Arsenal returned to form with a 5-0 drubbing of Leyton Orient and Manchester City eased past Aston Villa 3-0 to reach the FA Cup quarterfinals on Wednesday.
Nicklas Bendtner fired a hat trick as Arsenal recovered from their League Cup final loss to Birmingham City in a one-sided fifth-round replay against Orient to set up a titanic quarterfinal against Manchester United.
The Gunners’ victory was never in doubt after Marouane Chamakh and Bendtner put Arsenal 2-0 up and Arsene Wenger’s side bounced back emphatically from Sunday’s shock defeat by Birmningham.
Manchester City also reached the last eight with an easy win over much-changed Aston Villa team and they face Championship side Reading who beat Premier League Everton on Tuesday.
“It was important we came back from Sunday’s defeat with a win,” Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger told reporters. “We are having a fine run apart from Sunday’s defeat which came under special circumstances. But we played very well tonight.”
The Gunners, held to a 1-1 draw by third tier Orient in the first game, were looking for a rapid response after Sunday’s painful 2-1 to Birmingham in League Cup final.
But there were no mistakes at the Emirates where the crowd were subdued until Arsenal took control of the game. Chamakh settled nerves with a well-taken side-footed goal, his first since November, after seven minutes before Bendtner headed the second, Arsenal’s 100th of the season in all competitions.
MAN CITY beat VILLA
Manchester City took an early grip at Eastlands with Yaya Toure opening the scoring after Villa failed to clear a corner in the fifth minute. The ball bounced off the shoulder of Ciaran Clark and into Toure’s path and he cracked it home from inside the six-yard box.
Mario Balotelli, beginning to settle at City after a difficult first few months at Eastlands disrupted by injury, added the second when he collected a pass from Toure and sidefooted home a half-volley from 15-metres that bounced in off Brad Friedel’s post.