Aaron Ramsey spared Arsenal and Sunderland an unwanted FA Cup third-round replay with a crucial goal in their tie at the Emirates Stadium this afternoon.
The Welshman came off the bench to ensure that the back-to-back winners remained in contention for a third successive triumph with this 72nd-minute strike.
Hector Bellerin bombed forward to the right byline and squared for Ramsey, who adjusted his feet smartly to guide the ball into the net with his left foot.
Ramsey has been a hero of Arsenal’s recent FA Cup success. It was his extra-time goal which won them the 2014 final against Hull City, and ended the Gunners’ nine-year trophy drought.
Olivier Giroud was on the scoresheet in last year’s 4-0 thrashing of Aston Villa at Wembley and added another goal three minutes later to wrap up a 3-1 victory for the Premier League leaders.
Sunderland, at the opposite end of the table, won’t be too disappointed not to have taken Arsenal back to the Stadium of Light despite taking a 17th-minute lead through Jeremain Lens.
Joel Campbell soon equalised for the Gunners with his second goal of the season against the Black Cats, who will be relieved that they can now focus on their fight against relegation.
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