- FA Cup round-up
Blackburn dump Arsenal out of FA Cup
A big week for Arsenal started in poor fashion as they were dumped out of the FA Cup by Blackburn, while Luton's brilliant run in the competition was halted by Millwall.
Arsene Wenger has called the next seven days as defining for his Arsenal charges, with FA Cup and Champions League matches taking place. Blackburn at home looked on paper to be easier than a visit of Bayern Munich, but the Championship side had clearly not read the script as Colin Kazim-Richards scored the only goal of the game on 72 minutes to leave the north London natives extremely restless.
Blackburn fashioned the first chance, with a free-kick coming through a scrum of bodies to Markus Olsson but he volleyed wide.
Arsenal worked their way into the contest and Abou Diaby rose high to meet a corner. He made sweet contact, but a diving Jake Kean produced a fabulous save.
Gervinho is a source of frustration for Arsenal fans and he had the Gunners faithful cursing moments before half-time. He was set free by Tomas Rosicky but curled his shot wide of the far post.
Arsenal survived a scare at the start of the second half as Mikel Arteta had to be alert to clear an effort from Scott Dann off the line, but it was the Gunners who carved out the majority of chances - with Olivier Giroud seeing a header saved and shots raining in from distance.
For all their pressure, Arsenal failed to make the breakthrough and they were made to rue their profligacy as Kazim-Richards netted 18 minutes from time.
It was a scrappy goal, as Wojciech Szczesny could only parry a shot into the path of Kazim-Richards who did not make the best contact but it still looped in off the post.
Arsenal threw on the likes of Jack Wilshere, Theo Walcott and Santi Cazorla and laid siege to the Blackburn goal but they failed to force an equaliser - while they had penalty appeals waved away.
The final remaining non-league side in the FA Cup has fallen, as Luton found Millwall too strong in their clash at Kenilworth Road.
The Hatters had stunned the Norwich to make the fifth round three weeks ago, and at times today they looked more than capable of pulling off another big upset against a side ranked 67 places above them in the league ladder.
Andre Gray and Luton's match-winner from the previous round Scott Rendell combined well up front, but they could not find a way past David Forde and claim a victory that would have made them the first non-league side to make the quarter-finals in 99 years.
Rob Hulse, on loan from QPR, took his first strike for the club well, hooking the ball over Mark Tyler from a tight angle after James Henry had put the Lions ahead following a mistake by Jonas Kovacs. Dany N'Guessan sealed the win with five minutes left.
Barnsley took their place in the quarter-finals, with the Tykes beating MK Dons 3-1.
Chris Dagnall and Marlon Harewood gave Barnsley an early cushion and although Dean Bowditch cut the deficit, Dagnall added a third in stoppage-time. The match ended on a sour note for the Dons as Alan Smith was shown a red card.
Substitute Matt Smith leapt Cristiano Ronaldo-esque into the Everton box to head a 94th-minute equaliser and earn a fifth round replay for Oldham Athletic at Goodison Park.
Oldham proved the scourge of a Merseyside team for the second time in the FA Cup this season with their 2-2 draw at Boundary Park following a 3-2 victory over Liverpool in the fourth round. Goals from Victor Anichebe and Phil Jagielka looked to have given the Toffees a ticket to the quarter-finals but Smith bundled the ball home ahead of what seemed like half the Everton team.
Jordan Obita had put the League One side ahead in the opening 15 minutes before the Premier League side took control. Yet their desire to keep playing paid off spectacularly at the death.