Arsenal survived a cup upset as they booked their place in the FA Cup quarter-finals at Fratton Park, as they beat Portsmouth 2-0 on Monday night.
The lowest-ranked side left in the competition, 2008 winners Portsmouth were hoping to reach the last eight for the first time in a decade. Arsenal, on the other hand, had failed to reach that stage for two years running, and were vying to bounce back from their Europa League exit on Thursday.
A quiet opening 45 minutes finally burst into life four minutes into stoppage time, when Arsenal defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos put the visitors ahead.
The Greek broke the deadlock with a crisp volley into the bottom corner, as the Gunners went into the break ahead out of nothing.
Here's what Twitter had to say...
A striker's finish!— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) March 2, 2020
Sokratis' crisp volley has Arsenal ahead at Fratton Park 🍌 pic.twitter.com/AjgkigRV9I
What a goal Sokratis. Great ball from Nelson aswell, been top class all game.— Gally ™ (@AFCGally) March 2, 2020
What a goal Sokratis!! Unreal ball in and finish!— Jack Goddard (@JackTheGooner) March 2, 2020
Sokratis has been here two seasons and we just found out he has clinical predatory Cristiano Ronaldo finishing in his bag of skills. My centre-back— Aubazettes (@Aubazettes) March 2, 2020
Sokratis has more away goals for Arsenal than Lacazette 😦— ً (@chiefdouzi) March 2, 2020
Portsmouth still had chances after the restart, but Arsenal seized control six minutes into the second half with their second goal of the night. This time it was youngster Eddie Nketiah, who found the back of the net with a typical poacher's finish from a yard out, putting Arsenal two up.
It was a goal that got the seal of approval from an Arsenal legend...
Willock ➡️ Nelson ➡️ Nketiah ➡️ ⚽️— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) March 2, 2020
The three Arsenal youngsters combine to devastating effect.
Great improvisation from Nketiah 📞 pic.twitter.com/lJwLTyKtgl
Nelson has been class. Nketiah knows how to score.— Paddy (@PaddyArsenal) March 2, 2020
Eddie Nketiah should 100% be starting over Lacazette in the league. He offers us so much more— 🅿️1⃣ (@P1AFC) March 2, 2020
With a solid victory in the bag, Arsenal fans were left with little to be disgruntled about on the night...except the punditry of former Tottenham star Jermaine Jenas on BT Sport, who managed to irritate plenty of Gunners with his takes.
Jermaine Jenas is one of few pundits I almost can’t be bothered to complain about, because I’d just be disagreeing with nearly everything he says.— Dan Critchlow (@afcDW) March 2, 2020
Jermaine Jenas should be banned from commentating on Arsenal games. His agendas are so clear. Always crying about something.— Bhavs (@bhavss14) March 2, 2020
Jermaine Jenas: “I don’t see how any Arsenal players can have a problem with that [challenge]” pic.twitter.com/cck1BMvaqB— William (fan account) (@OzilThings) March 2, 2020
Reiss Nelson has two assists and been dangerous all night so Jermaine Jenas gives Man of the Match to David Luiz 🗑— arseblog (@arseblog) March 2, 2020
Jenas said noone in our attack really stood out. Does he even bother watching the game? Nelson been class all game and got 2 assists.— Arsenal News HQ (@ArsenalNews_HQ) March 2, 2020
Arsenal will discover their quarter-final opponents on Wednesday when the draw is made. The quarter-final tie will be held on the weekend of 21-22 March, just a few weeks away for Mikel Arteta's side.
Portsmouth, meanwhile, return to league action with a trip to Peterborough on Saturday, while Arsenal host West Ham in the Premier League on the same day.
Source : 90min