "It's a small injury and he said he cannot play but we have one week to rest and I think he will be OK."

Blackpool boss Terry McPhillips: "We had great confidence from the League Cup game and we had belief. If we were going to upset them, we need things to go our way and you need to be clinical and some luck when you're defending and we didn't get that.

"They are quality and cut you open, but we caused them problems in the second half."

Line-ups

Blackpool

  • 1HowardSubstituted forMafoumbiat 69'minutes
  • 12Nottingham
  • 5O'Connor
  • 2Daniels
  • 27Bola
  • 19TaylorSubstituted forPritchardat 62'minutes
  • 8Spearing
  • 25Guy
  • 7Delfouneso
  • 21GnanduilletSubstituted forDaviesat 83'minutes
  • 24Feeney

Substitutes

  • 3Wilmer-Anderton
  • 14Pritchard
  • 17McLaughlin
  • 18O'Sullivan
  • 26Davies
  • 37Mafoumbi
  • 39Bunney

Arsenal

  • 1Cech
  • 25Jenkinson
  • 12Lichtsteiner
  • 5Papastathopoulos
  • 31KolasinacBooked at 56minsSubstituted forMedleyat 83'minutes
  • 4Elneny
  • 8Ramsey
  • 15Maitland-Niles
  • 59Willock
  • 17IwobiSubstituted forSakaat 86'minutes
  • 49NketiahSubstituted forLacazetteat 64'minutes

Substitutes

  • 9Lacazette
  • 11Torreira
  • 26Martínez
  • 29Guendouzi
  • 47Medley
  • 55Smith-Rowe
  • 87Saka
Referee:
Mike Dean
Attendance:
8,955

Match Stats

Home TeamBlackpoolAway TeamArsenal
Possession
Home42%
Away58%
Shots
Home11
Away15
Shots on Target
Home4
Away6
Corners
Home5
Away6
Fouls
Home9
Away8

Live Text

Match ends, Blackpool 0, Arsenal 3.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Blackpool 0, Arsenal 3.

Zech Medley (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Callum Guy (Blackpool).

Foul by Bukayo Saka (Arsenal).

Michael Nottingham (Blackpool) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Corner, Blackpool. Conceded by Sokratis.

Attempt blocked. Harry Pritchard (Blackpool) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Marc Bola.

Substitution

Substitution, Arsenal. Bukayo Saka replaces Alex Iwobi.

Attempt saved. Alex Iwobi (Arsenal) left footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Joe Willock with a through ball.

Substitution

Substitution, Blackpool. Steve Davies replaces Armand Gnanduillet.

Substitution

Substitution, Arsenal. Zech Medley replaces Sead Kolasinac.

Goal!

Goal! Blackpool 0, Arsenal 3. Alex Iwobi (Arsenal) right footed shot from the right side of the six yard box to the centre of the goal.

Attempt saved. Aaron Ramsey (Arsenal) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Alexandre Lacazette.

Offside, Arsenal. Alexandre Lacazette tries a through ball, but Sead Kolasinac is caught offside.

Sokratis (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Armand Gnanduillet (Blackpool).

Sokratis (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Nathan Delfouneso (Blackpool).

Corner, Arsenal. Conceded by Jay Spearing.

Attempt missed. Sead Kolasinac (Arsenal) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Mohamed Elneny with a cross following a corner.

Corner, Arsenal. Conceded by Donervon Daniels.

Substitution

Substitution, Blackpool. Christoffer Mafoumbi replaces Mark Howard because of an injury.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match Mark Howard (Blackpool) because of an injury.

Attempt missed. Mohamed Elneny (Arsenal) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left.

Attempt missed. Paudie O'Connor (Blackpool) header from very close range misses to the left. Assisted by Harry Pritchard with a cross following a corner.

Substitution

Substitution, Arsenal. Alexandre Lacazette replaces Eddie Nketiah.

Corner, Blackpool. Conceded by Sokratis.

Attempt blocked. Michael Nottingham (Blackpool) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

Foul by Joe Willock (Arsenal).

Harry Pritchard (Blackpool) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Substitution

Substitution, Blackpool. Harry Pritchard replaces Chris Taylor.

Corner, Blackpool. Conceded by Joe Willock.

Aaron Ramsey (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Armand Gnanduillet (Blackpool).

Attempt missed. Michael Nottingham (Blackpool) right footed shot from the centre of the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Marc Bola with a cross.

Booking

Sead Kolasinac (Arsenal) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Sead Kolasinac (Arsenal).

Nathan Delfouneso (Blackpool) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

goal

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