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19 April 2024

Arsenal knocked out of FA Cup by Blackburn

Dejected Arsenal players Mikel Arteta (left) and Jack Wilshere (right) look on as Blackburn players celebrate their team's 1-0 victory during the FA Cup fifth round match at Emirates Stadium on February 16, 2013 in London, England. (GETTY)

By Reuters

Arsenal were booed off the field after suffering a second humiliation in two months against lower league opponents when Blackburn Rovers beat them 1-0 in the fifth round of the FA Cup on Saturday.

Manager Arsene Wenger's gamble to leave out a batch of first-team regulars against Championship (second tier) Rovers backfired as Colin Kazim-Richards struck a 72nd minute winner to send Rovers into the quarter-finals.

Tomas Rosicky came closest to scoring for Arsenal with a thumping shot against the crossbar and Rovers had to survive some furious pressure as the hosts belatedly showed some urgency, but it was too little too late.

With the daunting prospect of Bayern Munich in the last 16 of the Champions League to come next week, Arsenal are facing an eighth successive season without a trophy.

They were knocked out of the League Cup on penalties by fourth tier side Bradford in December, although the defeat by Blackburn was Arsenal's first in the FA Cup against a lower division side under Wenger's stewardship.

In an otherwise low-key day of FA Cup action Luton Town's hopes of becoming the first minor league club to reach the quarter-finals for 99 years ended in a 3-0 home defeat by Championship side Millwall.

Barnsley, also of the Championship, took their place in the last eight with a 3-1 victory at MK Dons.