Gunners down Huddersfield


LONDON, January 30- Ten-man Arsenal needed a late Cesc Fabregas penalty to overcome plucky Huddersfield 2-1 and advance to the last 16 of the FA Cup here Sunday.

Second-half substitute Fabregas scored from the spot on 86 minutes after League One side Huddersfield had fought back bravely from 1-0 down to level.

Fabregas’s winner came after Terriers defender Jamie McCombe flattened Nicklas Bendtner in the area.

The Gunners, who had Sebastien Squillaci sent off just before half-time, had earlier taken the lead through a Peter Clarke own goal on 22 minutes.

Huddersfield hit back through an Alan Lee header on 66 minutes to leave Arsenal facing the unwelcome prospect of a fourth round replay.

Arsenal looked comfortable early on, moving the ball around with ease and carving out a string of opportunities.

Andrei Arshavin rattled the woodwork after a quarter of an hour before Clarke’s own goal gave Arsenal the lead.

Marouane Chamakh released Bendtner and the Danish striker’s angled shot was heading wide until Clarke slid in to deflect it into his own net.

Huddersfield hauled themselves back into the match however and shortly before half-time were given a huge boost when Jack Hunt was body-checked by Squillaci as he burst clear of the Arsenal defence.

Referee Mark Clattenburg did not hesitate to produce a red card and Arsenal were suddenly down to 10 men.

With nothing to lose, Huddersfield started the second half positively and had a jittery Arsenal on the back foot for long periods.

Arsenal goalkeeper Manuel Almunia made a superb save to deny Lee’s header, and from the resulting corner Huddersfield went close again through a Joey Gudjonsson shot.

On 66 minutes, Huddersfield’s pressure paid off, Lee leaping high to head home Anthony Pilkington’s corner.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger responded by substituting the ineffectual Abou Diaby by Fabregas, and the Gunners immediately looked more threatening.

And with a replay looming, Fabregas kept his cool from the spot to fire Arsenal into the last 16.

Arsenal’s match was one of five fourth round fixtures on Sunday. Wolves were playing Stoke at Molineux, while Notts County faced Manchester City and West Ham entertain Nottingham Forest.

Fulham face Tottenham in the late kick-off.