Gulf not obvious as Arsenal beats 5th-tier Sutton in FA Cup
- Author: Delia Davidson Feb 21, 2017,
Feb 21, 2017, 0:44
Arsenal beat non-league Sutton 2-0 on an artificial pitch in Gander Green Lane with goals by Lucas Perez and Theo Walcott.
The Gunners will be desperate to return to winning ways after their 5-1 demolition by Bayern Munich on Wednesday, as Wenger looks to hold aloft the FA Cup for the seventh time as Arsenal boss.
Sutton won the National League South in 2015-16, therefore now competes in National League, one division below the Football League. During a pre-match interview with Arsene Wenger, the camera showed viewers around the room in which the Arsenal manager was responding to questions. "I knew a lot of people who were leaving clubs and going down leagues but they were playing more first-team football and that's what you want".
Whatever the motivation, be it personal agenda, fairytales, Arsenal-bashing, FA Cup tradition or, in my case, local pride - we're likely to be united as Sutton supporters for the night.
And then, even though the veteran stopper was on the bench, he nevertheless was spotted at the bar at half-time with his team a goal down against Premier League Arsenal. Wenger's only chance of silverware, if he plans to leave this summer, will be the FA Cup.
Sutton midfielder Craig Eastmond played 10 times for Arsenal between October 2009 and November 2010, including one appearance in the FA Cup; a game that they lost 1-3 to Stoke City.
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Bedsente Gomis tried to work an opening inside the Arsenal area early in the second half as he twisted and turned, but couldn't get the shot away and the Gunners cleared the danger.
Arsene Wenger, 67, will be doing everything possible to make sure that his highly paid stars do not slip-up against much the smaller club who play on an all weather 3G pitch at their tiny stadium in South London.
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"The support we had has been wonderful". Qualifying for the Champions League is certainly no foregone conclusion either with Liverpool and Manchester United closely behind them in the race for the top four.
National League leaders Lincoln City await in the last eight.