Arsenal Middlesbrough

That's it, Arsenal's quest to retain the FA Cup goes on and Middlesbrough return to their battle for promotion to the Premier League. On a day where Bradford City caused another cup shock in beating Sunderland, the Gunners ensured things went according to plan at the Emirates with a dominant display.



Arsenal 2-0 Middlesbrough


Boro hit the woodwork! Kike rises above Gabriel to meet a cross in from the right with a firm header that beats Szczesny, but can't beat the post. Would have been colsolation for Boro more than a late come back, we are almost done here.


Albert Adomah moves into space down the right before cutting inside and letting fly with a vicious effort that rattles the side netting.


Mejias with another fine save! Ozil plays a delicious ball through to Walcott who takes it brilliantly in his stride. Coming in from the right, he looks for the bottom corner but the Boro keeper keeps him out.


And here is, Akpom replaces Giroud for the final ten minutes of the game.


Giroud has a half chance to complete his hat-trick but can't quite work the room inside a crowded six yard area. It might be his last chance; Chuba Akpom is getting ready to come on.


Arsenal defend a corner and counter, moving the ball at pace from left to right. Giroud tries to play the ball back across goal where Cazorla is approaching the edge of the box. The pass takes a slight deflection but the Spaniard takes the shot on anyway, and lashes an effort narrowly over the bar.


Couple of changes here for Arsenal, Tomas Rosicky and Theo Walcott are on for Alexis and Welbeck.


Boro have the chance to launch the ball into the Arsenal box from a free kick but waste it and Welbeck ventures forward on the counter. Ozil is ahead of him and makes a clever run in behind his man but Welbeck's pass is over hit.


A terrific stop from Mejias keeps Arsenal from adding a third. Another corner comes in from the left which Alexis meets with a low glancing header towards the bottom corner. The former Real Madrid 'keeper is equal to it, getting down to palm it around the post.


Alexis and Giroud combine before slipping a ball through for the onrushing Gibbs. He absolutely hammers it on goal but Mejias makes a decent save, and does likewise to stop Giroud's header from the resulting corner.


Not much happening at the minute, Arsenal are keeping the ball without doing much with it. Boro do look to get forward when they do get the ball back, but are yet to pose any real threat.


Leadbitter takes the free kick but can only drill it into the wall and Arsenal clear. It was a terrible attempt at a cross field ball from Alexis that allowed Boro to counter in the build up to that, by the way.


Arsenal are caught on the break and Adam Reich, just on from the bench, advances dangerously on goal before he is firmly and cynically stopped by Gabriel, who stepped right across his path. The Brazilian accepts his booking.


Ozil meets Alexis' pass with a wonderful first touch and turns his man on the edge of the box. He advances a drills a powerful effort on goal but it's straight at Mejias. Boro clinging on.


Arsenal twice attack down the right in search of a third. First it is Chambers who shows great strength to fight his way down the byline but his ball into the box is scooped clear. Not for long, however, as Welbeck is soon racing down the inside right but there is no one in the middle to meet his clipped cross.


Alexis works the ball onto his right foot and proceeds to lift it out of the stadium with a woeful effort from range. Aside from that, it's been much the same from Arsenal at the start of this half. Boro still chasing shadows.


And we are back underway for the second half.


No danger of another FA Cup shock happening today. That's what Arsenal's absolute dominance of the first half suggests, anyway. The Gunners have been playing at their vibrant best and Middlesbrough have not been able to get close to them. Only something spectacular will prevent them from booking their place in the quarter-finals.



Arsenal 2-0 Middlesbrough


Ozil sees a shot on target deflected high into the air but Welbeck brings it down wonderfully before skipping past his man. He tries the shot from a tight angle but can only smash it into the side netting.


Arsenal are cruising in the final five minutes of the half with Cazorla and Sanchez breaking out the party tricks early doors. The closest Boro have got to Arsenal all afternoon is when they lined up next to them in the tunnel.


Boro register their first shot of the half as Albert Adomah drives a low one on target, but it is a comfortable save for Szczesny.