Robin van Persie scored twice from the penalty spot as Arsenal staged a remarkable comeback to knock Aston Villa out of the FA Cup.

Villa led 2-0 at the break through a Richard Dunne header and a finish from an acute angle by Darren Bent.

But three goals in seven minutes turned the tie upside down, Van Persie making it 2-1 after Dunne fouled Aaron Ramsey.

Theo Walcott levelled before Van Persie sealed victory with a second spotkick after Bent's foul on Laurent Koscielny.

WENGER'S WINNING RUN

Arsene Wenger

Arsenal have only lost one of 34 FA Cup matches played at home under the stewardship of Arsene Wenger

Arsenal, 10-times winners of the FA Cup, will now visit the winners of next week's Middlesbrough-Sunderland fourth-round replay.

As for Villa, manager Alex McLeish will be wondering how on earth his side lost from a winning position.

McLeish denied Arsenal a first trophy since 2005 11 months ago when he steered Birmingham City to a famous win over the Gunners in last season's Carling Cup final.

But the Scot was the one left shell-shocked this time as Arsenal staged a magnificent fightback.

The Gunners were in desperate need of a lift after losing three straight league games, and the early exchanges suggested they were determined to make amends for their recent poor form.

Villa keeper Shay Given was forced into a stunning fifth minute save to keep out Thomas Vermaelen's 30-yard thunderbolt before Walcott was guilty of slicing a glorious opportunity wide.

The England international skipped past a challenge after Tomas Rosicky's 13th minute pass, but Walcott lost his composure at the crucial moment.

Villa had won on their last visit to the Emirates towards the end of last season but they were struggling to venture out of their own half as Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain flashed another chance wide.

DID YOU KNOW?

Arsene Wenger is seeking his fifth FA Cup triumph in his 16 seasons in charge of Arsenal

However, McLeish's side weathered the early storm before taking a firm grip with two goals in 12 minutes before half-time.

The visitors looked dangerous on the break through Bent and Robbie Keane, but it was a set-piece that undid the Gunners as Dunne broke the deadlock with a goal made in Dublin.

A well-worked corner saw Stiliyan Petrov's backheel release Keane, who floated the ball to Republic of Ireland team-mate Dunne, who headed home from close range.

It went from bad to worse for Arsenal when Bent then finished from an acute angle after his initial shot had been beaten away.

Villa's 5,000-strong travelling fans were in dreamland, but it was not to last.

Dunne, who had already been booked, was lucky to remain on the pitch after hauling down Ramsey inside the area, and Van Persie, himself fortunate to escape punishment for an apparent elbow on Carlos Cuellar, made no mistake from the spot.

And, within two minutes, Arsenal were level.

Walcott darted into the right side of the Villa penalty area and stabbed the ball across the goal-line, where Alan Hutton smashed his clearance back against the England forward and it ricocheted into the net.

Then, in the 61st minute, it was 3-2 after another well-executed finish by Van Persie from the penalty spot after Bent sent Koscielny sprawling.

And there was no coming back for stunned Villa as the Emirates celebrated one of the most dramatic victories in their six seasons at the venue.

Lineup, Bookings (2) & Substitutions (5)

Arsenal

  • 21 Fabianski
  • 04 Mertesacker
  • 05 Vermaelen
  • 06 Koscielny Booked
  • 07 Rosicky (Arteta - 71' )
  • 14 Walcott (Sagna - 89' )
  • 15 Oxlade-Chamberlain (Henry - 89' )
  • 16 Ramsey
  • 17 Song
  • 39 Coquelin
  • 10 Van Persie

Substitutes

  • 13 Szczesny
  • 03 Sagna
  • 08 Arteta
  • 23 Arshavin
  • 30 Benayoun
  • 09 Park Chu-Young
  • 12 Henry

Aston Villa

  • 01 Given
  • 02 Hutton
  • 03 Warnock
  • 05 Dunne Booked
  • 21 Clark
  • 24 Cuellar
  • 07 Ireland
  • 19 Petrov (Bannan - 82' )
  • 09 Bent
  • 11 Agbonlahor (Gardner - 71' )
  • 20 Keane

Substitutes

  • 22 Guzan
  • 30 Lichaj
  • 32 Baker
  • 25 Bannan
  • 38 Gardner
  • 18 Heskey
  • 26 Weimann
Ref: Jones
Att: 60,019

Match Stats

Shots

17 7

On target

12 5

Corners

10 3

Fouls

8 9

Live Text Commentary

90:00 +4:30 Full time

Full Time The referee signals the end of the game.

90:00 +4:11

Free kick awarded for a foul by Richard Dunne on Aaron Ramsey. Bacary Sagna takes the free kick.

90:00 +2:58

The ball is delivered by Barry Bannan, save by Lukasz Fabianski.

90:00 +1:12

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Francis Coquelin by Gary Gardner. Robin van Persie restarts play with the free kick.

90:00 +0:05

Thierry Henry is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Free kick taken by Shay Given.

89:51

Gary Gardner fouled by Mikel Arteta, the ref awards a free kick. Barry Bannan restarts play with the free kick.

87:36

Aaron Ramsey takes the direct free kick.

87:36 Substitution

Substitution (Arsenal) makes a substitution, with Thierry Henry coming on for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

87:36 Substitution

Substitution Theo Walcott goes off and Bacary Sagna comes on.

87:36

Unfair challenge on Aaron Ramsey by Ciaran Clark results in a free kick.

86:25

Robin van Persie decides to take a short corner.

86:12

Francis Coquelin crosses the ball, blocked by Stephen Ireland.

85:14

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain takes a shot. Blocked by Alan Hutton.

84:30

Unfair challenge on Robbie Keane by Alex Song results in a free kick. Barry Bannan crosses the ball in from the free kick, save by Lukasz Fabianski.

83:01

Gary Gardner is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Free kick taken by Lukasz Fabianski.

81:13 Substitution

Substitution Barry Bannan on for Stiliyan Petrov.

79:38

Richard Dunne takes a shot.

79:08

Stiliyan Petrov takes the direct free kick.

79:08 Booking

Booking Laurent Koscielny booked for unsporting behaviour.

78:55

Foul by Laurent Koscielny on Darren Bent, free kick awarded.

78:27

Robbie Keane handles the ball and concedes a free kick. Lukasz Fabianski takes the free kick.

77:54

Stephen Ireland produces a cross, Gary Gardner takes a shot. Save made by Lukasz Fabianski.

77:26

Short corner worked by Stiliyan Petrov.

77:19

The ball is crossed by Ciaran Clark, Francis Coquelin gets a block in.

76:13

Francis Coquelin challenges Stephen Ireland unfairly and gives away a free kick. Stephen Warnock takes the direct free kick.

74:07

The ball is sent over by Robin van Persie, Richard Dunne makes a clearance.

72:38

Unfair challenge on Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain by Alan Hutton results in a free kick. Mikel Arteta restarts play with the free kick.

72:11

Shot on goal by Robin van Persie from just inside the area clears the crossbar.

70:45 Substitution

Substitution Gabriel Agbonlahor goes off and Gary Gardner comes on.

70:45 Substitution

Substitution Tomas Rosicky leaves the field to be replaced by Mikel Arteta.

70:37

Header by Ciaran Clark from deep inside the penalty area misses to the left of the goal.

69:47

Corner taken by Stiliyan Petrov, Per Mertesacker manages to make a clearance.

67:39

Theo Walcott takes a shot. Save made by Shay Given.

65:20

Tomas Rosicky takes a shot. Blocked by Stiliyan Petrov.

64:20

Stephen Ireland produces a cross, Per Mertesacker makes a clearance.

63:45

Free kick awarded for a foul by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain on Alan Hutton. Shay Given restarts play with the free kick.

62:14

The offside flag is raised against Theo Walcott. Carlos Cuellar restarts play with the free kick.

60:42

Assist on the goal came from Laurent Koscielny.

60:42 Goal scored

Goal! - Robin van Persie - Arsenal 3 - 2 A Villa Power penalty scored by Robin van Persie. Arsenal 3-2 Aston Villa.

60:02

Darren Bent challenges Laurent Koscielny unfairly and gives away a Penalty.

59:21

Robbie Keane is ruled offside. Lukasz Fabianski restarts play with the free kick.

57:44

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Gabriel Agbonlahor by Francis Coquelin. Stiliyan Petrov takes the direct free kick.

57:03

Gabriel Agbonlahor is penalised for a handball. Lukasz Fabianski takes the free kick.

56:18 Goal scored

Goal! - Theo Walcott - Arsenal 2 - 2 A Villa Theo Walcott grabs a goal from close range low into the middle of the goal. Arsenal 2-2 Aston Villa.

54:28

A cross is delivered by Robin van Persie.

53:17

Aaron Ramsey provided the assist for the goal.

53:17 Goal scored

Goal! - Robin van Persie - Arsenal 1 - 2 A Villa Placed penalty scored by Robin van Persie. Arsenal 1-2 Aston Villa.

52:24

Unfair challenge on Aaron Ramsey by Richard Dunne results in a Penalty.

51:23

Thomas Vermaelen has an effort at goal from outside the penalty area missing to the wide left of the goal.

50:54

The assistant referee signals for offside against Darren Bent. Laurent Koscielny restarts play with the free kick.

50:34

Aaron Ramsey takes a shot. Save made by Shay Given.

49:25

The offside flag is raised against Darren Bent. Per Mertesacker takes the indirect free kick.

46:55

Robin van Persie takes the inswinging corner, Per Mertesacker takes a shot. Blocked by Stephen Ireland.

46:37

Inswinging corner taken by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain from the left by-line, clearance made by Richard Dunne.

46:33

Tomas Rosicky produces a cross, clearance made by Alan Hutton.

45:01

The second half begins.

45:00 +1:37 Half time

Half Time The players leave the pitch at half time.

45:00 +0:24 Goal scored

Goal! - Darren Bent - Arsenal 0 - 2 A Villa A goal is scored by Darren Bent from inside the six-yard box to the bottom left corner of the goal. Arsenal 0-2 Aston Villa.

45:00 +0:15

Darren Bent takes a shot. Save made by Lukasz Fabianski.

45:00 +0:01

The ball is delivered by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ciaran Clark makes a clearance.

44:25

Francis Coquelin takes a shot. Save made by Shay Given.

43:47

Direct free kick taken by Robin van Persie.

43:47 Booking

Booking Richard Dunne is booked.

43:40

Richard Dunne challenges Tomas Rosicky unfairly and gives away a free kick.

42:14

Aaron Ramsey takes a inswinging corner to the near post.

41:10

Francis Coquelin takes a shot. Blocked by Carlos Cuellar.

36:01

Darren Bent takes a shot. Save made by Lukasz Fabianski.

35:05

Tomas Rosicky takes a shot. Save by Shay Given.

34:07

Centre by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, clearance made by Stiliyan Petrov.

32:35

The assist for the goal came from Robbie Keane.

32:35 Goal scored

Goal! - Richard Dunne - Arsenal 0 - 1 A Villa Richard Dunne finds the net with a headed goal from inside the six-yard box. Arsenal 0-1 Aston Villa.

32:29

Robbie Keane crosses the ball,

31:56

Short corner taken by Stiliyan Petrov.

29:48

Aaron Ramsey concedes a free kick for a foul on Robbie Keane. Shay Given restarts play with the free kick.

29:39

The ball is crossed by Theo Walcott, Carlos Cuellar makes a clearance.

28:54

Shot from 12 yards by Thomas Vermaelen. Save by Shay Given.

27:57

Corner taken by Tomas Rosicky from the left by-line to the near post, clearance by Darren Bent.

26:23

Centre by Robbie Keane.

24:49

Theo Walcott crosses the ball, clearance by Richard Dunne.

24:13

The ball is swung over by Gabriel Agbonlahor.

23:30

Corner taken by Robin van Persie from the right by-line, clearance by Ciaran Clark.

21:14

Shot from just outside the penalty area by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain misses to the left of the target.

20:14

Carlos Cuellar fouled by Robin van Persie, the ref awards a free kick. Shay Given takes the direct free kick.

18:51

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Aaron Ramsey by Stephen Warnock. Robin van Persie has an effort direct from the free kick.

18:45

Theo Walcott sends in a cross, clearance made by Carlos Cuellar.

18:23

Gabriel Agbonlahor gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Francis Coquelin. Aaron Ramsey takes the direct free kick.

15:04

Darren Bent is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Free kick taken by Lukasz Fabianski.

14:59

The ball is sent over by Ciaran Clark, Thomas Vermaelen manages to make a clearance.

14:36

Gabriel Agbonlahor sends in a cross, blocked by Per Mertesacker.

13:07

Corner taken right-footed by Tomas Rosicky from the left by-line to the near post, Shay Given makes a save.

13:02

A cross is delivered by Thomas Vermaelen, blocked by Alan Hutton.

11:54

Effort on goal by Theo Walcott from deep inside the penalty area misses to the right of the goal.

8:59

The referee gives a free kick against Francis Coquelin for handball. Stephen Warnock takes the direct free kick.

7:27

A cross is delivered by Robin van Persie.

6:42

Corner taken by Robin van Persie from the right by-line, Carlos Cuellar makes a clearance.

5:18

Inswinging corner taken by Tomas Rosicky from the left by-line played to the near post, clearance made by Darren Bent.

4:58

Inswinging corner taken from the right by-line by Robin van Persie, clearance by Ciaran Clark.

4:43

Thomas Vermaelen takes a shot. Shay Given makes a save.

4:06

Robbie Keane handles the ball and concedes a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Robin van Persie.

2:59

Aaron Ramsey takes a shot. Shay Given makes a save.

0:00

The ref blows the whistle to begin the match.

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