FA Cup: Ighalo sinks Arsenal

Where do we go from here then, Arsene? The Arsenal manager may argue his side can still win their first league title since 2004. But who is he kidding?

Not even the staunchest Arsenal believes this team is capable of winning the Premier League. Even if they did, it’s artificial hope. This team, so full of promise at the turn of the year, has lost it’s bottle.

Championship winning teams don’t capitulate; they rise, they stand up, they flourish – even when it seems all is lost.

As good as out of the Champions League and an uphill battle to climb in the league, the FA Cup – once again – represented the club’s most likely chance of silverware.

Not anymore; goals from Odion Ighalo and Adlene Guedioura ending Arsenal’s two season grip on the famous trophy.

Whether a third straight Wembley triumph would have been enough to satisfy disgruntled fans, fuming at Arsenal’s 12 year title drought, is another matter.

But at least it would have provided some hope, something to look forward to. This shell of an Arsenal team have no hope. Nor do their supporters.

Wenger recalled his big guns Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez for the visit of the Hornets after the pair were rested for the fifth round win over Hull on Tuesday night.

Watford, though, were in no mood to be rolled over as Wembley beckoned, more than holding their own during a tense opening 45 minutes.
Arsenal started brightly, Callum Chambers and Joel Campbell causing the Watford problems down the right.

Wenger’s side had the ball in the net in the 10th minute as Campbell and Ozil combined to set up Giroud, who slotted past Costel Pantillimon only to see his effort disallowed following a tight offside decision.

But that’s not to say this was a purely backs-to-the-wall display from Watford.

Had Odion Ighalo shown greater composure, then Quique Sanchez Flores’ side could well have found themselves ahead at the break.

They should also have been awarded a numerical advantage in the 29th minute following a reckless and idiotic challenge from Gabriel on Troy Deeney.

As the ball broke in midfield the pair hurtled towards each other, but as Deeney kept his challenge within the laws of the game, Gabriel’s lunge was anything but.

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