Arsenal FC progress through to the semi-final of the FA Cup as Olivier Giroud’s brace sinks Everton FC at the Emirates.

The FA Cup has added importance for Arsenal now following their faltering title challenge and the uphill task that awaits them against Bayern Munich in the second leg of their Champions League round-of-16 tie, and they took a giant step in attaining cup glory once more as they defeated Everton in an entertaining encounter.

The Gunners have now knocked out Tottenham Hotspur, Liverpool and Everton on their way to Wembley and Manchester City seems to be the only possible stumbling block in their effort to end their trophy drought. This was also a decent run in this tournament for Everton and now they must look to consolidate their place in the top seven of the Premier League.

The Gunners, who were under tremendous pressure to perform in this match following their disappointing loss at the hands of Stoke City in the last game, got off to a flying start as Santi Cazorla set up Mesut Ozil and the German international produced a quality finish past Joel Robles to provide the home side with the lead. This was an important goal for the midfielder who has received a lot of criticism recently.

Both the sides looked dangerous in attack as the match opened up. Finally it was Everton who scored the equalizer in the 32nd minute of the game as Romelu Lukaku scored his second goal in as many games since returning from injury. Arsenal were exposed on the break and Ross Barley produced a wonderful pass from the right wing towards to pick out Kevin Mirallas at the far post. The Belgium international set up Lukaku in front of an empty net with a cut back and the on loan Chelsea striker could hardly miss from there.

In the second half Arsenal took the lead once again as Gareth Barry brought down Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain in the box and Mikel Arteta converted the resultant penalty kick. But the Spaniard was asked to retake the spot-kick after Olivier Giroud was yellow carded for encroachment in the box before the kick was taken. But the former Everton man kept his calm once again and fired the ball into the top corner of the net to provide the lead back to the home side.

Giroud, who came on as a substitute in the second half, then scored a brace to put the game beyond doubts. The first of which arrived in the 83rd minute after Bacary Sagna picked him up with an accurate cut back from the by-line and the Frenchman provided the finishing touch at the near post. The second was created by two wonderful passes, first by Tomas Rosicky and then by Mesut Ozil to set up the striker, who sided footed the ball into the net. The score line in the end did seem to be a bit flattering as Everton missed a lot of chances of their own, but this win could be a massive confidence boost for the Gunners at this point of the season.

Arsene Wenger has hoped that this result can propel his side to greater things as they travel to Bayern Munich with a tough job at hand.

“It was important for us to win, to put us in a good mind on the psychological front. We can be inspired by our focus on the day, by our desire and go to Bayern with the same spirit.

“The statistics go against us when we go to Bayern, but let’s make sure that the performance goes for us. Then we have a chance.

“It was important for us to win, to put us in a good mind on the psychological front. We can be inspired by our focus on the day, by our desire and go to Bayern with the same spirit.

“The statistics go against us when we go to Bayern, but let’s make sure that the performance goes for us. Then we have a chance.” – The Arsenal manager said.

Wenger was also relieved to see Mesut Ozil producing a good performance in this game and insisted that he looked physically “regenerated” after his recent breaks.

“Of course it’s important for him he took his chance because sometimes you want him to take the chance because he always looks for the good pass.

“I hope that will encourage him. What I liked with him is that physically he looked regenerated, having more power in his runs.

“As well I liked that he did a lot of dirty work for a player like him, that means he tracked back in the first half – especially on the counter attack he came back with long runs.

“When he behaves like that of course you have a better chance to win the game.” – He added.