Arsenal FC cruise through to the fifth round of the FA Cup with a convincing win over Coventry City as Lukas Podolski bags a brace.

PodolskiPremier League leaders Arsenal faced League 1 side Coventry City in the fourth round of the FA Cup and yet Arsene Wenger fielded a strong line-up for this game. Although he was helped by the fact that the Gunners’ next Premier League fixture is on Tuesday night, it also shows how seriously the Frenchman is taking this competition. Having knocked out Tottenham Hotspur in the last round, Arsenal have now progressed to the round-16 with a convincing performance last night.

Lukas Podolski, who started his second match since returning from injury, opened the scoring in the 15th minute with a wonderful finish from a tight angle after being set-up by Mesut Ozil. The German international completed his brace just 12 minutes after his as Coventry failed to deal with a corner which Per Mertesacker flicked on at the near post and Podolski applied the finishing touch at the far post.

At that point it seemed like a long night for the Coventry City team, but they held on to this respectable score-line and showed some grit and determination. But the home side did score two more goals right at the end as Olivier Giroud and Santi Cazorla found the back of the net.

Arsene Wenger was pleased with his side’s first half performance and praised Coventry City for their effort and endeavour in the second half.

“Coventry did well but we did well, especially in the first half.

“In the second half we dropped a little bit the pace in our game. In the last 20 minutes it became all us again because they were tired.

“But Coventry did fight and they had some chances at the beginning of the second half because they had a real go.

“Some of our players dropped a little bit because they haven’t played for a long time.” – The Arsenal manager said.

The Frenchman also reserved special praise for Lukas Podolski and hailed is impact on the match. He stressed on his clinical finishing, ability to shoot and how he looks a better player on the flanks.

“Podolski can score goals and when you have a goal chance you want him to have it.

“He is a clinical finisher and he has an unbelievable short and quick backlift. He is very accurate in his finishing. He can be effective, he can score goals when he starts and when he comes on, he is always dangerous.

“His performances have been more convincing on the flank than in the middle until now.” – Wenger added.