Lukas Podolski bagged a brace with subs Olivier Giroud and Santi Cazorla also on target as Arsenal breezed past cash-strapped League One team Coventry City in the FA Cup fourth round. The hosting Gunners were dominant from the first whistle. Podolski made that pay on the quarter hour rounding Sky Blues keeper Joe Murphy to complete a fine team move. Jack Wilshere won possession, fed Mesut Ozil and he slipped it across to his fellow German international in the left channel. Coventry captain Carl Baker then brought a fine one-handed stop out of Lukasz Fabianski with a long range left-footed effort after running from his own half. Young Serge Gnabry blazed over, but before half an hour Arsenal were two up. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, on his first start since returning from a knee injury, won a corner. Per Mertesacker flicked Gnabry's delivery on to the back post where Podolski nodded in his second unmarked for another Gunners goal made in Germany. Carl Jenkinson dragged across the face of goal before teeing up Podolski for a chance to complete his hat-trick late in the first half. This time, however, he fluffed his lines by screwing over. Wilshere also dragged wide before the break. Steven Pressley and the Sky Blues' best hope surrounded the Emirates Stadium floodlights. Some failed as half time approached, but the tie continued. Coventry striker Leon Clarke forced Fabianski to save with his thigh from a tight angle after the break. Clarke also fired against the post when played in by Franck Moussa. Nicklas Bendtner, back from a sprained ankle, meanwhile spurned a chance to seal victory for Arsenal after good interplay between Wilshere and Ozil. Improved threat from Coventry promoted Arsene Wenger to send on Santi Cazorla and give youngster Gedion Zelalem his Gunners debut. Giroud also came off the bench and he made it 3-0 by clinically converting Kieran Gibbs's cutback seven minutes from time. Cazorla rounded off the scoring for Arsenal late on when Murphy could only parry Jenkinson's effort to him. Tired visiting defenders were run ragged and Clarke fluffed his lines when the chance of a consolation cropped up in stoppage time. Ozil also hit the post. This money-spinning tie generated much-needed cash for the Sky Blues though. Even in a handsome defeat they gave a good account of themselves with highly-rated right back Cyrus Christie catching the eye. Wenger's Gunners march on into round five.
Jamie Clark is a qualified Web Journalist after undergoing professional training at the University of Sheffield. A prolific and accredited sports writer, he also enjoys classic comedy, historic fiction, 80s music and heritage.