ARSENAL manager Arsene Wenger hinted at another late transfer window foray after seeing his side summon a stirring comeback to secure their place in the FA Cup fifth round.
The Gunners roared back from two goals behind at half-time to beat Aston Villa 3-2 and set up an away tie against Sunderland or Middlesbrough, who drew 1-1 in yesterday’s earlier match.
Captain Robin van Persie again rescued Wenger’s men, scoring two penalties either side of Theo Walcott’s bundled effort, after Richard Dunne and Darren Bent had given the visitors a shock lead.
Wenger left it late to buy in August and mischievously responded to questions about whether he would dip into the market before tomorrow’s deadline, saying: “Certainly not. But you never know.” A setback in Jack Wilshere’s return from a serious ankle injury – Wenger said the England youngster would undergo further tests this week – could prompt the Frenchman to reconsider his aversion to January business.
At the Stadium of Light, substitute Fraizer Campbell scored on his first Sunderland appearance after almost 18 months out injured to earn the Black Cats a replay against their north east neighbours.
Scottish midfielder Barry Robson had given Championship promotion hopefuls Boro the lead before Campbell, returning from cruciate knee ligament surgery, rescued Martin O’Neill’s side.
Tottenham, winners on Friday night against Watford, will travel to League One Stevenage in one of the standout ties from round five.
Chelsea, who overcame QPR 1-0 at Loftus Road on Saturday in a match better remembered for the absence of the traditional pre-match handshakes, face a home tie against Championship Birmingham.
League Two Crawley Town, the lowest ranked team left in the competition, were rewarded for their fourth-round defeat of Hull with a home tie against Premier League Stoke.
Brighton, who upset Newcastle at the Amex Stadium on Saturday, face more top-flight opposition after being drawn away to Liverpool.
FA CUP | FIFTH ROUND DRAW
Liverpool v Brighton
Everton v Blackpool or Sheffield Wednesday
Chelsea v Birmingham
Crawley Town v Stoke
Stevenage v Tottenham
Norwich v Leicester
Sunderland or Middlesbrough v Arsenal
Millwall or Southampton v Bolton
Ties to be played on the weekend of 18 and 19 February