London, England, United Kingdom (4E Sports) – Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger expressed satisfaction with his team’s response as they avenged a bitter Premier League loss to rival Liverpool with a 2-1 win in Sunday’s FA Cup showdown at Emirates Stadium.
Goals from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Lukas Podolski were enough to eliminate Liverpool and carry the Reds to the last eight of the tournament.
Steven Gerrard scored on a penalty kick in the 59th minute to set up an exciting finale but Arsenal held on to clinch the victory that sets up a sixth-round home tie against Everton.
“It was vital for us to respond to the disappointing perfomance we had against Liverpool last week, and vital because we had the opportunity to go to the quarter-final of The FA Cup.” Wenger said.
“I’m very pleased with the intensity of our commitment and determination. You could feel there was a clinical desire in my team to take every opportunity,” he added.
Wenger made five changes to the starting line-up from the side that lost to Liverpool, 5-1, eight days ago. He started goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski, who did not disappoint as he produced a string of saves to keep Liverpool at bay.
“I made changes, some for medical reasons, most of them in fact, and some for technical reasons,” Wenger said. “The goalkeeper plays always and I rate Fabianski so highly that I had no hesitation at all to play him.”
Meanwhile, on-loan striker Lacina Traore and substitute Steven Naismith starred as Everton booked a spot in the quarterfinal with a 3-1 win over Swansea at Goodison Park.
Traore, who joined in January from Monaco, scored after just four minutes but it was Naismith who secured the win.
Naismith scored after just four minutes of action to restore Everton’s lead after Jonathan de Guzman’s equalizer and won the penalty which Leighton Baines converted.
Sheffield United also booked a spot in the quarterfinal after a 3-1 win over Nottingham Forest at Bramall Lane.