Swansea City and Arsenal faced an FA Cup third round replay after a lightning strike from Michu and a dramatic three-goal flurry in the final 10 minutes ended with a 2-2 draw at the Liberty stadium on Sunday.
Swansea’s big Spaniard made an instant impact in the 58th minute when he netted 73 seconds after he came off the bench to chants of “he scores when he wants to” from a spirited Welsh crowd.
Arsenal, without any silverware since 2005 and determined not to let their best remaining chance of the season slip through their fingers, equalised through substitute Lukas Podolski in the 81st.
Kieran Gibbs then sent the visitors 2-1 up with a volley two minutes later.
The Arsenal fans’ relief was short-lived with Danny Graham grabbing an equaliser from close range in the 87th in a frenetic final few minutes during which either side could have produced a winner.
Arsenal’s Theo Walcott had the ball in the net, but was ruled offside, while team mate Laurent Koscielny fired over the bar on the rebound from a a Michel Vorm save.
The winners of the replay at the Emirates will face Championship (second tier) giant killers Brighton and Hove Albion, who humbled Premier League Newcastle United on Saturday, in the fourth round.
Holders and European champions Chelsea, who thrashed Southampton 5-1 on Saturday, face lower division opponents Southend United (IV) or Brentford (III) in the next round.
Seven times winners Liverpool were playing minor league Mansfield in Sunday’s late kickoff.
Swansea’s clash with Arsene Wenger’s trophy-starved Arsenal was a slow-burner, two passing sides sparring tentatively for much of the first half before throwing caution to the wind in the second.
Swansea manager Michael Laudrup broke the deadlock by sending on Michu, who immediately collected a header from Nathan Dyer and muscled through the defence by lifting the ball past Per Mertesacker in a strong and smooth movement before calmly slotting home.
It was his third goal against Arsenal this season, after scoring twice at the Emirates in the Premier League last month.
Arsenal, who have not won a major trophy since the FA Cup in 2005, were dumped out of the League Cup on penalties by fourth tier side Bradford City last month.
With the North Londoners sixth in the Premier League, 18 points behind leaders Manchester United, the FA Cup looks like their best chance of taking some silverware from a highly erratic season.
Arsenal remain in Champions League contention, although far from favourites with a match against Bayern Munich looming next month.Report Typo/Error