LEYTON ORIENT (1) vs ARSENAL (1)
Late strike earns Orient an FA Cup replay and a trip to casino capital
LEYTON ORIENT manager Russell Slade revealed his side’s dressing room was rocking to the dulcet tones of Elvis Presley after Jonathan Tehoue’s late strike earned the League One side a money-spinning FA Cup replay at Arsenal as well as a summer holiday to Las Vegas.
Orient’s chairman Barry Hearn had promised his side an all expenses paid trip should they manage to hold their illustrious opponents to a draw.
Tomas Rosicky’s 53rd minute header – his first goal in 43 matches – put Arsenal ahead, but substitute Tehoue’s dramatic late intervention earned the O’s a deserved second bite at the cherry.
“The lads had Elvis Presley playing in the dressing room when the chairman walked in,” said Slade. “They were playing ‘Viva Las Vegas’. If we could go at the end of May or the beginning of June then that would be lovely. We are humble, but we are proud that we have come this far. We can pass the ball, and today our commitment was there to see.
“It’s OK saying go and enjoy it, but you will only enjoy it if you get some kind of performance.”
Arsenal made 10 changes to the side which beat Barcelona in midweek with 18-year-old Spaniard Ignasi Miquel making his debut in the heart of the defence. Despite not creating the opportunities their dominance of possession merited, Arsenal looked set to clinch victory until Tehoue wriggled free of two challenges and smashed his shot through Manuel Almunia’s legs.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said: “The most negative side of our result today is one more fixture and in fairness that is not what we needed. It is a disappointment, but we are still in the competition and now play at home.”
FIXTURE PILE-UP | GUNNERS’ BACKLOG
DESPITE having to suffer the inconvenience of a replay against lower league opposition, Arsenal’s four-pronged trophy assault is still alive. The Gunners will, however, face a defining fortnight in which they will play five games in four different competitions.
ARSENAL’S HECTIC FORTNIGHT
Feb 23: Stoke (h) Premier League
Feb 27: Birmingham (n) Carling Cup Final
Mar 02: Leyton Orient (h) FA Cup
Mar 05: Sunderland (h) Premier League
Mar 08: Barcelona (a) Champions League