Oxford vs Arsenal result, score, highlights and analysis as Gunners set up FA Cup tie at Manchester City

Eddie Nketiah said Premier League leaders Arsenal would be “up for it” against Manchester City after the forward’s clinical brace at Oxford United helped seal a fourth-round FA Cup showdown against the Gunners’ main rivals for the league title.

Arsenal made seven changes against Oxford, who stood 58 places below them in the English third tier, and the Premier League side toiled to trouble the underdogs during the first half at a boisterous Kassam Stadium.

Fabio Vieira’s pinpoint free-kick was instrumental in the breakthrough, inviting Mohamed Elneny to head past home goalkeeper Joe McGinty before Nketiah produced two impressive finishes in the 3-0 victory.

Nketiah latched on to Vieira’s perceptive through ball and glided past McGinty to slot in his first, then picked up Gabriel Martinelli’s low pass and beat McGinty with a delightful dink from a tight angle.

“It’s not the best draw, but we’re up for it,” Nketiah told ITV. The 23-year-old now has 17 goals in 24 starts for Arsenal in all competitions since the start of the 2021/22 season.

“We had to stay patient and up the level — it wasn’t good enough from all of us in the first half. We needed more quality with the ball and a bit more calmness.

“We had to play at our pace. We did that with our intensity in the second half and got our reward.”

Oxford went closest when Matt Taylor narrowly failed to beat Arsenal goalkeeper Matt Turner to a Ciaron Brown pass that bypassed Arsenal’s defence.

Arsenal will visit City, who are currently five points behind them in second place in the Premier League, on the weekend of January 28.

Oxford vs Arsenal final score

  1H 2H Final
Oxford 0 0 0
Arsenal 0 3 3

Goals:
ARS — Elneny — 63rd min.
ARS — Nketiah — 70th min.
ARS — Nketiah — 76th min.

Arsenal pass the test

Head coach Mikel Arteta was sufficiently unimpressed by Arsenal’s first-half performance to send his players out early for the second period, leaving the likes of wideman Bukayo Saka deep in conversation as they pondered a way past the team in 15th place in England’s Division 1.

Arteta himself emerged looking riled, no doubt feeling wary of the fates suffered by Bournemouth, Newcastle United and Aston Villa over the weekend as those Premier League teams fell at their first hurdle against lower-division winners.

After Arsenal fell at this stage last season at Nottingham Forest — then a Championship club — Arteta had offered an apology to fans. There was a growing risk that a similar embarrassment awaited him here after a first half when neither side managed a shot on target.

Getting Vieira on the ball, as Arteta emphasised afterwards, was crucial to catching out Oxford, and the 22-year-old’s inswinging free-kick from the edge of the penalty area would have troubled any defence, only needing a touch from Elneny to put Arsenal ahead.

That was the first of three goals in 14 minutes, with providers Vieira and Martinelli showing the quickness of thought and precision to match Nketiah’s ruthlessness.

With a league trip to arch-rivals Tottenham Hotspur coming up on Sunday and a visit from Manchester United in their subsequent game, a replay would have been a painful inconvenience for Arsenal in a season when the schedule in the second half of the season is already stacked because of the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

There was another positive to take when England hopeful Emile Smith Rowe came on as a late substitute in his first appearance for more than four months because of a groin injury.

With two potentially defining games against City on the horizon — Arsenal also host the reigning champions on February 15 — this was another test passed for a team looking far stronger than they did a year ago.

Stubborn Oxford take pride

Oxford have struggled for form this season, last winning two league games in a row at the start of September and preparing for this match with a 1-0 defeat at home to Exeter City.

Head coach Karl Robinson had described their season as “bang average” before this commendably obstinate performance in front of an impressively fervent home crowd who also made the case for a new stadium for the club.

Brown’s crosses and throw-ins caused occasional uncertainty in Arsenal’s backline, and the majority of the stands cheered every misplaced pass and thwarted attack from the team they were desperate to shock.

Robinson would have taken encouragement from fourth-tier Stevenage’s sensational win at Villa on Sunday and for more than an hour Oxford threatened to make more headlines.

“It was questionable whether it was a free-kick, but the ball in is why they’re Premier League players,” Robinson said of Elneny’s goal.

“We didn’t look like a team that was so far apart from a top-level team. I’m proud of them. We have a good team that’s full of energy and exciting to watch.”

Elliott Moore was fortunate to avoid conceding a first-half penalty when Albert Sambi Lokonga was rightly convinced that his shot had hit the Oxford defender on his arm, but the U’s deserved to be level at the break.

Robinson admitted that his players “lost control of the game” once they had gone behind and hopes the money the club will earn from their tangle with the most successful team in FA Cup history will now help him in the transfer window.

MORE: Watch every Premier League match live with fuboTV in Canada

Oxford vs Arsenal live updates, highlights from FA Cup third round

FULL-TIME: Oxford 0-3 Arsenal

Arsenal set up a fourth-round tie at Manchester City! The Gunners eventually break down a stubborn Oxford team to progress in style, navigating a tricky test with considerable help from Eddie Nketiah’s clinical brace.

89 mins: Oxford 0-3 Arsenal

Substitute Oleksandr Zinchenko sends a shot over the target.

85 mins: Oxford 0-3 Arsenal

Decent chance for Oxford, for whom Sam Long nods a cross at Arsenal goalkeeper Matt Turner. They’ve performed creditably tonight and stuck at their task.

81 mins: Oxford 0-3 Arsenal

Emile Smith Rowe threatens to score, which would surely have been the icing on the cake for Arsenal tonight.

The substitute has plenty of space but sees his low shot blocked behind from just inside the penalty area on the left.

79 mins: Oxford 0-3 Arsenal

The home fans are baying for punishment after Ciaron Brown appears to take a whack.

That last goal has surely set Arsenal up for a fourth-round tie at Manchester City.

77 mins: Oxford 0-3 Arsenal

Gabriel Martinelli was the provider for that goal, looking up from outside the penalty area to the right of centre and playing a low pass beyond the defence that might have just found Nketiah in a marginally offside position.

That shouldn’t take too much away from the forward’s response, taking a touch and waiting for Oxford goalkeeper Joe McGinty to come out before chipping a classy finish past the goalkeeper at his near post.

76 mins: GOAL — Oxford 0-3 Arsenal (Eddie Nketiah)

The Arsenal forward produces another fine finish!

75 mins: Oxford 0-2 Arsenal

Emile Smith Rowe makes his much-anticipated return from a long-term groin injury, replacing Bukayo Saka. Oxford fail to do much with their corner.

73 mins: Oxford 0-2 Arsenal

Oxford force a corner down the left. Can they find a way back into this tie?

71 mins: Oxford 0-2 Arsenal

That was a terrific goal from Arsenal, who were inspired by Fabio Vieira again. This time the midfielder collected a Mohamed Elneny pass through the centre and found Eddie Nketiah with a perceptive low pass that sliced through the Oxford defence.

Nketiah showed composure to take a touch beyond advancing goalkeeper Joe McGinty and roll his finish into the net.

70 mins: GOAL — Oxford 0-2 Arsenal (Eddie Nketiah)

Fabio Vieira and Eddie Nketiah combine for a slick second that might well seal Arsenal’s progress!

69 mins: Oxford 0-1 Arsenal

Karl Robinson looks somewhat pained on the touchline. You can guarantee Oxford, who’ve impressed tonight, will keep going – as they do, trying to build an attack on the left.

66 mins: Oxford 0-1 Arsenal

That header ended Arsenal’s run of 236 minutes without a goal in the FA Cup – their longest since going 183 minutes without scoring between January and March 2016.

64 mins: Oxford 0-1 Arsenal

That, as the ready-made commentating line might have it, was a moment of quality that can make a difference in a tight cup tie.

Fabio Vieira’s inswinging free-kick from just outside the Oxford penalty area on the left was of an excellence that would bamboozle many a Premier League defence.

Takehiro Tomiyasu almost got on the end of it in front of goal, but Mohamed Elneny was behind him and would have struggled to miss from that distance.

63 mins: GOAL — Oxford 0-1 Arsenal (Mohamed Elneny)

A fizzing free-kick leads to Arsenal taking the lead!

61 mins: Oxford 0-0 Arsenal

Subs for both sides! Kieran Tierney and Albert Sambi Lokonga make way for Oleksandr Zinchenko and Granit Xhaka, while Josh Murphy is replaced by experienced forward Yanit Wildschut for Oxford.

58 mins: Oxford 0-0 Arsenal

Oxford’s Matt Taylor goes too far with a challenge on the unimpressed Gabriel, flinging an arm around his neck as the pair compete for a ball.

Taylor and his teammates, understandably, are letting Arsenal feel their presence tonight — but they need to be a tad careful.

58 mins: Oxford 0-0 Arsenal

Oxford aren’t deterred by that spell of Arsenal pressure. Ciaron Brown swings in an inviting cross from the left, and Gabriel does well to clear from the six-yard box.

Brown then receives a yellow card for a tangle with Eddie Nketiah.

56 mins: Oxford 0-0 Arsenal

Gabriel Martinelli causes Oxford a couple of scares with vicious inswinging corners from the right. There’s a clank of the goal frame as the first goes behind, and it’s not clear whether that was caused by the ball or Oxford goalkeeper Joe McGinty covering his line.

The second delivery from Martinelli is only partially cleared, winding up in a corner from the other side that culminates in a goal kick for Oxford via some brave goalkeeping by McGinty.

55 mins: Oxford 0-0 Arsenal

Arsenal go as close as they have all night! Bukayo Saka shows typical fleet-footedness to outfox his markers inside the penalty area on the right, cuts back and drills in a low shot that Lewis Bate clears off the line!

53 mins: Oxford 0-0 Arsenal

Oxford are harassing Arsenal and almost create a dangerous opportunity from the left. Billy Bodin’s initial cross is unconvincingly cleared, and the former Wales international then shows lovely footwork to fashion space on the byline, only for the ball to narrowly cross the line for a goal kick.

51 mins: Oxford 0-0 Arsenal

Kieran Tierney arrows a throw-in towards the near post from near the corner flag on the left. Oxford clear with ease, then Matt Taylor wins a foul as the result of a clumsy challenge by Arsenal midfielder Albert Sambi Lokonga.

49 mins: Oxford 0-0 Arsenal

Best chance for Oxford so far! Ciaron Brown receives the ball from a throw-in inside the hosts’ half and bounces a pass beyond Arsenal’s defence along the inside channel.

Matt Taylor is on to it but can’t quite get possession under control as Matt Turner races to the edge of his penalty area to smother. Alert goalkeeping.

47 mins: Oxford 0-0 Arsenal

Gabriel Martinelli has the chance to send in a corner from the left. Oxford deal with the danger comfortably. It’s been more than two-and-a-half hours since Arsenal have scored in all competitions.

46 mins: Oxford 0-0 Arsenal

You wouldn’t need to be a body language expert to see that Mikel Arteta was not happy as he emerged from the tunnel, and he also appeared to have some stern words for one member of the officiating team.

Arsenal’s players were sent out early for the second half, with Bukayo Saka among those appearing to be deep in conversation. They kick off the resumption of the action — will a rocket from Arteta ensure a bright start from them?

HALF-TIME: Oxford 0-0 Arsenal

An upset is on! Only a replay at the moment, what with neither side having really troubled the opposition goalkeeper yet. But lively, organised Oxford are yet to look hugely troubled by Arsenal.

In the midst of a superb season when they are credibly challenging for the Premier League title as frontrunners, you could understand if the Premier League side were lacking a little motivation tonight. They won’t want a replay, though, which they would have to slot around league games against Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United.

Can the League One side match their effort with more attacking threat? Will Arsenal bring on the big Gunners? The second half looks an engrossing prospect.

42 mins: Oxford 0-0 Arsenal

Kieran Tierney lobs another long throw into Oxford’s box from the left. Eddie Nketiah can only see it behind, much to the pleasure of most of the fans here.

41 mins: Oxford 0-0 Arsenal

Ciaron Brown launches a long throw into the Arsenal penalty area from the left, which Arsenal clear after at least two attempts to do so.

Djavan Anderson gives the ball away, allowing Arsenal’s Gabriel Martinelli to race away down the left before the Dutchman catches up and concedes a throw-in in a useful position for Arsenal. Determined defending — and he raises an apologetic arm after atoning for his error.

40 mins: Oxford 0-0 Arsenal

Neither side has had a shot on target yet. Arsenal are on course not to score in the first half for a fourth time in five games in all competitions.

38 mins: Oxford 0-0 Arsenal

Given time to swing in a cross from near the penalty area on the left, Kieran Tierney scoops a dreadful delivery beyond the far post and behind.

Mikel Arteta grits his teeth, although he tends to do that anyway. The Oxford faithful produce a roar of approval as the ball sails towards them.

35 mins: Oxford 0-0 Arsenal

Albert Sambi Lokonga is slapping his arm and convinced he should have a penalty after seeing his shot deflected behind from inside the penalty area.

Replays show that Elliott Moore did handle the ball as he went down, but there was very little the defender could have done about it. VAR doesn’t get a chance to unfairly spoil the spectacle, as it’s not casting its dubious spectre over this game.

33 mins: Oxford 0-0 Arsenal

“We forgot that you were here,” sing Oxford’s fans to their Arsenal counterparts, to the tune of Status Quo’s ‘Rockin’ All Over the World.’

31 mins: Oxford 0-0 Arsenal

Eddie Nketiah is deemed offside as he tries to elude Elliott Moore in pursuit of an attempted Takehiro Tomiyasu pass.

Mikel Arteta offers brisk applause to his players and a few words of encouragement. He looks like he wants them to up the ante — they’re lacking momentum and inspiration right now.

29 mins: Oxford 0-0 Arsenal

Takehiro Tomiyasu reaches a promising position on the right midway inside the Oxford half, then runs out of ideas in a measure of how well Arsenal’s opponents are defending tonight.

A loud roar goes up as Tomiyasu’s attempt at a low pass forward rolls harmlessly behind for a goal kick.

27 mins: Oxford 0-0 Arsenal

Bukayo Saka loses another battle with Ciaron Brown, this time entering the Oxford box on the right and seeing his attempt at a low cross blocked by the defender, who lumps the ball clear.

A reminder: the winners of this tie, which will go to a replay if it finishes as a draw after 90 minutes, will be away to Manchester City in the fourth round.

26 mins: Oxford 0-0 Arsenal

Bukayo Saka goes down clutching his foot and wincing after a fair challenge from Ciaron Brown.

“You shouldn’t be kicking the ball out for that,” says former Arsenal defender Lee Dixon on ITV, as those noisy home fans show no sympathy for the England wideman.

24 mins: Oxford 0-0 Arsenal

Oxford are growing in belief. Cameron Brannagan bustles towards the Arsenal penalty area through the centre, then rattles in a low shot that is deflected away.

They’re yet to have a shot on target, but Arsenal aren’t entirely comfortable here. It’s building into an absorbing tie.

22 mins: Oxford 0-0 Arsenal

This is a useful spell for Oxford. Josh Murphy attempts a backheel after playing a one-two from a throw-in level with Arsenal’s penalty area on the left, then battles tenaciously to win the ball back as his side look for an opening.

Ciaron Brown concedes a foul for leaving an elbow in on Takehiro Tomiyasu, albeit with no malice. Oxford manager Karl Robinson reckons it was a fair challenge, judging by his response.

20 mins: Oxford 0-0 Arsenal

A loud chant of “boring, boring Arsenal” goes up from the home crowd. Then two tasty — and successful — challenges go in from their heroes, just to ramp the excellent atmosphere up a notch.

18 mins: Oxford 0-0 Arsenal

Oxford haven’t scored in any of their last five games against Arsenal in all competitions, although they’ve only lost two of those matches.

The U’s last billowed the onion bag against these opponents in a top-flight match in May 1986.

16 mins: Oxford 0-0 Arsenal

Decent chance for Arsenal: Billy Bodin and Ciaron Brown cross wires in a dangerous area on Oxford’s right, allowing their opponents to launch an attack.

Bukayo Saka releases Takehiro Tomiyasu with a low ball into the penalty area on the right, but the full-back doesn’t make the most of the opportunity to create danger in space, firing a low delivery into the gloves of diving goalkeeper Ed McGinty.

14 mins: Oxford 0-0 Arsenal

Here’s how the teams looked when they emerged! Arsenal have had the better of play so far, but from the opening 15 minutes you wouldn’t guess Oxford were two divisions below their opponents.

13 mins: Oxford 0-0 Arsenal

Kieran Tierney wipes the ball with a towel, takes a few steps back and launches a long throw into Oxford’s penalty area from the left, which is cleared at the second time of asking.

A quintessential FA Cup third round sight, that throw-in tactic — although not one you’d immediately associate with Arsenal, who’ve been ousted at an early stage on a few occasions in the competition by teams opting to take a direct approach against them.

12 mins: Oxford 0-0 Arsenal

A loud roar goes up as Arsenal fudge a throw-in on the right, sending the ball behind for a goal-kick. That was their first little spell of discernible pressure, and Oxford dealt with it comfortably.

11 mins: Oxford 0-0 Arsenal

Another corner to Arsenal on the same left-hand side. Gabriel Martinelli tries to find his defensive namesake with an outswinging delivery towards the centre spot, where Ciaron Brown heads decisively clear.

10 mins: Oxford 0-0 Arsenal

This is an obvious chance for Kieran Tierney to stake his claim for a more regular Arsenal starting berth. The Scotland international forages down the left and wins a free-kick off the attentive Josh Murphy.

8 mins: Oxford 0-0 Arsenal

Bukayo Saka is on his bike for the first time. Ciaron Brown edges in front of him and goes to ground just inside the Oxford penalty area, receiving a free-kick in his favour for his trouble.

Slightly fortunate, perhaps, for Brown, who looked to have been part of a 50-50 there, although Saka probably did nudge him off balance. There’s no VAR tonight.

7 mins: Oxford 0-0 Arsenal

Promising for Oxford: Josh Murphy reaches the edge of the Arsenal penalty area on the right and clips a cross towards the centre of the box, where Arsenal ‘keeper Matt Turner claims it comfortably.

5 mins: Oxford 0-0 Arsenal

This has been a quiet start on the pitch, which may suit both teams. Oxford will want to have steadied any nerves, while Arsenal might well be happy to bide their time and wait for openings in which to use their superior cutting edge.

3 mins: Oxford 0-0 Arsenal

Oxford play passes around at the back, looking neat and tidy. Then Ciaron Brown lumps an aimless pass down the left-hand channel, which finds its way back to Matt Turner.

1 min: Oxford 0-0 Arsenal

Oxford start the show! The underdogs keep the ball nicely for the opening few seconds, then Arsenal retrieve possession and try to launch an attack down the right before moving play back to Matt Turner in goal.

This is the steady start the hosts would have wanted in front of a predictably boisterous crowd. Mikel Arteta is focusing that stern gaze forward on the touchline.

5 mins from kickoff: One of Oxford’s best-known fans — eccentric British artist Timmy Mallett — is in the packed crowd, as is another highly creative individual: former Arsenal and England midfielder David Platt.

The teams, meanwhile, are in the tunnel. We’re almost ready to roll!

15 mins from kickoff: “It’s a big competition for us,” Mikel Arteta tells Arsenal legend Ian Wright, speaking on ITV.

“We have tried to explain how important it is for this club and we need to show that on the pitch today. We missed Emile — we know at his best, he is a big player for us.”

30 mins from kickoff: Arsenal are wearing an all-white one-off kit tonight, which you can read more about on sportingnews.com.

45 mins from kickoff: Here’s how Arsenal start! Mikel Arteta makes seven changes, with only Gabriel, Eddie Nketiah, Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli retaining their places from the goalless draw at home to Newcastle.

Emile Smith Rowe makes his long-awaited return from a groin injury among the substitutes.

60 mins from kickoff: Team news! Oxford start like this: McGinty (GK) – Anderson, Moore, Long, Brown – Bate, McGuane, Brannagan – Bodin, Taylor, Murphy.

Here’s what home boss Karl Robinson has to say about that.

75 mins from kickoff: As we await team news, don’t forget to follow our dedicated football channel, Sporting News Football Club, on Twitter and Instagram.

Full of stats and insights on the FA Cup, Premier League and beyond, it’s your essential social media companion to the beautiful game.

90 mins from kickoff: Arsenal have only been eliminated in two of their last 26 FA Cup third round ties — both times against Nottingham Forest, in 2017-18 and 2021-22.

The Gunners last went out at this stage in consecutive seasons in 1994-95 (vs Millwall) and 1995-96 (vs Sheffield United).

105 mins from kickoff: Opened in 2001, the Kassam Stadium is named after former Oxford chairman Firoz Kassam and has had an average attendance so far in League One this season of 7,958.

There were 16,500 people here to see Elton John play a gig in the summer of 2006.

120 mins from kickoff: Hello and welcome to The Sporting News’ coverage of Arsenal’s first game in this season’s FA Cup, when they are facing an Oxford side whose head coach, Karl Robinson, has described their campaign so far as “bang average”.

Arsenal’s has been anything but, establishing a six-point lead at the top of the Premier League which will count for nothing when they kick off at the Kassam Stadium this evening. A repeat of the routine 2-0 win they secured against the U’s at this stage in the 2002/03 season, when Dennis Bergkamp became a Gunners goal centurion, would be ideal for the Gunners – but their hosts face little pressure as they chase an upset.

Oxford vs. Arsenal confirmed lineups

Oxford head coach Karl Robinson did not initially call upon either of his two new defenders for a sold-out game that gave him the novelty of speaking to dozens of reporters, with millions likely to watch his players take on the 14-time FA Cup winners.

Hull City’s Brandon Fleming has moved to United on loan and 20-year-old centre-back Stephan Negru joined from League of Ireland Premier Division side Shelbourne at the start of the year, but neither newcomer made the starting lineup.

“It’s a massive fixture for the club and for me as well,” Fleming told the Oxford Mail, while Robinson described his side’s season as “bang average” to the outlet but said that their recent performances had been stronger.

Both of Robinson’s changes to his starting lineup came in attack, where Josh Murphy and Billy Bodin were reinstated.

Confirmed lineup (4-3-3): McGinty (GK) – Anderson, Moore, Long, Brown – Bate, McGuane, Brannagan – Bodin, Taylor, Murphy

With subsequent games against two of the teams in the top five of the Premier League in Tottenham and Manchester United, Arteta rotated his starting side from the one that began the goalless draw at home to Newcastle United in the Premier League.

After apologising for losing in the third round at Nottingham Forest last season, the manager will be wary of easing off against opponents from a lower division, and a replay would be unwelcome amid Arsenal’s busy schedule in the event of a draw.

Only Gabriel, Eddie Nketiah, Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli retained their starting places from the draw with the Magpies.

Smith Rowe made his return on the bench but Reiss Nelson and Gabriel Jesus remained out.

Arsenal visit arch-rivals Spurs on Sunday and some of the squad members who did not start against Newcastle, such as Fabio Viera and Mohamed Elneny, started as Arteta seeks to keep some of his first-choice players as fresh as possible before the trip to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Confirmed lineup (4-3-3, right to left): Turner (GK) – Tierney, Gabriel, Holding, Tomiyasu – Sambi Lokonga, Elneny, Vieira – Martinelli, Nketiah, Saka

MORE: Latest Arsenal transfer news as January window heats up

What time is Oxford vs. Arsenal kick off?

Oxford play host to Arsenal at the Kassam Stadium in Oxford, England. It kicks off at 8 p.m. BST on Monday, January 9.

Here’s how that time translates across some of the major territories:

  Kickoff time
USA 15:00 ET
Canada 15:00 ET
UK 20:00 GMT
Australia 07:00 AEDT*
India 01:30 IST
Hong Kong 05:00 HKT*
Malaysia 05:00 HKT*
Singapore 05:00 HKT*
New Zealand 09:00 NZDT*

*Game starts on January 10 in these time zones

Oxford vs. Arsenal live stream, TV channel

Here’s how to watch all of the action from this match in some of the major territories:

  TV channel Streaming
USA ESPN+
Canada Sportsnet
UK ITV1 ITVX
Australia Paramount+
New Zealand beIN Sports Connect
India SONY TEN 2, JioTV
Hong Kong
Malaysia Astro Supersport 4, sooka, Astro Go
Singapore 111 mio Sports 1

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