Sunderland sink Arsenal to reach FA Cup quarter-finals

Kieran Richardson celebrates after his deflected shot put Sunderland ahead.
Kieran Richardson celebrates after his deflected shot put Sunderland ahead.
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SUNDERLAND’s FA Cup march continues after the Black Cats piled more misery on woeful Arsenal to reach the quarter finals with a comfortable 2-0 victory.

Martin O’Neill’s men never looked back after Kieran Richardson handed them the lead with the miserable Gunners unable to cope with the physicality or work-rate of the hosts.

Richardson broke the deadlock six minutes before the interval after Arsenal had only cleared Seb Larsson’s right wing free-kick to the edge of the area.

The left-back let fly with a low drive across goal which deflected off the upper arm of Sebastien Squillaci and nestled in the far corner.

Earlier, Gervinho had drawn a smart save out of Simon Mignolet after Robin van Persie pounced on Lee Cattermole’s loose touch and threaded a well-weighted pass for the Ivory Coast international.

Gervinho let fly with a powerful effort to the right of goal, only for Mignolet to palm behind with a double-handed parry.

James McClean had the chance to double Sunderland’s on the stroke of half-time after Jack Colback knocked Seb Larsson’s right-wing centre back across goal, but the Black Cats winger could only send his half-volley into the side netting under pressure from Lukasz Fabianski.

Larsson went close himself three minutes into the second half with a 20-yard free-kick which just cleared the crossbar.

Sunderland doubled their advantage with 13 minutes to go as they caught Arsenal on the counter-attack.

Colback nutmegged Alex Song midway inside Sunderland’s half and fed Sessegnon on halfway, with a clear run on goal in his sights.

Sessegnon held off the attentions of Mikel Arteta, ran to the edge of the Arsenal area and threaded it through to the right of goal for Larsson whose shot cannoned back off the near post only for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to bundle it over his own line.

Sunderland: Mignolet, Bardsley, Turner, O’Shea, Richardson, Larsson, Colback, Gardner, Cattermole, McClean, Sessegnon (Campbell 89) Subs not used: Westwood, Bridge, Elmohamady, Meyler, Ji, Kyrgiakos. Booked: Larsson (64), Gardner (75), Cattermole (79)

Arsenal: Fabianski, Sagna, Vermaelen, Arteta, Van Persie, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ramsey (Rosicky 53), Song, Djorou, Gervinho, Coquelin (Squillaci 10, Walcott 53). Subs not used: Szczesny, Arshavin, Chamakh, Benayou . Booked: Djorou (39), Sagna (46), Vermaelen (57)

Attendance: 26,042