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Arsenal comeback knocks out Villa

Published: Sunday 29 January 2012, 19.15CET
Arsenal FC came from behind to beat Aston Villa FC 3-2 and book their place in the FA Cup fifth round, while their top-flight rivals Sunderland AFC were held 1-1 by Middlesbrough FC.
Arsenal comeback knocks out Villa
Robin van Persie converted from the spot twice ©Getty Images
Published: Sunday 29 January 2012, 19.15CET

Arsenal comeback knocks out Villa

Arsenal FC came from behind to beat Aston Villa FC 3-2 and book their place in the FA Cup fifth round, while their top-flight rivals Sunderland AFC were held 1-1 by Middlesbrough FC.

Arsenal FC recovered from falling two goals behind to triumph 3-2 against Aston Villa FC and book their place in the fifth round of the FA Cup, while Sunderland AFC drew 1-1 with Middlesbrough FC.

First-half goals from Richard Dunne and Darren Bent had put Villa into a commanding position, but Arsenal completed an impressive comeback thanks to two Robin van Persie penalties and a Theo Walcott strike. The visitors went ahead when Dunne powered a header past Łukasz Fabiański, and Stephen Ireland then teed up Bent, who followed up his parried shot to fire in from an acute angle.

The Gunners began the second half with renewed vigour, though, and halved the deficit through Van Persie's calmly taken spot kick. Parity was restored soon after when Walcott embarked upon a mazy run and, although his effort was blocked on the line, the resulting clearance ricocheted off the winger and into the net. The overhaul was complete when Van Persie plundered his second penalty, reverting to power this time and blasting past Shay Given.

Second-tier side Middlesbrough, meanwhile, held Sunderland to a 1-1 draw at the home of their local rivals. The visitors took the lead on 16 minutes through Barry Robson's expertly taken volley, before Frazier Campbell returned from an 18-month lay-off to earn Sunderland a replay.

Last updated: 29/01/12 20.27CET

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