Sunday, 20 February 2011

Half way and more for the Os

The BBC's Chris Bevan reports at half-time: "So far, so good for Leyton Orient, who are halfway to a money-spinning replay at the Emirates. They have been out-passed but not outclassed by the Gunners and, for the most part, restricted Arsene Wenger's men to shots from range." The Telegraph's Thom Gibbs adds: "Fair play to Orient... for keeping this game so tight. Arsenal's tactic will surely be to pass their opponents into oblivion and deliver a killer blow when tiredness kicks in at around the 77 minute mark."

The Guardian's feed has rather more entertaining anecdotage, incidentally - including the biscuit saga and fashion news about well-paid commentators and summarisers slumming it in the East End of London. On the football front, Barry Glndenning reports: "Leyton Orient get the second half started and they've a fresh pair of legs on the team. Tom Carroll, who's at Brisbane Road on loan from Spurs comes in for Jason Crowe, who's been struggling with an ankle injury.

53mins: 1-0 Arsenal, courtesy of Tomas Rosicky. Orient are still trying though, and Jonathan Tehoue has added different options and energy up front. Some great stops from Os 'keeper Jamie Jones, too. Time to bring Spurs loanee Harry Kane off the bench, methinks (18.07). He's a goalscorer.

"The hosts appeal for a penalty, but the tide marks on Squillaci's face prove otherwise," says Sam Lyon.  Chris Bevan again: "For all Orient's energy and effort, Arsenal have bossed this game from the start. The League One side are looking tired now too - the pitch at Brisbane Road is the biggest in the Football League and chasing the ball for most of the game is taking its toll on the O's, who are running out of time and ideas."

Orient's Smith in action
And then, football being football, Orient equalise! Sam Lyon again: "Incredible! Orient, so adept at late comebacks this season, have done it again - and on the biggest stage of their season so far. Substitute Jonathan Tehoue is the hero, dancing between Kieran Gibbs and Ignasi Miguel and slamming a fierce low shot under Arsenal 'keeper Manuel Almunia's dive and home to send the home fans ballistic. Unbelievable."

18.24: FULL-TIME Leyton Orient 1-1 Arsenal. "What scenes at Brisbane Road. The players are lapping up the acclaim - of which there is more than enough to go around. The home fans are going postal and owner Barry Hearn, understandably, looks just about ready to implode. How sweet will the prospect of a replay taste?"

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