Arsenal 6 Coventry 1: Giroud off the mark as rampant Gunners thrash Sky Blues
21:04 GMT, 26 September 2012
Arsenal eased into the fourth round of the Capital One Cup after a searing second-half display proved too much for visitors Coventry.
The home side made a slow start to the game but took the lead six minutes before half-time as summer signing Olivier Giroud scored his first goal for the club.
The former Montpellier striker endured a mixed evening as he missed a second-half penalty before the game was wrapped up courtesy of a superb strike from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
On target: Olivier Giroud celebrates after opening his Arsenal account
Arsenal: Martinez, Yennaris, Djourou, Miquel, Andre Santos, Angha, Walcott, Coquelin (Frimpong 72), Oxlade-Chamberlain (Gnabry 72), Giroud (Chamakh 72), Arshavin.
Subs not used: Shea, Squillaci, Bellerin, Eisfeld.
Goals: Giroud 39, Oxlade-Chamberlain 57, Arshavin 63, Walcott 74, Miquel 80, Walcott 90.
Coventry: Murphy, Clarke, Wood, Brown, Reckord, Bailey, Barton, McSheffrey, Moussa (Fleck 60), Baker, Elliott (Ball 69).
Subs not used: Dunn, Hussey, McDonald, Edjenguele, Daniels.
Goals: Ball 78.
Ref: Mike Jones.
Andrey Arshavin and Ignasi Miquel
also struck with a Theo Walcott brace imposing Arsenal's dominance on
the scoreline – Callum Ball scored Coventry's consolation with his team
The Gunners dominated possession in
the opening 10 minutes but it was Stephen Elliott who had a great chance
to open the scoring for the visitors.
Debutant Franck Moussa skipped past
Arsenal youngster Martin Angha and picked out Elliott with a cross that
the experienced frontman could only head wide.
Coventry had another decent headed
chance when skipper Carl Baker floated a free-kick into Richard Wood
with 30 minutes gone but the Sky Blues' defender could only direct the
ball well over the crossbar.
Arsenal finally forced Joe Murphy to
make a save when Giroud controlled Francis Coquelin's pass before firing
in a low shot from the edge of the area that the Coventry goalkeeper
The France international was on the
scoresheet a couple of minutes later as he beat the offside trap to
collect the loose ball following a challenge by Coquelin and kept his
composure to chip over the onrushing Murphy.
Going down: Andrey Arshavin is fouled by Reece Brown in the box, but Giroud missed the resulting penalty
Coventry started the second half brightly but could have fallen further behind only five minutes after the restart.
Reece Brown mistimed his clearance
and then challenged Arshavin for the bouncing ball with the Russia
international going to ground and referee Michael Jones adjudged that
the on-loan Manchester United defender had been fouled.
Giroud stepped up but his low penalty
was saved superbly by Murphy, diving low to his right and the resulting
corner was headed onto the crossbar by Miquel.
The visitors came close to grabbing a
goal of their own but Wood's header from another Baker set-piece
bounced wide of Damian Martinez's left-hand post.
Lashing out: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain hits a sweetly struck shot to make it 2-0
Celebration time: Alx Oxlade-Chamberlain is congratulated by Theo Walcott after making it 2-0
The miss proved costly as Arsenal
doubled their lead moments later courtesy of a rasping effort from
England winger Oxlade-Chamberlain. The 19-year-old collected a ball from
Arshavin before firing home from 25 yards.
The former Southampton youngster
almost repeated the feat five minutes later but Murphy was able to push
his second effort clear.
The third goal followed soon after as
Oxlade-Chamberlain and Giroud combined to set up Arshavin to score on
his first start of the season.
Only another good save from Murphy denied Arsenal's captain Johan Djourou adding a fourth with a diving header.
Three and easy: Anshavin slots past Joe Murphy for 3-0
Mark Robins' side were determined to
give something for their 8,000 travelling fans to cheer and Gary
McSheffrey should have pulled a goal back moments later but blazed over
from close range.
Emmanuel Frimpong was introduced from
the bench with 15 minutes to go, making his return from a long-term
knee injury sustained when on-loan at Wolves last season.
Arsenal made it 4-0 moments later
when Nico Yennaris played a through-ball to the feet of Walcott, who
burst clear of the defence to slot home.
Substitute Ball and McSheffrey shot
just wide before it was third time lucky for the Sky Blues when Ball
reacted quicker than the Arsenal defence to Baker's cross to reduce the
deficit to 4-1.
Tough gig: Coventry's Adam Barton, Reece Brown and James Bailey stand dejected
However, Arsenal soon regained their
four-goal advantage as Miquel climbed at the back post to head home
Arshavin's pinpoint cross.
Walcott then had two chances to add a
sixth goal but hit the side-netting with one effort before forcing a
low save out of Murphy.
The England international finally scored his second in the final minute of normal time with a smart finish.