You can tell you are coming to the end of the FA Cup journey for another season when the first Premiership side turns up on the journey. And what a Premiership side it was! Arsenal, going into their tie against London “rivals” Leyton Orient were gunning (sorry) for trophies on all 4 fronts (although they later lost the Carling Cup Final to Birmingham) and so this would be an extremely tough tie for the League 1 side.
Orient had major problems of their own as with West Ham now moving into the Olympic Stadium after the 2012 Olympics, Orient now had a much larger team on their doorstep and unsurprisingly, owner Barry Hearn was not impressed. At the time of writing West Ham have government approval to move in, but Hearn has threatened legal action and a judicial review which would delay the whole project. For a wee while though, they could concentrate on a the big match ahead of them and the TV money coming in as the game was being shown on ESPN. Which meant even I could watch it! (see below – the first “Road to Wembley” match I’ve seen live since the 2nd Qualifying Round!)
Even though Arsenal playing what was basically a reserve squad, they were fully expected to beat Orient who were in mid-table in League 1. And although it was 0-0 at HT, when Tomas Rosicky headed home on 53 minutes that looked like game over for Orient even though they were only 1 goal behind. Yet when Jonathan Téhoué picked the ball up on 89 minutes, I barely raised an eyelid until he stormed past two defenders before lashing home a brilliant equalizer to warm the hearts of every football fan out there. (Bar Arsenal, but frankly, who cares about them)
And so it went to a replay and Arsenal got over their hilarious Carling Cup final defeat to Birmingham City by tonking Orient 5-0 at the Emirates. Goals from Chamakh, Bendtner (hat-trick) and Clichy put Arsenal through to the Quarter-Finals where they will play Man Utd after they did football a favour and put Crawley Town out. Despite Arsenal going through, they were still losers overall to the majority as Orient outsung them throughout and Bendtner showed what a cunt he is but goading the Orient fans (pointlessly) when he was subbed late on. Orient players can look forward to a trip to Las Vegas thanks to owner Barry Hearn in the summer for their FA Cup exploits. And in the QFs its FERGIE vs WENGER.
ROAD TO WEMBLEY 2010/2011:
5TH Round: Leyton Orient 1-1 Arsenal (Brisbane Road, Att: 9,136)
5TH Round Replay: Arsenal 5-0 Leyton Orient (Emirates Stadium, Att: 59,361)