Whatever Arsene Wenger said at half-time must have worked, as Arsenal overcame a tepid opening 45 minutes to beat Swansea City in their FA Cup replay last night, setting-up an intriguing fourth-round-tie against Brighton.

Jack Wilshere scored the only goal of the game, in the 86th minute, with a thunderous drive from the edge of the box after a deft lay off from Olivier Giroud.

The first period was a drab affair with the Gunners struggling to get out of the blocks and failing to find a foothold in midfield.

Michael Laudrup's Swansea had the majority of possession, going close with former Arsenal player Kyle Bartley hitting the bar after a fabulous cross from Wayne Routledge. Thomas Vermaelen had the Gunners' best chance of the half, sending a point-blank shot straight into the arms of Michel Vorm.

The second-half was all Arsenal, dominating possession and creating a plethora of chances. Only Vorm was able to keep the score level with several key saves through-out.

Theo Walcott was the biggest culprit, unlucky not to chip the ball into the goal after being played through by Abou Diaby with one chance before driving the ball straight at Danny Graham from two yards out after some fabulous footwork from Wilshere later.

Bacary Sagna unwittingly hit the post after crossing from the right flank, after Walcott missed an easy header.

With the Emirates Stadium crowd becoming frustrated, Wilshere finally broke the deadlock, and was easily the Man of the Match for his side.

Speaking to the club's official website, Wenger said: "He is the complete midfielder, he can play anywhere. He is a guy who can dribble and give a final ball, so the closer he is to goal, the better it is. He has quality and enthusiasm, and love for the game. That is the most important thing to me."

Wenger will look to use this performance as a spring-board, and a way of reinvigorating his squad after the 2-0 defeat against Manchester City on the weekend.

Brighton is next in the FA Cup, and the Gunners boss added: "We go to Brighton now, and we will play with full power."

Wenger is looking to bring the first trophy back to North London for the first time in seven years, and the FA Cup offers a great opportunity for the Frenchman.



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Topics:
#Arsenal
#Football
#Premier League
#Jack Wilshere
#FA Cup
#Swansea City