Arsenal dominated Lincoln to beat them 5-0 in the quarter finals of the FA Cup on Saturday.
After 45 minutes of composed and organised football, Lincoln finally lifted their foot off the pedal and paid the price as Theo Walcott opened the scoring for the Gunners to give Arsenal a 1-0 lead at half-time.
In the second period, the Gunners built on the Englishman’s strike and kept throwing bodies forward in such for more goals. They were deservedly rewarded as Alexis Sanchez put up an incredible performance to seal the result for his side.
The Chilean scored an amazing goal in the second half and also played an immaculate pass that saw midfielder Aaron Ramsey stroll into the Lincoln net to make it five.
Olivier Giroud too, got his name on the scoresheet while the unfortunate Lincoln captain Luke Waterfall suffered the embarrassment of putting the ball into the back of his own net as he made a total mess of Kieran Gibbs’ cross.
Here are the talking points from an exciting game of cup football.
Lincoln win the hearts of the footballing faithful
Lincoln performed creditably enough and duly gave their 9000 travelling fans a trip they would remember for the rest of their lives. The Imps can be extremely proud as they were the first non-league side to reach this stage of the competition in 103 years.
They did pose little dangers to the Arsenal defence, but their achievement is one worth being celebrated. Despite the drubbing, the club will be happy that they went to the Emirates Stadium and gave it their all.
Wenger forced into playing a strong lineup
The past few weeks have arguably been the club’s worst since Arsene Wenger took over at the helm in 1996. From constant fan protests to a disappointing Champions League run in, the Gunners seem to be in bit of a crisis.
Wenger was expected to field a number of the reserve-team players given the quality of the opposition, but the mood of negativity around the Emirates Stadium left him with no choice.
The likes of Alexis Sanchez, Theo Walcott, Laurent Koscielny and Hector Bellerin could have all done with a night off, but due to the pressure surrounding the club, it was essential they started and secured the win for the Gunners.
A sloppy start by the Gunners
The first half proved to be a torrid one for the hosts. Lincoln, top of the National League, looked the more composed and hungry side at kick off than their Premier League opponents, who had lost five of their last seven matches in all competitions.
Eventually the Gunners broke the deadlock, as Theo Walcott opened the scoring in first-half stoppage-time.
Arsenal grew into the game and were a much better side in the second half and gave the Imps an absolute run for their money. That being said, their first half performance shows exactly why a change is needed at the club.
Walcott and Sanchez star
Theo Walcott looked lively since the outset and his constant runs in and around the Lincoln penalty area were a cause of havoc for the Imps defenders. After coming close a couple of times, he gave his side the lead at the stroke of half-time.
Sanchez, too, looked up for it, as he was constantly on the ball, looking to beat the opponent defenders or create chances for his teammates. He was seamless with his passing and was lethal in front of goal. He will undoubtedly be pleased with his return of a goal an assist.
Do Arsenal look like favourites to lift the cup?
Unfortunately, the Gunners do not, and given the quality of opposition still vying for the FA Cup, Arsenal have an outside chance of winning the competition.
They are unlikely to beat either of Chelsea or Manchester City at Wembley, and even Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United could put up a tough fight and possibly thump the Gunners out of the competition.
It may be one of those rare seasons when the North London side fail to win a single trophy and miss out on the top four. That, undoubtedly, would be the final nail in the coffin and the board may eventually decide to part ways with Wenger.