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Football | FA Cup

Santi Carzola © Gallo Images

Arsenal enjoy derby win over Spurs



Arsenal reached the FA Cup fourth round after a fine Santi Cazorla strike set Arsene Wenger's men on their way to a 2-0 victory over Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday.

Cazorla struck in the 31st minute of an entertaining contest at the Emirates Stadium with a drilled left-foot shot past visiting goalkeeper Hugo Lloris.

Tomas Rosicky added a second for the Gunners in the second half, dispossessing Danny Rose on the halfway line before coolly beating Lloris, to seal a convincing win.

By then, Arsenal were already in the driving seat courtesy of an unlikely source on this season's evidence in front of goal.

It was only Cazorla's second goal in 22 Arsenal appearances this season, after he found the net 12 times in his debut campaign following his £15 million switch from Malaga in August 2012.

Cazorla seems to save his goals for the big occasion, however, with his other strike this term coming in a home success against Liverpool in the Premier League.

The Spaniard's firm finish gave the hosts a deserved advantage after a breathless opening half hour.

There was a red-hot atmosphere for the teatime kick-off and both sides flew out of the traps in a bright opening.

But that was little surprise, given both sides' recent form. Premier League leaders Arsenal claimed three straight wins over the festive period, while Tottenham had been boosted by their away win at Manchester United on New Year's Day.

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The visitors started well, roared on by 5 000-plus Spurs fans, and thought they had broken the deadlock in the ninth minute.

Laurent Koscielny could only watch his clearance fly straight into the stomach of Christian Eriksen and the Dane galloped onto the loose ball, only to see his shot deflected behind for a corner.

But, as the half wore on, Tim Sherwood's men could not get to grips with Arsenal's extra man in midfield as well as the individual quality of Cazorla, Jack Wilshere and the impressive Serge Gnabry, with Theo Walcott also a threat in the lone striker role.

Walcott, who filled the void left by injured strike pair Olivier Giroud and Nicklas Bendtner, forced Tottenham goalkeeper Lloris to make a scrambling save low to his right with a shot from outside the penalty area.

In the 13th minute, Walcott caused havoc for the Spurs defence once again as his left-foot effort deflected off Vlad Chiriches and spun wide of Lloris's right-hand post.

Arsenal looked to drive home their increasing dominance with the opener, but Gnabry fired over the crossbar.

Thomas Vermaelen was booked for a late challenge on fellow Belgian Mousa Dembele and then had to time his tackle on Roberto Soldado just right minutes later.

Tottenham manager Sherwood felt Vermaelen should have received a second caution for the tackle, but referee Mark Clattenburg insisted the centre-back had won the ball.

As Sherwood voiced his anger on the touchline, the home side swiftly attacked and Cazorla curled a shot wide.

Lloris came to the rescue for Spurs when he smothered Walcott's shot, before Arsenal finally got their reward for edging the opening 31 minutes.

The impressive Gnabry collected the ball, turned and drove at the Tottenham back four before providing a slick, angled pass through to Cazorla.

With Kyle Walker out of position, Cazorla capitalised with a first-time shot that flew past Lloris into the bottom-right corner.

Arsenal could not believe their luck when they were gifted a second goal in the 62nd minute.

Last man Rose tried to turn out of danger on the halfway line, but only conspired to allow Rosicky to nip in, race clear and clip the ball over the advancing Lloris.

The only sour point came when Walcott had to be stretchered off after a late injury and incited the Spurs fans by making a 2-0 gesture with his hands. Bottles and other objects were thrown by the visiting fans in response.

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