Sports Desk, Jan 9 (efe-epa).- FA Cup holders Arsenal scored twice in the second extra-time period to beat Newcastle United 2-0 on Saturday and advance to the fourth round.
London’s Emirates Stadium was the venue for the only one of the day’s 20 FA Cup ties between two teams from the top-flight.
Goals by youngster Emile Smith Rowe and Gabon international Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang kept alive the Gunners’ quest for a record-extending 15th title in the world’s oldest national soccer competition.
Arsenal came into the match having won three straight matches in the Premier League, but the visiting Magpies were solid on defense and created chances going forward.
Andy Carroll was the most dynamic player for Newcastle, though he squandered a fabulous opportunity before forcing a save by Arsenal goalkeeper Bernd Leno in regulation stoppage time.
Smith Rowe saw a red card for a foul in that sequence before the first extra-time period, but VAR intervened to change the red to yellow and the 20-year-old went on to break through for the Gunners in the 109th minute with an assist from Alexander Lacazette.
Aubameyang scored eight minutes later off a pass from Kieran Tierney to seal the victory for the hosts.
Also advancing to the fourth round were Manchester United, 1-0 winners over Watford in a match at Old Trafford.
United, who are level on points with Premier League leaders Liverpool, jumped out to a lead in the 5th minute on Scott McTominay’s header off a corner and one goal proved to be enough.
The Hornets, relegated to the second division at the end of the 2019-2020 season, kept it close and battled to the final whistle against a United side not at their sparkling best.
Leicester City, currently third in the Premier League, pounded second-division Stoke City 4-0 to claim a berth in the fourth round.
The Foxes led 1-0 at half-time on James Justin’s goal in the 34th minute and Marc Albrighton doubled the advantage just before the hour mark. Ayoze Perez made it 3-0 in the 79th minute and Harvey Barnes added a fourth goal two minutes later.
On Merseyside, Everton needed a goal in extra time to eke out a 2-1 win against Rotherham United.
The club that sits seventh in the Premier League went ahead in the 9th minute thanks to Cenk Tosun’s first goal for the Toffees in more than a year. Just 10 minutes into the second half, however, Matthew Olosunde exploited a defensive blunder to bring second-division Rotherham level.
Tosun thought he had the match-winner in the 86th minute, but the goal was disallowed for offside and the contest went into extra time.
Three minutes in, Abdoulaye Doucoure redirected a through ball from James Rodriguez past keeper Jamal Blackman to make it 2-1 for the hosts.
Another Premier League team, Burnley, had an even harder time against third-division MK Dons, who led 1-0 at the end of regulation on Cameron Jerome’s goal in the 29th minute.
Matej Vydra got an equalizer for the Clarets in the 94th minute to force extra time. The sides remained deadlocked at 1-1 after the additional 30 minutes and the contest went to penalties.
First up for Burnley was Vydra, who missed. But Matthew Lowton, Dale Stephens, Josh Benson and Phil Bardsley all converted.
Lasse Sorenson and Ben Gladwin failed for the Dons and Burnley prevailed 4-3.