This Monday, Portsmouth welcomed Arsenal at Fratton Park, for the fifth round of the FA Cup. For this duel outside their domains, manager Mikel Arteta put his B team on the pitch, leaving the starters out. However, the game was very calm for the Gunners. With one goal in each half, scored by Sokratis Papastathopoulos and Eddie Nketiah, Arsenal beat the home team by 2-0.
Playing in front of their fans and with good results on their last matches at home, Portsmouth went on the attack and put pressure on the Gunners’ men. And with a mixed team, their defenders were David Luiz, who has ups and downs, and Pablo Mari, making his debut. However, the hosts were not arriving with that much danger, just shooting from outside the box, and didn’t create many problems for the new duel.
The visitors, on the other hand, counted on a fast counter-attack and certainly didn’t get tired of using it. The goalkeepers didn’t work that much in the first half though. It really seemed that we would witness a goalless first-half, but it only lasted until injury time. At 45+4 Papastathopoulos took advantage of a cross to open the scoring for the Gunners.
1-0 down at home, Portsmouth changed up their stance and started playing aggressive football after the break. Arsenal, on the other hand, kept on with the counter-attack strategy boosted up by the pace from their younger players.
With that, it took them 6 minutes into the second half to double the scoring and guarantee the victory. After a cross from the right, Nketiah basically went inside the goal with the ball to make the 2-0.
Certainly, the goal conceded at the beginning of the second half hit the home team, who did not have the strength to react. The victory was important to Arsenal and Mikel Arteta after the bitter elimination in the Europa League.
It was important for the players too, the ones that were having a chance, and made a good game, and especially to David Luiz, who was really criticized on their last match and on this one, he was the Man of the Match.
Now, the Gunners are qualified for the next round and will wait until all the matches are completed to see who they will face on the quarter-finals.