Arsenal will host Manchester United in FA Cup
Teenager Joe Willock scores twice in 'a dream' performance against Blackpool, setting up a mouth-watering clash against rivals United in the fourth round of the famous old trophy
07 January, 2019 — By Steve Barnett
FA Cup: Third Round
ARSENAL 3 (Willock 11, 37, Iwobi 82)
ARSENAL were rewarded for brushing aside Blackpool with a titanic home clash against Manchester United in the FA Cup fourth round.
The two teams have dominated the competition over the years, with the Gunners lifting the famous trophy a record 13 times, while United are 12-time winners.
The match, which will be played at the Emirates Stadium, has been pencilled in for a 3pm kick off on Saturday, January 26 – but that’s likely to change with such a mouth-watering fixture surely a must for a live TV slot.
Arsenal booked their place in Monday night’s draw by comfortably seeing off Blackpool on Saturday. Two goals from teenager Joe Willock and another from Alex Iwobi saw Unai Emery’s side cruise to a 3-0 victory at Bloomfield Road.
Willock, 19, got the visitors off to an ideal start with an instinctive header from close range after Aaron Ramsey’s free-kick hit the post, before doubling both his and Arsenal’s tally midway through the half with another simple finish.
Reflecting on his two-goal showing, Willock said it “was a dream come true” to bag a brace in a competition he loved watching as a kid. “It was a special day for the boys and for me on a personal note,” he beamed. “I’m happy to get the win and push on to the next round and also happy to get the two goals I got, so it was good.
“It’s unbelievable and a dream come true. I always watched this cup as a young kid and to score in it and help us go to the next round, it’s unbelievable.”
The Gunners could have beaten Blackpool by a much greater margin had it not been for Eddie Nketiah’s generosity in front of goal. The striker missed no fewer than three good chances to get his name on the score-sheet in a one-sided first half.
Blackpool upped their game after the break. But Alex Iwobi wrapped up what was in truth a routine 3-0 win late on, capitalising on Ramsey’s low shot which rebounded straight to him off substitute goalkeeper Christoffer Mafoumbi.
BLACKPOOL: Howard (Mafoumbi, 69), Nottingham, Daniels, O’Connor, Bola, Spearing, Guy, Taylor (Pritchard, 62), Feeney, Delfouneso, Gnanduillet (Davies, 83).
Substitutes not used: Wilmer-Anderton, McLaughlin, O’Sullivan, Bunney.
ARSENAL: Cech, Lichtsteiner, Jenkinson, Sokratis, Kolasinac (Medley, 83), Elneny, Ramsey, Maitland-Niles, Willock, Iwobi (Saka, 86), Nketiah (Lacazette, 64)
Substitutes not used: Martínez, Guendouzi, Torreira, Smith-Rowe