Football

Van Persie inspires Arsenal comeback

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Arsenal booked their place in the fifth round of the FA Cup after overcoming a two-goal deficit to defeat Aston Villa at the Emirates Stadium.

Villa were 2-0 up at half-time after goals from Richard Dunne and Darren Bent had put Alex McLeish's side in command of the tie.

But Arsenal responded in the second-half, with Robin van Persie scoring two penalties either side of a goal from Theo Walcott in seven dramatic minutes.

Dunne put Villa in front just after the half hour mark when he headed home after a neat exchange between Robbie Keane and Stiliyan Petrov.

Keane traded passes with Petrov following a short Villa corner and then hung the ball up at the back post for Dunne to power into the roof of the Arsenal net.

The advantage was doubled in stoppage time of the first half as Villa counter attacked supremely following an Arsenal corner.

Stephen Ireland released Bent into the area and, after his initial shot was saved by Lukasz Fabianski, the England striker slid the loose ball in from an acute angle.

The Gunners were booed by their own fans going into the break, but responded nine minutes into the second-half.

Dunne felled Aaron Ramsey in the area - and was lucky to escape a second booking - and van Persie slotted the resulting penalty into the bottom left corner.

The scores were level only three minutes later when Walcott diverted a clearance from Alan Hutton into the net after jinking past Stephen Warnock.

The comeback was complete on 61 minutes when van Persie again netted from the spot following a foul by Bent on the advancing Laurent Koscielny.

Arsenal will now face either Sunderland or Middlesbrough in the next round of the competition.

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Topics:
Arsenal
Robin Van Persie
Football
FA Cup

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