Giroud off mark in Gunners romp
Arsenal hammered League One side Coventry 6-1 at the Emirates to ease in to the fourth round of the Capital One Cup on Wednesday night.
Last Updated: 26/09/12 9:58pm
The home side made a slow start to the game but took the lead six minutes before half-time as summer signing Olivier Giroud scored his first goal for the club.
The former Montpellier striker endured a mixed evening as he missed a second-half penalty before the game was wrapped up courtesy of a superb strike from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
Andrey Arshavin and Ignasi Miquel also struck with a Theo Walcott brace imposing Arsenal's dominance on the scoreline - Callum Ball scored Coventry's consolation with his team 4-0 down.
The Gunners dominated possession in the opening 10 minutes but it was Stephen Elliott who had a great chance to open the scoring for the visitors.
Debutant Franck Moussa skipped past Arsenal youngster Martin Angha and picked out Elliott with a cross that the experienced frontman could only head wide.
Coventry had another decent headed chance when skipper Carl Baker floated a free-kick into Richard Wood with 30 minutes gone but the Sky Blues' defender could only direct the ball well over the crossbar.
Arsenal finally forced Joe Murphy to make a save when Giroud controlled Francis Coquelin's pass before firing in a low shot from the edge of the area that the Coventry goalkeeper stopped comfortably.
The France international was on the scoresheet a couple of minutes later as he beat the offside trap to collect the loose ball following a challenge by Coquelin and kept his composure to chip over the onrushing Murphy.
Coventry started the second half brightly but could have fallen further behind only five minutes after the restart.
Reece Brown mistimed his clearance and then challenged Arshavin for the bouncing ball with the Russia international going to ground and referee Michael Jones adjudged that the on-loan Manchester United defender had been fouled.
Giroud stepped up but his low penalty was saved superbly by Murphy, diving low to his right and the resulting corner was headed onto the crossbar by Miquel.
The visitors came close to grabbing a goal of their own but Wood's header from another Baker set-piece bounced wide of Damian Martinez's left-hand post.
The miss proved costly as Arsenal doubled their lead moments later courtesy of a rasping effort from England winger Oxlade-Chamberlain. The 19-year-old collected a ball from Arshavin before firing home from 25 yards.
The former Southampton youngster almost repeated the feat five minutes later but Murphy was able to push his second effort clear.
The third goal followed soon after as Oxlade-Chamberlain and Giroud combined to set up Arshavin to score on his first start of the season.
Only another good save from Murphy denied Arsenal's captain Johan Djourou adding a fourth with a diving header.
Mark Robins' side were determined to give something for their 8,000 travelling fans to cheer and Gary McSheffrey should have pulled a goal back moments later but blazed over from close range.
Emmanuel Frimpong was introduced from the bench with 15 minutes to go, making his return from a long-term knee injury sustained when on-loan at Wolves last season.
Arsenal made it 4-0 moments later when Nico Yennaris played a through-ball to the feet of Walcott, who burst clear of the defence to slot home.
Substitute Ball and McSheffrey shot just wide before it was third time lucky for the Sky Blues when Ball reacted quicker than the Arsenal defence to Baker's cross to reduce the deficit to 4-1.
However, Arsenal soon regained their four-goal advantage as Miquel climbed at the back post to head home Arshavin's pinpoint cross.
Walcott then had two chances to add a sixth goal but hit the side-netting with one effort before forcing a low save out of Murphy.
The England international finally scored his second in the final minute of normal time with a smart finish.