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The FA Cup lives and dies by its undeniably engrossing duty to throw surprises and the 5th round fixtures on Saturday lived up to that reputation as 10-time winners Arsenal were knocked out by Blackburn. The beleaguered Championship side’s triumphant return from the Emirates was a classic case of smash-and-grab as a breakway goal from Colin Kazim-Richards in the 72nd minute setup a narrow 1-0 victory. Earlier in the day, giant-killers Luton Town were finally stopped in their tracks as Millwall emerged with a 3-0 victory from their away trip. Elsewhere, MK Dons were thrashed 3-1 by Barnsley and Everton were held to a 2-2 draw by Oldham Athletic.
Arsenal 0-1 Blackburn
Blackburn Rovers put all their problems behind them to shock Arsenal at the Emirates to end all realistic hope of a trophy for the Gunners. Arsenal unsurprisingly dominated proceedings in their own backyard against the Championship dwellers. Gervinho’s poor decision making was the frustrating aspect for the Gunners, who had an Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain shot blocked by Martin Olsson before Tomas Rosicky rattled the crossbar. Arsene Wenger decided to throw on the cavalry in the form of Theo Walcott, Jack Wilshere and Santi Cazorla with 20 minutes to go but a few minutes after their arrival Blackburn were ahead courtesy of Colin Kazim-Richards.
Martin Olsson broke away from his shackles on the left to fire a stinging shot across Wojciech Szczesny, whose parry went straight to Kazim-Richards to then scuff the ball into the back of the net off the woodwork and past a stranded Thomas Vermaelen.
There was a late charge from the home side as Thei Walcott directed a header straight at Jake Kean while Mikel Arteta then struck the side-netting. The frantic finish couldn’t bring forth a goal for the 2nd most successful team in the competition’s history as they now face an incredible 8th season without a single trophy.
Luton 0-3 Millwall
Luton town’s fairytale run in the FA Cup came to a disappointing end this afternoon as Millwall sent the non-league heroes packing in the 5th round. Millwall made a quick-fire start away from home as James Henry put them ahead after just 12 minutes, capitalizing on a mix-up at the back to round off keeper Mark Taylor and tap nto an empty net. The Championship side were two goals to the good nine minutes before the break thanks to a fortunate goal for Rob Hulse, who poked the ball past Taylor after collecting his own misplaced header. Despite Luton’s better showing in the 2nd half, Millwall wrapped up the contest four minutes from time through Danny N’Guessan’s goal on the rebound.
MK Dons 1-3 Barnsley
Barnsley progress to the next round of the FA Cup after a comfortable 3-1 triumph over League One’s MK Dons, with Chris Dagnall netting a brace for the Championship side. Dagnall’s goals were separated by almost the entire length of the game as he first struck in the 3rd minute to give Barnsley the lead before wrapping things up with another striker deep into injury-time. Marlon Harewood doubled Barnsley’s lead in the 19th minute to put them in a commanding position. Dean Bowditch scored a consolation goal for the home side just after the hour mark and they also lost Alan Smith to a red card in injury-time to make matters worse.
Oldham 2-2 Everton
Oldham’s romantic journey in the FA Cup continues after the League One side shackled yet another Merseyside club in Everton, who were forced into a replay after Matt Smith scored a dramatic late equalizer. Oldham’s counter-attacking skills led to the opener 13 minutes in as Jordan Obita put the finishing touch on a breakaway led by Lee Croft. But Everton hit back 11 minutes later through Victor Anichebe, who blasted an unstoppable shot past Dean Bouzanis in the Oldham goal. The visitors had seemingly completed a turnaround three minutes into the 2nd half when Phil Jagielka headed Kevin Mirallas’ corner into the back of the net. Cue late heroics from Smith, who scored two against Liverpool in the last round, as he bundled a corner past the scrambling Everton defence deep into injury time .
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