19:25 10th March 2017
City bow out, but only against a full-strength Arsenal side...
The Imps' historic FA Cup adventure reached the Quarter Final stage with this away game against Arsenal at the fantastic Emirates Stadium.
Alan Power, Jack Muldoon, Matt Rhead and Nathan Arnold all returned to the City starting line-up with the Imps up against a full-strength Gunners side. Top flight official Anthony Taylor was the man in the middle.
There was a first minute free-kick for City on the right but when the ball came in referee Taylor spotted a push by Matt Rhead and a couple of minutes later there was a break in play as Shkodran Mustafi came off second best in an aerial challenge with Rhead.
City were more than a match for their hosts in the opening 10 minutes with Arsenal's first half-chance seeing Hector Bellerin square for Aaron Ramsey who fired well wide from just outside the box.
The first corner went Arsenal's way in the 14th minute as Bradley Wood blocked a Kieran Gibbs cross; the flag-kick saw the ball reach Theo Walcott but Paul Farman pulled off a superb save to divert his effort on to the post before the hosts forced another corner which was cleared.
A couple of minutes later Sean Raggett was forced to clear a Walcott cross behind before Alex Woodyard gained possession and found Muldoon who won a free-kick to calm things down.
With City safely through the first quarter of the game, Granit Xhaka picked up a deserved yellow card for a very late challenge on Rhead, who needed treatment from Mike Hine before he resumed his duties.
Arsenal were forced to make a 27th minute change with World Cup winner Mesut Ozil replacing a limping Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and a minutes later a swift City break ended with Nathan Arnold cutting in from the right before forcing Petr Cech to tip the ball over.
When the corner came in the officials spotted a foul by a City man before Rhead was left grounded following a stray elbow by Laurent Koscielny which went unspotted by the officials. Rhead was down for a couple of minutes before he got back to his feet complete with bleeding nose.
After Farman claimed a low deflected Walcott shot a block on Muldoon earned Koscielny a 37th minute yellow card and four minutes later a clash of heads between Luke Waterfall and Olivier Giroud brought about another break in play.
Just before six added minutes was indicated, Ramsey fired well wide for the hosts and in the early stages of added time an inswinging Ozil cross was tipped behind by Farman. The hosts kept the ball in the box when the ball came in and with City umable to clear, it ran for Theo Walcott who slotted the Gunners in front
The half ended with Woodyard winning a corner but Habergham's delivery saw Waterfall unable to get any purchase on his header and Cech gathered.
HT: ARSENAL 1 IMPS 0
There were no further changes made during the break as Arsenal restarted things and withing two minutes Woodyard was booked for a foul on Gibbs.
A deflected Ozil effort lead to an Arsenal corner before Farman pulled off an excellent save to deny Giroud before Gibbs headed a follow-up cross well over the bar.
The hosts lively start to the second period paid off in the 53rd minute when the City defence was undone by some slick play with Giroud applying the final touch, sweeping past Farman to double the Gunners' advantage.
Jonny Margetts replaced Jack Muldoon before play restarted and after Bellerin curled wide Waterfall unfortunately deflected a Gibbs cross into his own net to increase Arsenal's lead.
Farman was in need of treatment before play restarted with Francis Coquelin replacing Granit Xhaka for the hosts. There was a 63rd minute yellow card for Margetts following a meaty challenge on Gibbs and a couple of minutes later both teams made a chance; Lucas Perez for Olivier Giroud for Arsenal and Joe Ward for Matt Rhead for the Imps.
After a quiet six minutes, the result was secured in the space of three minutes with Alexis Sanchez skipping past a Wood challenge before curling home and then the Chilean turned provider, crossing for Aaron Ramsey who increased the Gunners' lead from close range.
Adam Marriott replaced Terry Hawkridge for the final 12 minutes and his first touch saw him curls a free-kick over from 25 yards. Cech was then forced to spring to his left to hold a dipping Power drive.
Raggett picked up an 85th minute yellow card following a challenge on Ozil and when Alexis curled in the free-kick Farman pulled off another superb save. Walcott then fired wide following an Arsenal corner before referee Taylor brought things to a close.
FT: ARSENAL 5 IMPS 0
1 Paul FARMAN
2 Bradley WOOD
3 Sam HABERGHAM
5 Luke WATERFALL
7 Jack MULDOON
8 Alan POWER
9 Matt RHEAD
11 Terry HAWKRIDGE
25 Sean RAGGETT
28 Nathan ARNOLD
30 Alex WOODYARD
10 Adam MARRIOTT (for HAWKRIDGE 78)
13 Jonny MARGETTS (for MULDOON 54)
24 Jack McMENEMY
27 Jamie McCOMBE
37 Riccard CALDER
38 Joe WARD (for RHEAD 66)
39 Ross ETHERIDGE
BOOKINGS: WOODYARD (47), MARGETTS (63), RAGGETT (85)
33 Petr CECH
3 Kieran GIBBS
6 Laurent KOSCIELNY
7 ALEXIS Sanchez
8 Aaron RAMSEY
12 Olivier GIROUD
14 Theo WALCOTT
15 Alex OXLADE-CHAMBERLAIN
20 Shkodran MUSTAFI
24 Hector BELLERIN
29 Granit XHAKA
9 LUCAS Perez
11 Mesut OZIL (for OXLADE-CHAMBERLAIN 27)
17 Alex IWOBI
18 Nacho MONREAL
34 Francis COQUELIN (for XHAKA 61)
26 Emiliano MARTINEZ
GOALS: WALCOTT (45+2), GIROUD (53), WATERFALL (58 og), ALEXIS (72), RAMSEY (75)
BOOKINGS: XHAKA (24), KOSCIELNY (37)
REFEREE: Anthony Taylor
ASSISTANTS: Ian Hussin & Richard West
FOURTH OFFICIAL: Stuart Attwell
ATTENDANCE: 59,454 (8,942 City supporters)