Full-time: Arsenal 3-1 Sunderland

  • Holders safely through to round four as they seek to become only the third side in history to win three successive FA Cup titles
  • Jeremain Lens gave Sunderland an early lead, but his effort was swiftly cancelled out by Joel Campbell
  • Substitute Aaron Ramsey and Olivier Giroud netted in the second half via assists from Hector Bellerin
  • Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain also struck the post for the Gunners, while Steven Fletcher headed against the crossbar
Joel Campbell
Joel Campbell equalised for Arsenal after Jeremain Lens had given Sunderland an early lead AFP

That is all from this particular live blog, but click here to follow IBTimes UK's live coverage from Old Trafford as Manchester United welcome League One play-off hopefuls Sheffield United.

We will also be back tomorrow to update you on Chelsea vs Scunthorpe and Leicester's trip to Tottenham.


It wasn't all plain sailing for Arsenal early on, but they continue their quest for a third straight FA Cup success and have still not lost a third-round tie since January 1996. Although they lacked tempo at times, there were several positives for the holders including two impressive assists from Bellerin and a lively showing from young Iwobi. The Gunners travel to Liverpool in the Premier League on Wednesday.

As for Sunderland, seven changes to the side that beat Aston Villa last weekend suggests they are prioritising their battle against relegation over a cup run and who can blame them? Lens' goal was very-well struck to beat Cech at his near post and Watmore certainly showed glimpses of quality. Pickford also looked assured with several good stops on his Black Cats debut.



Arsenal 3-1 Sunderland


A late chance for Sunderland as the impressive Watmore is felled by Koscielny on the edge of the Arsenal penalty area. Van Aanholt's effort is struck with venom but Cech does well to hold it.


Three minutes of added time to be played. M'Vila tries to release Lens with a low through ball but it's easily intercepted.


Sunderland fail to capitalise on a corner and this game is rather petering out to its inevitable conclusion now.


Ramsey cuts in from the right and carries the ball for several seconds before releasing a very tame shot that is easily dealt with by the visiting goalkeeper. Three minutes plus stoppage time left for Sunderland to mount an unlikely comeback.


Gibbs has provided a very useful attacking outlet for Arsenal today and his latest cross finds the head of Giroud, but Pickford makes a fingertip save to divert the ball over.


Both teams have made a final change each, with Reine-Adelaide on for Campbell and Charis Mavrias replacing Fletcher.


Further action at both ends as Giroud is denied what looked like a clear penalty as he tumbles under the heavy challenge of Yedlin.

Moments later, Lens strides forward unchecked before releasing Graham, but his right-footed drive is turned behind by Cech. Is there life in Sunderland yet?


Ruthless from the holders and a second goal in quick succession surely secures their place in round four.

Once again Bellerin is the provider, the Spanish full-back collecting Oxlade-Chamberlain's brilliant pass before racing down the right flank. Taking on Van Aanholt, he then supplies a fantastic low pass for Giroud to finish beyond Yedlin and Pickford at the back post.


Goal: Arsenal 3-1 Sunderland (Olivier Giroud)


With 20 minutes remaining, Arsenal lead for the first time. Attacking with menace down the right, Bellerin exchanges passes with Campbell. He then squares the ball back for Ramsey, who opens up his body to finish well from close range.


Goal: Arsenal 2-1 Sunderland (Aaron Ramsey)


Jones has taken the Sunderland captain's armband following the withdraw of O'Shea. Koscielny remains Arsenal skipper, meanwhile, despite the introduction of Arteta.

Gibbs is the architect once more for the home side as he picks out Walcott with a low cross but the latter's right-footed effort is insipid and easily stopped by Pickford.


Gibbs provides a really dangerous first-time cross towards Giroud at the front post. He makes a slight contact, but Pickford gets down to save.


A double change for Arsenal now. Ramsey and Arteta come on as Iwobi and Chambers are withdrawn.


Allardyce's second change is a defensive one as captain O'Shea is withdrawn and replaced by Billy Jones. Not sure if that is a tactical decision or if the experienced centre-back has picked up a knock.

Sunderland will have one eye on their Premier League trip to Swansea on Wednesday.


This game is seriously opening up now as Campbell plays a neat one-two with Walcott before being denied by the onrushing Pickford. Confident goalkeeping from the 21-year-old on his Sunderland debut.


A real chance for Sunderland goes begging as Yedlin breaks down the right, beats Giroud with a slice of good fortune and produces a brilliant cross that Fletcher heads against the crossbar with Cech beaten.

The ball then breaks to Watmore, but his volley is lashed over.


Sunderland make the first substitution of the afternoon as Yann M'Vila replaces Cattermole.


How have Arsenal not scored?

Oxlade-Chamberlain works space on the edge of the box and curls in a right-footed effort that smacks against the post. Walcott then turns the rebound wide from close range as Allardyce breathes a huge sigh of relief.


Agonisingly close to a second goal for Campbell but Tottenham loanee Yedlin recovers to clear off the line before Pickford can smother.


Sustained pressure from Arsenal now as they win a couple of corners and continue to put crosses into the box. Sunderland remain solid, however, with the likes of John O'Shea and Graham heading clear.

The hosts will need to be cleverer than this, you feel.