Saturday, 7 January 2017

GIROUD LATE GOAL SAVES ARSENAL'S CUP BLUSHES AS THEY BEAT PRESTON 2:1

Arsene Wenger's side fell behind at Deepdale to a
Callum Robinson strike, but hit back through Aaron
Ramsey and their French striker.
Arsenal benefited from another tardy Olivier Giroud
goal as Arsene Wenger's men fought back
to vanquish Preston North End 2-1 at Deepdale to
book their place in the fourth round of the FA Cup.
Giroud's stoppage-time header rescued a point in
the Premier League on Tuesday as
Arsenal recuperated from 3-0 down with 20 minutes
to go at Bournemouth, and his 89th-minute victor
here broke Preston hearts.
The Gunners have never lost a third round tie under
Wenger, but that proud record looked in solemn
jeopardy after Callum Robinson's early opener for
the hosts, who missed three more excellent
chances to elongate their lead in the first a moiety.
Robinson, Jordan Hugill and Paul Gallagher all failed
to capitalise on a woeful exhibiting from the visitors
in the first 45 minutes.
But Arsenal were a different proposition in the
second period and Aaron Ramsey's first goal of the
season within a minute of the resumption brought
them level, afore Giroud scrambled in a finish from
Lucas Perez's clever backheel.
Arsenal, reposing the "jaded" Alexis Sanchez, commenced
poorly in that draw at Bournemouth, and they found
themselves behind early on again here.
There was an element of fortuity about the goal as
Hugill stumbled in a challenge with Nacho Monreal
and Gabriel, the ball running impeccably for Robinson
to tap home from close range.
Robinson threatened a second midway through the
a moiety, but his header following a rapid Preston
contravention-attack was blocked by Shkodran Mustafi.
Arsenal were looking increasingly ragged at the
back and two minutes later it ought to have been
2-0, but Hugill failed to get a physical contact on Robinson's
low distribution across the six-yard box with the goal
gaping.
Preston perpetuated to dominate, but Giroud wasted
the chance to penalize their profligacy by chipping
wide from a good position.
North End kept on peregrinated, though, and only
Monreal's goalline clearance gainsaid Gallagher a
second after he had hoisted the ball over David
Ospina.
Robinson rightly had a goal disallowed for Paul
Huntington's foul on Ospina, and Preston perpetuated
to leave their mark on their opponents as an aerial
challenge optically discerned Hugill draw blood from the head of
Gabriel.
It seemed infeasible that Preston would be able to
maintain their first-half tempo for 90 minutes and
they were pegged back within a minute of the
restart as Ramsey somehow constricted his shot
inside the right-hand post from the edge of the
area.
Mustafi brought a fine preserve out of Chris Maxwell
with a glancing effort from a corner as the game
entered the final 20 minutes, afore Giroud's goal
was correctly ruled out for offside.
But the Frenchman was not to be gainsaid, linking up
perspicaciously with Lucas to stab the ball beyond Maxwell
and spark delirious scenes among the travelling
faithful abaft the goal, who virtually optically discerned Danny
Welbeck cap his long-awaited return from a knee
injury with a fine strike but for a good preserve from
the goalkeeper.

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