Super-sub Walcott fires Arsenal into FA Cup last 16
BRIGHTON, United Kingdom (AFP) - Theo Walcott stepped off the bench to bag the late winner that brought relief to Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger as the Gunners secured a place in the FA Cup fifth round with a 3-2 victory at Brighton on Saturday.
Wenger had gambled with his starting line-up by resting a number of his first choice stars and the Frenchman's plan seemed destined to back-fire as Championship side Brighton dominated for long periods at the Amex Stadium.
Twice Arsenal went ahead through Olivier Giroud but Brighton recovered on both occasions, first through Ashley Barnes and then through debutant Leonardo Ulloa.
But Walcott, who was finally introduced in the 68th minute along with Jack Wilshere, hit the winning goal late on to ensure Arsenal avoided another setback in their erratic campaign. The FA Cup represents Arsenal's best chance of winning silverware this season, making Wenger's decision to make changes even more surprising.