May 23, 2013
Arsenal knocked out of FA Cup by Blackburn
Arsenal were booed off the pitch after a second humiliation in two months against lower league opponents when visitors Blackburn Rovers beat them 1-0 in the FA Cup fifth round with a late Colin Kazim-Richards goal today.
Manager Arsene Wenger's gamble of leaving out a batch of first-team regulars against the Championship (second tier) side backfired as Arsenal fan Kazim-Richards struck a 72nd minute winner to send Rovers into the quarter-finals.
Arsenal's Czech Republic midfielder Tomas Rosicky had come closest to breaking the deadlock with a thumping shot against the bar and Rovers had to survive furious pressure as the hosts belatedly showed some urgency, but it was too little too late.
"It's painful and disappointing to lose," Wenger, whose side fell to fourth-tier Bradford City on penalties in the League Cup quarter-finals, told reporters after another low point in what has become one of his most difficult seasons at the club.
"We lacked ruthlessness and calm in front of goal and didn't make enough of our corners and in the end we were vulnerable to one mistake. We weren't good enough to win the game today."
With Arsenal 21 points off the Premier League pace in fifth, a poor result at home to Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich in their Champions League last 16, first leg on Tuesday would virtually guarantee an eighth straight trophy-less campaign.