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Fuller double ousts Arsenal

Published:Monday | January 25, 2010 | 12:00 AM


Arsenal were ousted from the FA Cup by Stoke yesterday with a 3-1 loss, to give Sol Campbell an unhappy return to the team after almost four years.

Just 70 seconds into Campbell's second Arsenal debut, Rory Delap's first trademark long throw-in flew over the 35-year-old defender and Ricardo Fuller headed powerfully past Lukasz Fabianski.

The visitors levelled just before the break through Denilson's deflected strike, but Fuller headed in again from Mamady Sidibe's cross at the 78th and Dean Whitehead sealed Stoke's fourth-round win.

Manchester City were drawn to play Stoke after Roberto Mancini's side beat Scunthorpe in yesterday's other match, with Robinho rounding off a 4-2 victory.

'Big Four'

With Liverpool and Manchester United already eliminated in the third round, Chelsea are the only member of the English Premier League traditional "Big Four" remaining in the world's oldest knockout competition.

Campbell was one of nine changes Arsenal manager, Arsene Wenger, made from the side that beat Bolton in midweek to remain firmly in the league title race. Arsenal have crucial league matches against Aston Villa, Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool in a 14-day spell coming up.

"Our selection was simple, take a look at our schedule and you must see we cannot play the same 11 every time," Wenger said.

Campbell hadn't appeared for Arsenal since the 2006 Champions League final when he scored in the 2-1 loss to Barcelona, before leaving for Portsmouth.

After leaving Pompey in July when his deal expired, Campbell joined fourth-tier Notts County in September, but played his one and only match of the season before walking out on a five-year contract.

Arsenal struggled

At Stoke, the former England international had an encouraging second Arsenal debut, but the team struggled against a tenacious Stoke.

Arsenal did level in the 42nd minute when Cesc Fabregas' short free kick was squared to Denilson, whose low strike clipped two defenders before flashing past Thomas Sorensen into the bottom corner.

Wenger brought on regular starters Andrei Arshavin, Eduardo da Silva and Aaron Ramsey to replace Emmanuel-Thomas, Theo Walcott and Coquelin with 20 minutes to play.

Their introduction brought an immediate improvement with their quick passing moves, but Stoke regained the lead in the 78th when Sidibe surged down the right and fired over a cross that Fuller headed home.

Stoke grabbed a third when Whitehead turned home Matthew Etherington's cross.

"The spirit was fantastic from our lads," Stoke boss Tony Pulis said. "We knew that whatever side Arsene Wenger selected, it would always be a quality team. For Arsene to say we were dangerous is a compliment."

Wants to return to Santos

City's match at Scunthorpe could be Brazil forward Robinho's last match in England for now. Robinho told Brazilian radio ahead of the match he wanted to return to his former club Santos - probably on loan - because of his lack of action at City.

He started yesterday and finished a flurry of step-overs by setting up Martin Petrov on the left, and the Bulgarian sent a powerful left-foot shot into the top corner to give City the lead after just three minutes.

Paul Hayes volleyed a 29th-minute equaliser for second-tier Scunthorpe, but Nedum Onuoha restored City's lead at the end of the first half with a neat finish from Stephen Ireland's deft through ball.

Sylvinho extended City's lead in the 57th, unleashing a left-foot strike from 30 yards into the top of the net.

But Scunthorpe had renewed hope of causing an upset when Grant McCann floated in a corner from the right and captain Cliff Byrne's shot went in off City defender, Dedryk Boyata, in the 69th.

But Robinho sealed the win by firing the ball into the roof of the net, from inside the area, after being put through by Petrov six minutes from time.

Fifth-round draw


Draw made yesterday for the fifth round of the FA Cup. Games to be played on the weekend of February 13-14.

Wolverhampton or Crystal Palace vs. Aston Villa

Manchester City vs Stoke

Derby vs Birmingham

Bolton vs Tottenham or Leeds

Chelsea vs Cardiff

Fulham vs Notts County or Wigan

Reading vs West Bromwich Albion

Southampton vs Portsmouth