Arsenal were given a thorough workout by Championship side Brighton, narrowly edging their way into the 5th Round of the FA Cup thanks to a late strike from Theo Walcott that took a massive deflection to earn the Gunners a 3-2 win. Brighton looked set to protect their excellent home record and earn a massive payday at the Emirates with a replay, having cancelled out Olivier Giroud's two goals through Ashley Barnes and new singing Leonardo Ulloa, but substitute Theo Walcott's late striker saved Arsenal from having a further game tossed into what has already been an exceptionally busy month for the Gunners. While Arsene Wenger will be happy with the win, he will be disappointed with his team's defending, with the Gunners once again conceding two headed goals.
With the games coming thick and fast, it was no surprise that Arsene Wenger rung in the changes, with only 5 players retaining their place from Arsenal's 5-1 home win against West Ham in the Premier League on Wednesday. Laurent Koscielny was an expected starter alongside Per Mertesacker after skipper Thomas Vermaelen limped off in the game against West Ham, but the duo had new full backs for company in Carl Jenkinson and Andre Santos. Aaron Ramsey kept his place in midfield, and was joined by Abou Diaby and Tomas Rosicky, the latter coming into the side after recovering from a thigh injury. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain replaced Theo Walcott on the right wing, while Olivier Giroud and Lukas Podolski kept their places up top.