Live Updates

Full-time: Arsenal 1-2 Watford

  • Odion Ighalo gives the Hornets the lead.
  • Guedioura scores spectacular second goal.
  • Danny Welbeck pulls one back for Arsenal.
Ighalo celebrates his goal
Ighalo celebrates his goal at the Emirates Getty Images

Full-time: Arsenal 1-2 Watford

Arsenal's hold on the FA Cup is ended in dramatic fashion at the Emirates Stadium. Boos ring out around the Emirates - but what an effort from the Hornets.

Oh, and Welbeck almost grabs another immediately!

Iwobi hits the ball against the post and it bounces back in front of the goal ... the second-half sub, Welbeck, looks certain to score when he spins on the ball in the box, but the ball flashes past the post.

It's wave after wave of Arsenal attack now.

Arsene Wenger
Arsene Wenger looks frustrated on the sidelines Getty Images

GOAL: Arsenal 1-2 Watford (Welbeck)

Welbeck races onto Ozil's backheel and finds the far corner with his effort. Stand by for a dramatic finish!

Another chance goes begging for the Gunners - and they've been made to pay today.

Alexis charges forward again and pulls back to Chambers, who curls his effort inches wide of the far post.

It's just not been Arsenal's day today.

Watford players celebrate their second goal
Watford players celebrate their second goal Getty Images

Gibbs squanders another good chance for the Gunners.

The ball is lifted into the Watford box and Gibbs races on to it at pace, but he can only direct his header directly at the keeper. He should have scored.

Watford have made a couple of changes of their own: Ikechi Anya comes on for Etienne Capoue.

Almen Abdi comes on for Adlene Guedioura, too. Watford are looking to break up the play and waste a bit of time. There's just over ten minutes remaining at the Emirates.

Alexis Sanchez (left) chases the ball
Alexis Sanchez (left) chases the ball Getty Images

Mesut Ozil goes into the book for a late challenge - the German cuts a frustrated figure on the pitch.

In reality, Arsenal have totally dominated this game, but somehow find themselves trailing 2-0. Arsene Wenger - who is sure to come under pressure if the Gunners lose this - must be seething with what he's witnessed.

Arsene Wenger is rolling the dice now. He has to.

Elmeny, Campell and Giroud replaced by Welbeck, Iwobi and Walcott. Can they lead a dramatic comeback?

GOAL: Arsenal 0-2 Watford (Guedioura)

What. A. Goal.

Adlene Guedioura makes it 2-0 in style, scoring one of the most eye-catching goals you'll see this season.

The ball was laid back to him by Troy Denney and he rocketed it into the top corner.

At the other end though, Costel Pantilimon is called into action, as he saves a firm effort from Girous at his near post.

The game is end-to-end now...

Watford look a threat on the break, particularly through Ighalo, whose pace is causing problems.

He is getting far too much space from the Arsenal centre-backs, mind you.

We've played an hour at the Emirates, meaning Arsenal have 30 minutes to keep their hands on the FA Cup.

Meanwhile, Danny Welbeck is busily warming up on the touchline. He would add a bit more pace and dynamism to the Arsenal forwardline.

Olivier Giroud
Olivier Giroud looks distressed Getty Images

How will the cup holders respond? Surely if the scoreline stays like this, the likes of Walcott and Welbeck will be introduced.

Arsene Wenger will be furious with the manner in which they conceded that goal. It was far too easy for Watford.

Ben Watson (left) challenges for the ball
Ben Watson challenges for the ball Getty Images

GOAL: Arsenal 0-1 Watford (Ighalo)

Odion Ighalo has given the Hornets the lead against the run of play. The Arsenal backline are at sixes and sevens, allowing Ighalo to spin in the box and fire into the bottom corner.

In truth, that was Watford's first effort of note on the Arsenal goal.

A reminder of how Arsene Wenger decided to organise his team for this afternoon's game:

Arsenal: Ospina, Chambers, Mertesacker, Gabriel, Gibbs, Coquelin, Elneny, Campbell, Ozil, Alexis, Giroud

Subs: Macey, Bellerin, Monreal, Flamini, Iwobi, Walcott, Welbeck

Right, we're back underway at the Emirates.

Arsenal have dominated the match so far, but have failed to find the right finish in front of goal.

Half-time: Arsenal 0-0 Watford

Mohamed Elneny
Mohamed Elneny missed the best chance of the first half Getty Images

Ozil has suddenly come to life.

The World Cup-winning star plays the ball through to Joel Campbell, but he cannot keep his effort on target.

From the resulting goal kick, Costel Pantilimon is booked for time-wasting. Huge cheers go around the Emirates for that.

Five minutes to half-time and Watford will be generally pleased with how the match has progressed, even if they haven't posed a threat of their own.

Arsenal and Mohamed Elneny, in particular, cannot afford to keep wasting good chances.

Gabriel needs to watch his step. The Arsenal man is very fired up today, but as he leaps into another challenge, Arsene Wenger must've feared the worst.

Thankfully for the Gunners, he gets the ball on this occasion.

Gabriel in action at the Emirates
Gabriel in action at the Emirates Getty Images

The game has become fragmented in the last few minutes - which must suit Watford.

After that controversial Gabriel tackle, you sense there's a bit of feeling in this one now.

Alexis Sanchez
Alexis Sanchez tried to find an opening for Arsenal Getty Images

Elneny misses the best chance of the game after the ball falls perfectly for him in the box.

The January signing fires over from great position to the right of goal - that was wild from the new man.

Oh, an interesting incident in the centre of the field. Gabriel and Deeney go for a 50/50 ball, and Deeney is in some trouble.

Gabriel jumped into the tackle and is lucky to stay on the field. That was very naughty of the Arsenal man, who should have been sent off.

Deeney limps away...

Quique Flores
Quique Flores set his team up to play on the break Getty Images

Good ball from the right-wing position by Guedioura.

However, Ospina is off his line and just gets to it before Troy Deeney. Watford's best moment of the match so far, that.

Mesut Ozil struggled to make an impression
Mesut Ozil struggled to make an impression early in the game Getty Images

We're through a quarter of the game at the Emirates and besides the offside goal, Watford haven't had too many concerns.

Having said that, they will want to pose more of a threat at the other end of the field.

Francis Coquelin
Francis Coquelin wins the ball back for Arsenal Getty Images

Another close call for Watford. Alexis Sanchez weaves some magic down the left side before crossing the ball.

But a Watford defender manages to get to the ball, moments before an Arsenal player arrives.

Arsene Wenger on the touchline
Arsene Wenger on the touchline Getty Images

The Hornets are steadily growing into this game, though. And in Odion Ighalo they have a player who can worry the Arsenal defenders.

The away side must know, though, that they will need to take whatever chances that come their way today.

Quique Flores watches on from the side
Quique Flores watches on from the side Getty Images

Arsenal are looking to thread passes through the Watford defence. The likes of Sanchez and Ozil are probing away but are yet to find that defence-splitting moment.

Watford, meanwhile, could just do with a little possession to ease the pressure on their backline.

Arsenal have the ball in the net - but it won't count!

A sweeping move from the Gunners leads to Giroud getting the ball and slotting it home in a one-on-one situation.

It was a very tight call, with the naked eye. Watford survive. But only just.

The pattern of the game seems pretty set in stone already. Arsenal are on the front foot as you'd expect, looking for gaps in the Watford backline.

The away side, meanwhile, appear happy to soak up pressure and look to hit the Gunners on the break.

Having said that, Watford have barely crossed the half-way line so far this afternoon.

Gabriel passes the ball for Arsenal
Gabriel passes the ball for Arsenal Getty Images

Good work by Campbell and Chambers down the right side, but their combination play doesn't come to anything of note.

Chambers' cross is easily intercepted by the Watford defence. The away side are already pushed back onto the edge of their box, though.

We're underway at the Emirates, which is drenched in sunshine for the moment.

Arsenal are passing the ball around neatly in the first couple of minutes, looking for an opening. Watford, for their part, are happy to sit behind the ball and stay in their shape.

Arsenal fans before the game
Arsenal fans before the game Getty Images

Right, the players are emerging from the tunnel at the Emirates. Kick-off is moments away in what promises to be a cracking cup tie.

The Emirates Stadium before the game
The Emirates Stadium before the game Getty Images

Alexis Sanchez has five goals and four assists in six FA Cup starts for the Gunners. Once again, they will be looking to the likes of Sanchez and Mesut Ozil for their inspiration this afternoon.

Watford, on the other hand, have the unenviable task of trying to keep Arsenal's exciting-looking forward line at bay.

The Emirates is slowly filling up at the moment. The players are out on the pitch going through their last-minute preparations.

Kick-off is around 15 minutes away now...

Quique Sánchez Flores: "We must defend and attack well, and play with high personality.

"We must stop them running. We must choose simple options."

Watford boss Quique Sanchez Flores
Quique Sanchez Flores Getty

Watford have won all three of their FA Cup games this season by a 1-0 scoreline. They would certainly take another narrow win today.

The Hornets come to the Emirates with minimal pressure on them, meaning they can give the match everything they have got. Will they catch the Gunners on an off-day?

In the build-up to this game, Arsene Wenger gave a fitness update on Welsh midfielder Aaron Ramsey.

Wenger said: "No, he's not out for the season. I don't think that. His clinical signs are quite positive, and I would say four weeks.

"It's a bit worse than what I thought because usually when a player gets injured he stops – I had the feeling it was just a precaution and he would be fit for Sunday."

Aaron Ramsey
Ramsey faces a spell out after picking up a thigh injury against Hull City Getty Images

Arsenal's recent form:

  • Hull City 0-4 Arsenal (FA Cup)
  • Tottenham 2-2 Arsenal (PL)
  • Arsenal 1-2 Swansea (PL)
  • Manchester United 3-2 Arsenal (PL)
  • Arsenal 0-2 Barcelona (Champions League)

Watford's recent form:

  • Watford 0-1 Leicester (PL)
  • Manchester United 1-0 Watford (PL)
  • Watford 0-0 Bournemouth (PL)
  • Watford 1-0 Leeds (FA Cup)
  • Crystal Palace 1-2 Watford (PL)

Meanwhile ...

Watford forward Troy Deeney has dismissed his January links to Arsenal as pure speculation.

The English forward, who has been in fine form in recent months, was linked with a move to the Gunners during this year's January transfer window.

"I have spoken about it before, I think I have been linked in every transfer window for the past five, six. I don't even read that stuff anymore now.

"It's more like my mum or my nan, they get excited and drop me a little message to see if it's actually true," Deeney said, as quoted by the Telegraph.

Troy Deeney
Troy Deeney Getty

Arsene Wenger has conceded he does not always make the right decision when choosing players who come out of their youth academy.

The Gunners failed to realise the potential in Benik Afobe, who signed for Bournemouth this January after becoming the highest scorer in the Championship last season after leaving Arsenal.

"You have a decision to make [when a player is] at 18 years of age [and say] 'no, this player will not be good enough for us'," Wenger told BT Sport, as quoted by the Mirror.

"But you also have to be humble enough to accept that everyone has their own speed of developments. Some [develop] at 17, some at 22 and sometimes it is frustrating for us because we have to make decisions knowing that we can be wrong.

"The values we care about are of course the tradition of the club and of course respect and humility. I think one of the beauties of our job is we can influence people's lives in a positive way and we can do that when they are young," he added.

Benik Afobe
Benik Afobe Getty

Arsene Wenger has named a very strong side this afternoon, even though the Gunners have a Champions League game against Barcelona on the horizon.

His selection may give some clues as to which of the two games he now considers to be the more important. Or winnable, at least.

Breaking team news:

Arsenal: Ospina, Chambers, Mertesacker, Gabriel, Gibbs, Coquelin, Elneny, Campbell, Ozil, Alexis, Giroud

Subs: Macey, Bellerin, Monreal, Flamini, Iwobi, Walcott, Welbeck

Olivier Giroud
Olivier Giroud will lead the line for Arsenal Getty

Breaking team news:

Watford: Gomes, Nyom, Prödl, Cathcart, Ake, Watson, Behrami, Capoue, Deeney, Guedioura, Ighalo

Subs: Pantilimon, Anya, Suarez, Abdi, Jurado, Amrabat, Oulare

So, three changes for the Hornets. Cathcart, Behrami and Guedioura come in for Holebas, Suarez and Amrabat.

Team news from the Emirates should be on its way in the next few minutes.

What the managers say...

Arsene Wenger: "Look, it's never enough. As long as you don't win everything it's never enough. When we didn't win anything they said, 'You didn't even win the FA Cup!' People always want more, which is normal and it's what we want as well.

"If you look at the history ofArsenal we are a club that has won the FA Cup more than anybody else. We've won it 12 times. And I, with my team, have won it six. It's not as easy as it looks."

Quique Sanchez Flores: "It's football – the big teams, always is high pressure. It's impossible to draw, it's impossible to lose with these teams. The mentality is always you have to win and in football sometimes it's not possible.

"So the pressure is with the big clubs always, around the manager, the players and the fans. I respect a lot and I admire Arsène Wenger. He's been working for a long time. He knows perfectly how it works in football."

Quique Sanchez Flores
Quique Sanchez Flores Getty

Arsenal are looking to create history by winning the FA Cup for the 13th time, more than any other club in the history of the tournament.

Winning this year again will take Arsene Wenger's tally to seven, the highest for any manager.

Arsene Wenger
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger Getty Images

Good afternoon and welcome to our live coverage of this FA Cup quarter-final between Arsenal and Watford at the Emirates Stadium.

The Gunners are, of course, the defending champions of the cup and will be looking to book their place in the semi-finals with victory today.

Stay tuned for the much-anticipated team news from north London...

FA Cup