Brighton and Hove Albion 2 - 3 Arsenal

Match info: FA Cup - 4th Rnd at Amex Stadium

Date: 26/01/2013 KO: 15:00 Ref: M Oliver Att: 27,113

Home team/scorers Scores Away team/scorers

Brighton

Ashley Barnes 33
Leonardo Ulloa 62

2
vs
3

Arsenal

Olivier Giroud 16,56
Theo Walcott 85

FT (ht: 1-1)

  • Last Updated: January 26 2013, 20:25 GMT

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger hailed the character of his side after they battled to a 3-2 win at Brighton to secure a place in the fifth round of the FA Cup.

Wenger: We needed to fight

Wenger had made several changes from the side which thumped West Ham 5-1 in the Barclays Premier League on Wednesday night, and started with England duo Jack Wilshere and Theo Walcott on the bench.

However, eventually the Gunners had enough to see off the npower Championship side, who had twice levelled, with substitute Walcott netting a late winner to send Arsenal into Sunday's draw.

"Brighton made it very difficult for us and were sharper than us in the first half. They had a great spirit," Wenger said.

"But in the end we had that little bit of extra quality to get us through. We did our job, but needed to fight until the end."

In-form Olivier Giroud fired the visitors ahead on 16 minutes, before Ashley Barnes equalised with a powerful header.

Giroud netted again on 56 minutes with another well-taken strike for his 13th goal of the campaign, but the Seagulls were level once more through a diving header from Argentinian forward Leonardo Ulloa on his debut after joining from Almeria.

Arsenal, though, finally made sure of a place in the last 16 when Walcott's shot was deflected in following a corner with five minutes left.

Wenger admitted his team selection could have come back to haunt him.

He said: "That is a gamble you take and you know it can backfire. You have to rotate knowing that if it doesn't work you will be accused of having made the wrong decision."

Giroud, 26, has slowly grown in stature since his summer move from Montpellier, and helped himself to a brace against the Irons on Wednesday night.

The France international offered Arsenal a real physical presence at the spearhead of their attack here.

Wenger said: "It's good for his confidence. He's scored four goals this week and he had a few more chances today.

"Giroud gets there. He has a presence in the box. He is dangerous and his physical presence was very important."

Arsenal have yet to move in the January transfer window, and Wenger insisted he was in no rush to panic buy ahead of the deadline despite being linked with a string of players across Europe.

He said: "You do not find them in the street, strikers who can play for us. We have strength in our team. It is difficult in January.

"Realistically, I cannot tell you I will sign anyone tomorrow, or Tuesday, as we are not close to doing it."

Brighton manager Gus Poyet, meanwhile, felt his side should not be too despondent despite not earning a replay from all of their hard work, which was produced despite losing both captain Gordon Greer and winger Will Buckley, who had stretched Arsenal down the right, to injury.

"It is a funny feeling because we are more disappointed than we should be in the dressing room. It is like we had lost a final," Poyet said.

"We had the chance to do something special, but when you lose players like we did to injury, against players like the quality of Arsenal, there is not much you can do.

"When you see Wilshere doing stretches and Walcott sprinting up and down on the sidelines ready to come on, you know you have got a problem.

"It was difficult, but we did what we had planned - competed and scored two good goals."


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