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Published: 09:43 | 12/1/16

Gunners hit back to progress


Two goals in four second-half minutes helped Arsenal to a 3-1 victory over a battling Sunderland side in an entertaining all-Premier League FA Cup third round clash at the Emirates Stadium.

After Jeremain Lens had taken advantage of some slack Gunners defending to put the visitors ahead early on, Joel Campbell equalised to leave it 1-1 at the break.

Both sides had chances to get their noses on front, but it was Arsensal who eventually made the breakthrough as substitute Aaron Ramsey finshed a good move from close on 72 minutes before Oliver Giroud put the result beyond doubt ten minutes later with the third.

Sam Allardyce's side refused to be overawed by the league leaders and took the game to their hosts early on.

They were ahead just after the quarter hour mark when Lens dispossessed the hesitant Laurent Koscielny just outside the penalty area before shooting beyond Petr Cech from ten yards.

But Arsenal were level on 25 minutes as Campbell arrived late into the box to meet Theo Walcott's cut-back cross and make it 1-1 with a neat side-foot finish from ten yards.

Arsenal started the second half well and caused plenty of problems for the Sunderland defence.

But, after Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain had hit the foot of the post, the visitors were almost ahead on the hour as Steven Fletcher headed DeAndre yedlin's superb floated cross against the woodwork.

But the game was settled over the course of four frenetic minutes.

First, Ramsey converted from six yards after good work by Hector Bellerin down the right.

The Spanish defender was the provider again shortly afterwards as he picked out Giroud who sealed victory with a close range strike.

The result sees the holders march on to the fourth round while Sunderland, as the old cliche goes, are left to "concentrate on the league".

Meanwhile, Stoke City had to work hard to get past League One Doncaster Rovers as they won 2-1 at the Keepmoat Stadium.

Peter Crouch opened the scoring for the Premier League side on 16 minutes, getting in ahead of two Doncaster defenders to divert the ball in from close range.

But Doncaster were level within eight minutes as Nathan Tyson converted at the second attempt after a fine probing run from Lee McCullough.

Stoke defender Phillipp Wollscheid and Tyson were booked as tempers flared in true FA Cup third round fashion.

It was end to end stuff for the remainder of the first half, but there were no more goals before the break.

Crouch missed an open goal from three yards on 56 minutes after Doncaster goalkeeper Thorsten Stuckmann had parried Mame Diouf's header.

But Republic of Ireland international Jonathan Walters was on hand to take full advantage of a poor goal-kick moments later as he collected the ball 25-yards out before shooting into the top corner to make it 2-1.

Dons defender Andy Butler looped a header onto the crossbar late on and Tyson hooked over from close range in injury time, but the home side couldn't find a way back into the game and their quest to make it past the third round stage for the first time since 2010 goes on for another year at least.

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