MX23RW : Tuesday, August 21 22:00:55
Mar 11, 2017 at 5.30pm UK at ​Emirates Stadium
Arsenal
5-0
Lincoln City
Walcott (45'), Giroud (53'), Waterfall (58' og.), Sanchez (73'), Ramsey (75')
Xhaka (24'), Koscielny (37')
FT(HT: 1-0)

Woodyard (47'), Margetts (63'), Raggett (85')

Live Commentary: Arsenal 5-0 Lincoln City - as it happened

Live Commentary: Arsenal 5-0 Lincoln City - as it happened
© SilverHub
Relive Arsenal's 5-0 win over Lincoln City as the Gunners end their non-league visitors' dream FA Cup run to progress into the semi-finals of the competition.

Arsenal booked their place in the semi-finals of the FA Cup courtesy of a 5-0 victory over Lincoln City at the Emirates Stadium this afternoon.

The non-league visitors held their own for the vast majority of the opening 45 minutes, but their resistance was finally broken in first-half stoppage time when Theo Walcott's deflected shot nestled into the bottom corner.

The Gunners were much more dominant in the second half, though, and after an Olivier Giroud strike and Luke Waterfall own goal had put the game beyond Lincoln, Alexis Sanchez and Aaron Ramsey hit quickfire goals to cap off the rout.

Find out how all of the action unfolded courtesy of Sports Mole's live minute-by-minute coverage below.


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4.30pmGood afternoon! Thank you very much for joining Sports Mole for today's FA Cup quarter-final between Arsenal and Lincoln City at the Emirates Stadium. Monday night's clash between Chelsea and Manchester United may be the most glamorous tie of the round, but this is arguably the most intriguing as non-league Lincoln look to continue their dream run in the competition with what would be quite possibly the biggest upset in FA Cup history. Let's start with a look at the team news...

4.32pmARSENAL STARTING XI: Cech; Bellerin, Mustafi, Koscielny, Gibbs; Ramsey, Xhaka, Walcott, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Sanchez; Giroud

4.32pmARSENAL SUBS: Martinez, Gabriel, Monreal, Coquelin, Iwobi, Ozil, Lucas

4.34pmLINCOLN STARTING XI: Farman; Wood, Habergham, Waterfall, Muldoon, Power, Rhead, Hawkridge, Raggett, Arnold, Woodyard

4.34pmLINCOLN SUBS: Marriott, Margetts, McMenemy, McCombe, Calder, Ward, Etheridge

4.36pmWe will have a closer look at that team news a little later, but for now let's turn our attention to Arsenal, who come up against non-league opposition for the second round in a row having dispatched of Sutton United last month. On paper, it is the kindest draw the Gunners could have wished for but there is the lingering threat of knowing just how much damage a defeat today would do for a side already in a spot of bother at the moment.

4.38pmArsenal legend Ian Wright claimed that this is currently the worst period in the club's history and, while that may be a bit of an exaggeration, there is no doubting the growing unrest amongst the fans. In truth, it has been bubbling for a number of years now, but another season of battling for the top four rather than the title and a last-16 elimination from the Champions League has led to even more calls than ever for Arsene Wenger to bring an end to his time at the club.

4.40pmOnce again it looks as though the FA Cup is Arsenal's only realistic chance of silverware this season, and it is a competition that they enjoy a rich history in. No team has ever lifted the oldest trophy in world football on more occasions than the Gunners, while Wenger himself has won the competition a record-equalling six times. However, even a third FA Cup success in the space of four years is unlikely to be enough to appease a large bulk of the Arsenal fans who have grown frustrated at the team's lack of progress in recent years.

4.42pmTuesday's Champions League humiliation at the hands of Bayern Munich reiterated how far Arsenal are away from Europe's elite, with the German giants scoring five times in 30 second-half minutes as the Gunners capitulated following a red card for Laurent Koscielny. Recovering the 5-1 deficit from the first leg always looked to be an impossible job, but the manner of their collapse was damning and the 10-2 aggregate defeat now stands as the heaviest ever suffered by an English club in the Champions League.

4.44pmThe Gunners must somehow get that defeat out of their mind and focus on the FA Cup now, and while every neutral in the country will be rooting for Lincoln to win Arsenal rarely slip up in these types of games. Indeed, they have only ever lost one FA Cup tie against lower-league opposition under Wenger and you have to go back to 1911 for the last time they were beaten by a non-league club in this competition.

4.46pmHowever, Arsenal do come into the game in poor for that stretches further back than their Champions League humbling on Tuesday. The Gunners have now lost five of their last seven matches in all competitions, with their only victories in that time coming against Premier League strugglers Hull City and non-league Sutton United. Defeat to Liverpool last weekend saw them slip out of the top four in the Premier League, and another loss today - as unthinkable as it may be for Arsenal fans - would make it three defeats on the bounce for the first time in a year.

4.48pmAt home, Arsenal have now lost two of their last three games following a run of one defeat in 15 before that, while they were also beaten in their last home outing in this competition - being dumped out by Watford at this very stage last season. They have, however, won eight and lost just that one from their last 10 FA Cup home games, and overall in the competition the defeat to Watford is the only one they have suffered in their last 20 outings.

4.50pmWhen it comes to pedigree in this competition, then, Lincoln City are comfortably second best. Indeed, in pretty much every aspect the Imps are second best to today's hosts, and manager Danny Cowley himself admitted that his side may win this fixture only once in a thousand attempts. However, with Arsenal's poor form at the moment coupled with Lincoln's recent record this is perhaps the best time they could be making the trip to the Emirates Stadium.

4.52pmLincoln are, of course, huge underdogs for this match and victory would surely be the biggest upset in the FA Cup's history, but they have made a habit of excelling as underdogs in the competition so far this season. Having been eliminated by Whitehawk in the first round last season, Lincoln have since gone on an eight-match unbeaten run in the FA Cup, claiming the scalps of Championship duo Ipswich Town and Brighton & Hove Albion before stunning Burnley in the last round.

4.54pmThat victory at Turf Moor will give Lincoln huge confidence that they can at least compete with Arsenal today and, while the Gunners may be more glamorous than the Clarets, in reality Turf Moor has been just as difficult a place to visit as the Emirates this season. Arsenal and Burnley have both picked up the same amount of home points in the Premier League, and Burnley also named a pretty strong side for that match. There is no doubt that Arsenal will need to have an off day if Lincoln are to pull off something special today, but they have done it once already this season.

4.56pmThe Imps are the first non-league side to reach the quarter-finals of the FA Cup for more than 100 years, with QPR the last to do so in 1914. Victory today would see them emulate the Swindon Town side of 1912 as the last non-league team to reach the semi-finals, while they could also become the first non-league side to knock two top-flight clubs out of the FA Cup in the same season since Millwall dispatched of Chelsea and Bradford City in 1914.

4.58pmWhile Arsenal were being ripped apart by Bayern on Tuesday, Lincoln were on the right side of a four-goal winning margin in the National League. Danny Cowley took his side to former club Braintree Town and recorded a 4-0 victory that took them six points clear at the top of the National League. A return to the Football League is looking very likely, then, and if they can couple that with a run to Wembley in this competition then it would surely be the greatest season in the club's 133-year history.

5pmLincoln could actually be making a couple of trips to Wembley this season, with that possibility being decided over the next three games. Victory today would, of course, put them into the semi-finals of the FA Cup, but they are already in the semi-finals of the FA Trophy, where they face York City over two legs next week. The Imps recently drew with York 1-1, but victory over the two legs would seal another trip to Wembley to face either Macclesfield or Tranmere.

5.02pmLincoln are certainly in the winning habit of late having come out on top in 22 of their last 28 matches in all competitions, including eight during a current 10-game unbeaten streak. Indeed, the Imps have only lost twice in their last 34 games and are currently on a seven-match unbeaten run away from home that has seen them keep six clean sheets, including an ongoing run of five in a row.

5.04pmRight, I promised you a closer look at the team news, so that is exactly what I shall give you. Arsene Wenger is taking no chances whatsoever today having named something close to his strongest side with the likes of Sanchez, Giroud and Koscielny all starting. It is something of a surprise to see him go so strong, which is perhaps an indication that he knows how disastrous a defeat would be today.

5.06pmThere is only one outfield change from the side that was torn apart by Bayern Munich on Tuesday as Gibbs comes in for Nacho Monreal, so Wenger is treating this game as seriously as he did a Champions League knockout tie with one of the best teams in the world. The other change comes in goal as first-choice Petr Cech returns to the fold in place of Ospina.

5.08pmThere has been a lot of talk regarding the happiness of Alexis Sanchez recently, but the Chilean is one of the star names to start this one having been dropped for the last domestic game against Liverpool. Sanchez has cut a frustrated figure in recent weeks, though, and if things don't start to go Arsenal's way fairly early in this match then his head could once again start to drop - something which would be a big blow for the Gunners considering the impact he has on the all-round intensity of the team.

5.10pmSanchez is by no means the only attacking threat that Lincoln must look out for, though. Giroud will lead the line having been preferred to Lucas Perez, despite the Spaniard scoring in the last round against Sutton United. Theo Walcott will also fancy his chances of finding the back of the net having scored his side's goal against Bayern. Indeed, Walcott has scored four goals in his two FA Cup appearances this season and six in his last four outings in this competition.

5.12pmAlex Oxlade-Chamberlain makes up the trio behind Giroud, alongside Walcott and Sanchez, while Aaron Ramsey will no doubt look to get forward whenever possible from midfield too. The Wales international plays alongside Xhaka at the heart of the midfield, although Oxlade-Chamberlain could end up playing there too in more of a 4-3-3 formation, as was the case against Bayern. The Ox was one of few Arsenal players to come out of that game with any shred of credit having put in a decent display as a central midfielder.

5.14pmArsenal's collapse came after a Koscielny red card in midweek, but the Frenchman is back in the starting XI today as Wenger names his strongest defensive unit with the exception of Gibbs in for Monreal. It was thought that the likes of Gabriel may be given a run-out, but Bellerin, Mustafi and Koscielny all keep their places from the team that was beaten by Bayern. A chance to redeem themselves, perhaps?

5.16pmAs for Lincoln, they make four changes to the team that thrashed Braintree Town on Tuesday, with the dangerous Matt Rhead amongst those to return to the starting lineup. Arnold, who came off the bench to score the final goal in the 4-0 midweek triumph, also returns to the side as expected, while Muldoon and Power are the others to be recalled.

5.18pmLincoln are without the cup-tied Lee Angol today, though, which will be a big blow considering he marked his debut for the club with a hat-trick in that win over Braintree. Ginnelly is another to miss out due to being ineligible, but Lincoln are able to name the same starting XI that stunned Burnley in the last round.

5.20pmPREDICTION: Right, we're 10 minutes away from kickoff at the Emirates Stadium, which means that it is time for a prediction! This is a potentially huge banana skin for Arsenal, but the strength of the side named by Arsene Wenger makes it even more difficult to see any chance of Lincoln pulling off one of the all-time great upsets. I'm going to have to go for a 4-0 win for the Gunners.

5.22pmThis is the first competitive meeting between these two clubs since March 6, 1915, when Lincoln ran out 1-0 winners at Sincil Bank. All of the previous meetings between the two clubs have come in the second tier of English football, so Arsenal's long unbroken spell in the top flight has kept them apart until today.

5.24pmOf the 26 previous meetings Arsenal hold the edge having won half of them, drawing seven and losing six. However, the Gunners are winless in their last three meetings with the Imps, who had previously gone 10 games without a win against Arsenal.

5.26pmEven when the two clubs were on a relatively even footing in the same division Lincoln never managed an away win over Arsenal, losing 10 and drawing three of their 13 previous visits. Needless to say, this is their first trip to the Emirates having not played an away game against Arsenal since October 1914 when the two sides played out a 1-1 draw.

5.28pmHere they come! The Lincoln players proudly stride out onto the Emirates Stadium pitch, with fans all around the stadium applauding them. Even that is a great moment for these players.

1 minKICKOFF: Here we go! Lincoln City get us underway for this historic occasion!

2 minLincoln win a free kick in a good crossing position within the opening seconds of the game, but any hopes of a dream start are ended by the referee blowing for another free kick for a foul as the ball was arriving in the area.

4 minIt is still very early days in this match and I don't want to get ahead of myself, but Lincoln have made a very positive start to the game. They have been quicker to every ball and Arsenal are yet to get going at all in this one.

6 minLincoln have not been over-awed by this occasion at all. They are pressing really high up the pitch and, after six minutes, have enjoyed an incredible 62% of the ball!

8 minBetter from Arsenal as they begin to knock the ball about in the Lincoln half for the first time this evening. The visitors are doing a good job of preventing them from getting into their rhythm so far, though.

10 minCHANCE! Arsenal rack up their first chance of the game, and I suspect it won't be their last. Bellerin collects a big diagonal ball on the right flank before playing a square pass to Ramsey, who has escaped his marker to burst into the box. He tries to just pass the ball into the bottom corner, but puts it a couple of yards wide.

12 minArsenal are just beginning to impose themselves on the game a bit now, but Lincoln would have expected to be on the back foot for long spells of this game anyway so that will not come as a surprise. The visitors are still applying themselves well, though.

14 minOFF THE POST! Arsenal are the width of the post away from taking the lead! It is a fine effort from Walcott, who catches a volley very sweetly as the ball drops to him on the edge of the box. Farman reacts brilliantly to get down to his left and turn the ball onto the woodwork, though.

16 minThe non-leaguers have made it through the first 15 minutes unscathed! They had the better of the opening 10 minutes too, but Arsenal have begun to take control in the last five or so.

18 minLincoln are looking very tidy. They are composed on the ball and are fulfilling their promise to stick to their usual game of knocking passes about rather than go for the long-ball tactics.

20 minLincoln have another chance to get their defenders forward as Rhead wins them a free kick inside the Arsenal half. Nothing comes of it, but those could be Lincoln's best opportunities to get a goal here.

22 minWe're almost a quarter of the way through this match now and we're still goalless. Most would have expected Arsenal to have created more chances in the opening exchanges, but they have only really had two clear opportunities so far.

24 minYELLOW CARD! Xhaka picks up his customary yellow card for a sliding challenge on Rhead that he didn't really need to make.

25 minXhaka looks to have made his mark on Rhead with that challenge. The big striker needs treatment, but looks like he will be fine to continue.

27 minARSENAL SUB: As if this Arsenal side wasn't strong enough, Mesut Ozil is coming on now. He replaces Oxlade-Chamberlain, who looks to have picked up a knock.

28 minCHANCE! Huge chance for Lincoln! It is almost a famous FA Cup goal from Arnold as he cuts inside from the right flank, ducks past Koscielny in the area and then tries to curl one into the top corner. Cech is at full stretch to turn it wide and deny the winger a moment of glory, though.

30 minRhead is down again here and needs some more treatment after being on the end of an accidental elbow from Koscielny. The big man has been in the wars so far.

32 minRhead is back up on his feet, complete with two tissues stuck up his nose - as if he didn't look non-league enough. I doubt that will stop him from putting himself about, though.

34 minCHANCE! Another chance for Arsenal and Walcott as the winger is the sharpest inside the area to make sure that he gets on the end of Sanchez's low ball into the area. He takes a touch before going for goal, but his effort takes a deflection and is easy for the keeper.

36 minSanchez is on the end of a heavy challenge from Wood right in front of the Lincoln fans, but the referee only points for a goal kick, much to delight of those 9,000 travelling supporters.

37 minYELLOW CARD! Koscielny joins Xhaka in the book for a foul on Muldoon, although this is a harsh one as it look as though Muldoon ran into him more than anything.

39 minThere have been no indications in this one so far that 88 places separate the two sides in the English football pyramid. Lincoln have more than matched the Gunners and could well be ahead considering that Arnold chance.

41 minThere is concern for Giroud here as he goes down in the area having been in the middle of a three-way head clash. It looked like a painful one, but the striker should be able to continue.

43 minThis is quite incredible how we are a couple of minutes away from half time and still level in this game. It has been a superb effort from Lincoln so far and they will be growing in belief with every passing second.

45 minCHANCE! Half a chance for Arsenal to get a goal right on the stroke of half time as Waterfall is only able to clear the ball as far as Ramsey inside the area. The Welshman takes it down and tries to steer a half-volley into the far corner, but it flies a few yards wide.

45+1 minWe've had a few injury stoppages in this match, which means that we will have six minutes of stoppage time at the end of the first half.

45+1 minCLOSE! Almost the opener for Arsenal in fortuitous fashion as Ozil floats a cross towards the back post which almost catches the keeper out, only for Farman to react in time to turn it past the post.

45+2 minGOAL! Arsenal 1-0 Lincoln (Theo Walcott)

45+2 minLincoln would have been desperate to make it to half time, but they fall behind in stoppage time as Walcott continues his good scoring form in the FA Cup. It is all very messy inside the area as Walcott exchanges passes with Gibbs before steering his finish into the bottom corner via a deflection off Habergham. A touch of luck about that one.

45+3 minCHANCE! Another chance for Arsenal and Ramsey as the ball is played to him just inside the area, but he hammers a shot almost into the upper tier of the Emirates.

45+5 minThat is such a blow for Lincoln, who don't deserve to be behind in all honesty. The non-leaguers will need to come up with something in the second half if they are to pull off the upset they are after.

45+6 minHALF TIME: Arsenal 1-0 Lincoln City

6.32pmThe first half comes to an end at the Emirates Stadium and it is Arsenal who go into the break with the lead despite a spirited display from non-league Lincoln. The Gunners have by no means had things all their own way despite 88 places separating the two sides, and Lincoln are still very much in this tie.

6.34pmLincoln lasted 46 minutes before conceding, but Arsenal finally found the breakthrough in stoppage time of the first half. There was no shortage of luck about the goal either, with Walcott's shot deflecting off Habergham and into the bottom corner when it probably would have been kept out had it not hit the defender.

6.36pmAside from that, Arsenal have not created as many chances as most would have expected against a non-league side. The Gunners did hit the post through a crisp Walcott volley after quarter of an hour, but on the whole Lincoln have done a very good job of keeping them at arm's length. The majority of Arsenal's sights of goal have fallen the way of Ramsey, but he didn't have his shooting boots on in that first half.

6.38pmLincoln have had one big chance of their own, meanwhile, with Arnold racing down the right flank before cutting inside and drawing a good save from Cech. Arnold could have perhaps squared the ball for Rhead, but you can't really blame the winger for going for goal himself.

46 minKICKOFF: Arsenal get us back underway for the second half as they look to complete the job and end Lincoln's dream run once and for all.

47 minYELLOW CARD! Woodyard is the first Lincoln player in the book for a rash challenge on Gibbs.

48 minLincoln are throwing themselves in the way of everything here. Power is the latest to make an important block to deny Ozil.

50 minCHANCES! Big chance for Arsenal to put this game to bed! Giroud races on to a pass down the left channel and carries the ball into the box before drilling a good low strike across goal. Farman reacts really well to make a brilliant save, though, while Gibbs nods another glorious chance over the bar moments later after Walcott had lifted the ball back into the middle.

52 minHalf a chance for Giroud again as the ball is dropped back to him inside the area, but his finish lacks conviction and it is easy for the keeper to collect.

53 minGOAL! Arsenal 2-0 Lincoln (Olivier Giroud)

53 minArsenal have the second goal, and that could well be game over. It is a nice passing move which undoes Lincoln this time, with Bellerin exchanging passes with Sanchez before pulling the ball back for Giroud, who had the simple task of sweeping the ball home.

55 minLINCOLN SUB: The visitors make a change in the wake of that goal, with Jonathon Margetts replacing Muldoon.

57 minCHANCE! It should be a third for Arsenal, who are just beginning to purr now. Bellerin beats Power to the ball on the edge of the box and looks set to tuck his finish into the corner, but he curls it a few yards wide when he really should have scored.

58 minGOAL! Arsenal 3-0 Lincoln (Luke Waterfall, own goal)

58 minIt's all going wrong for Lincoln now following that brilliant display in the first half. Arsenal add a third goal, and it is another moment of bad luck for the visitors as Waterfall turns the ball into his own net when trying to cut out Gibbs's low cross.

60 minThings look like they could go from bad to worse for Lincoln as Farman goes down inside his area and requires treatment. The visitors will be in damage limitation mode now.

61 minARSENAL SUB: The Gunners make a change as Francis Coquelin replaces Xhaka in the heart of the midfield.

63 minYELLOW CARD! Margetts is the latest player in the book for a poor challenge on Gibbs. He can have no complaints there.

65 minARSENAL SUB: A change for the home side here as Lucas Perez replaces Giroud.

66 minLINCOLN SUB: Lincoln also make a change, with Joe Ward replacing Rhead.

68 minAlmost a chance for Arsenal to grab a fourth as Sanchez picks out Ozil with a cross just inside the area. Ozil tries to steer his header towards goal, but it isn't his strong point and he cannot hit the target.

70 minCoquelin is a little lucky to get away without a card here following a heavy challenge just outside the Lincoln box.

73 minGOAL! Arsenal 4-0 Lincoln (Alexis Sanchez)

73 minArsenal have their fourth, and Sanchez joins the party with a lovely finish. Wood has the chance to stop the Chilean in his tracks, but he misses both man and ball having fully committed. That leaves Sanchez to collect it on the other side before casually curling the ball into the bottom corner from just outside the area.

75 minGOAL! Arsenal 5-0 Lincoln (Aaron Ramsey)

75 minArsenal's class is really beginning to tell now as they make it five, although this one does stem from a Lincoln mistake. Woodyard gives the ball away in a dangerous position and that allows Sanchez to clip a cross into the area. Ramsey is coming in at the back post and keeps his cool to take it past the keeper and fire it into the empty net.

77 minLincoln will just want to limit the damage now. Their FA Cup dream will end today, but they more than matched Arsenal in the opening 45 minutes and, even if the Gunners score a few more today, can leave the Emirates with their heads held high.

78 minLINCOLN SUB: Another change for the visitors as Adam Marriott replaces Hawkridge.

80 minSAVE! Cech is called into his second save of the night as Power tries to curl one into the far corner, but the Arsenal keeper is across well to collect it.

82 minLincoln have just tired in this second half, which is probably the main difference from their performance in the opening 45 minutes. It is no surprise either as they put in so much hard work in that first half.

84 minArsenal are really piling the pressure on now as they go in search of a sixth. Lucas and Sanchez both go down in quick succession inside the area, but the referee says no on both occasions.

85 minYELLOW CARD! Forget non-league, this is a tackle straight out of a Sunday league and Raggett crunches into Ozil to earn himself a well-deserved booking.

86 minOFF THE BAR! Arsenal are so close to a sixth, and a second for Sanchez as he curls the resulting free kick against the crossbar! Very good effort from the Chilean, who is unlucky to see it crash off the woodwork.

87 minSHOT! These Arsenal players are queuing up to have a pop now. Walcott is the latest to go for goal, firing a volley a couple of yards wide.

90 minFULL TIME: Arsenal 5-0 Lincoln City

90 minARSENAL PROGRESS INTO THE FA CUP SEMI-FINALS!

7.28pmLincoln's dream FA Cup run is over, then, but what a season it has been for the Imps in this competition! They are the first non-league team to make it this far for more than a century, but they will go no further as Arsenal book another Wembley appearance with a 5-0 victory that takes them into the semi-finals. Theo Walcott got the breakthrough at the end of a tricky first half, but it was one-way traffic after the interval and it was all very comfortable for the Gunners in the end.

7.30pmThat is all we have time for this evening! Thank you very much for joining Sports Mole for today's match as Arsenal book their place in the semi-finals of the FA Cup courtesy of victory over Lincoln City. I will leave you with our match report, and be sure to stick around for reaction. From me, though, it is goodbye for now!

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Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger on the touchline during the match against Liverpool on March 4, 2017
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