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Arsenal sinks Spurs

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Monday, January 06, 2014

LONDON - Premier League leaders Arsenal overcame fierce rivals Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 in the FA Cup third round on Saturday (yesterday Fiji time), while Aston Villa was knocked out by third-tier Sheffield United.

Tottenham had won at Manchester United in its previous outing and new manager Tim Sherwood made only one change to his starting XI, but they fell behind in the 31st minute at the Emirates Stadium.

German teenager Serge Gnabry was the architect, picking the ball up wide on the Arsenal right and driving infield before finding Santi Cazorla, who arrowed a left-foot shot past Hugo Lloris.

Spurs were unable to react and Tomas Rosicky sealed victory in the 62nd minute, robbing Danny Rose on halfway and bearing down on goal before adroitly lifting the ball over the advancing Lloris.

Earlier, last season's beaten finalists Manchester City tasted fresh disappointment in the competition when it drew 1-1 at second-tier Blackburn Rovers.

Stunned by Wigan Athletic in last year's final, City took the lead at Ewood Park through an Alvaro Negredo goal on the stroke of half-time, only for Scott Dann to equalise early in the second period.

"I think it was a very close game," City manager Manuel Pellegrini told BT Sport.

"They're a difficult team and they play here with a lot of intensity, so we must decide who continues in the FA Cup at home."

Villa became the first major casualty of the third round, losing 2-1 at home to League One representatives Sheffield United.

Former Manchester United striker Ole Gunnar Solskjaer tasted success in his first game as manager of Cardiff City after his new side came from behind to win 2-1 at Newcastle United.

Solskjaer, who succeeded the sacked Malky Mackay on Thursday, saw his new charges fall behind to a 66th-minute Papiss Cisse strike, but two goals in seven minutes from substitutes Craig Noone and Fraizer Campbell gave Cardiff victory.

In the day's two other all-Premier League ties, goals from Dwight Gayle and Marouane Chamakh gave Crystal Palace a 2-0 win at West Bromwich Albion and Fulham drew 1-1 at Norwich City.

Everton crushed Championship high-fliers Queens Park Rangers 4-0, with Nikica Jelavic claiming a brace, while Southampton edged Burnley 4-3 in an entertaining game at St Mary's.

Hull City won 2-0 at Middlesbrough and Stoke City defeated Championship leaders Leicester City 2-1.

Wigan's trophy defence began in uncertain fashion as they were held to a 3-3 draw by third-tier Milton Keynes Dons, while Millwall, semi-finalists last year, crashed out after an embarrassing 4-1 defeat at fourth-division Southend United.

Bolton Wanderers belatedly exacted revenge for their 4-3 loss to Blackpool in the 1953 final by beating their Championship rivals 2-1, while Leeds United fell to a shock 2-0 defeat at Rochdale.

Meanwhile, the lowest-ranked team in the tournament, non-league Macclesfield Town, claimed a 1-1 draw at home to second-tier Sheffield Wednesday.





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