Eddie Nketiah struck twice in the second half to help Arsenal to a comfortable 3-0 win at Oxford United and set up an enticing FA Cup fourth-round clash at Manchester City.
The Gunners will travel to the Etihad on the final weekend of January thanks to a vastly-improved performance during the second 45 minutes at the Kassam Stadium.
Mikel Arteta’s side failed to record a single shot on target during a drab first half as Oxford frustrated the Premier League leaders, but Mohamed Elneny set them on their way 10 minutes into the second period with his first goal of the season.
Nketiah then confirmed Arsenal’s progress into the fourth round as he continued his impressive form in front of goal with two composed finishes that ended Oxford’s stubborn resistance.
Arsenal went into their game against League One side Oxford having won 19 of their 24 matches this season and named a strong XI, despite making seven changes from the frustrating 0-0 home draw with Newcastle.
But the Gunners looked nothing like the swaggering side that have opened up a five-point lead at the top of the Premier League, with Oxford – who are 14th in the third tier – holding them at bay with relative ease during the first half.
The only moment of danger came when Elliott Moore blocked Albert Sambi Lokonga’s shot with his arm in the area, but referee David Coote waved away Arsenal’s claims – and there was no VAR in operation to overturn his call.
Arsenal’s next outing is the North London derby, with the Gunners travelling to Tottenham for a crucial Premier League fixture on Sunday. Mikel Arteta’s side then face another huge Premier League test against Manchester United on Sunday, January 22. -Sky Sports