Arsenal 0-1 Blackburn Rovers
The FA Cup with Budweiser
Fifth Round Proper
3pm, Saturday 16 February 2013
The Emirates Stadium, Arsenal FC
Winning clubs receive £180,000 from The FA's Prize Fund
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By Gerry Cox
Colin Kazim-Richards scored against his boyhood heroes to put Blackburn Rovers through to the quarter finals and send Arsenal out of The FA Cup in one of the great Cup shocks of recent years.
Kazim-Richards, who grew up in nearby Leyton and trained with Arsenal as a schoolboy, struck the only goal of the game in the 72nd minute to give the Championship side a place in the last eight, and inflict on Arsene Wenger his first home defeat to lower division opposition.
And while Kazim-Richards stole most of the headlines, it was Blackburn goalkeeper Jake Kean and his defence who took most of the plaudits for a resolute defensive display at the Emirates Stadium.
Even though Wenger rested five first-team regulars, Arsenal dominated possession and had plenty of chances to score but could not find a way past Kean and his team-mates.
Kean made a string of terrific saves to keep out Arsenal, who could not find a way to goal, even in the final 20 minutes when Wenger sent on his big guns in the shape of Jack Wilshere, Theo Walcott and Santi Cazorla.
Gervinho was guilty of the worst miss, when he shot wide after being put through on goal by Tomas Rosicky's incisive pass just before half-time.
Abou Diaby and Laurent Koscielny headed high and wide, and Kean made superb saves from a thumping header by Diaby and from Thomas Vermaelen.
Michael Appleton's team did not get an effort on target until the start of the second half, when Jason Lowe's header was cleared by Mikel Arteta from a position just in front of the Arsenal goalline.
Rosicky then hit the crossbar with a long-range drive as Arsenal laid siege to the Blackburn goal.
But shortly after Wenger made his three substitutions, Kazim-Richards scored the all-important goal to send Rovers fans into raptures.
The Turkish international was on hand when Wojciech Szczesny saved Martin Olsson's powerful shot, but could only parry the ball into the path of Kazim-Richards. His shot hit the ground, bounced up past Vermaelen and in off the inside of the far post.
Blackburn's band of supporters celebrated wildly, but they had a tense finale including four minutes of stoppage time to endure as Arsenal piled forward in search of an equaliser.
They went close, but still Blackburn defended defiatntly and when Arteta shot into the sidenetting in stoppage time, it was effectively over.
Arsenal: Szczesny: Coquelin, Koscielny, Vermaelen, Monreal, Rosicky (Wilshere, 71), Arteta, Diaby, Oxlade-Chamberlain (Walcott, 71), Giroud, Gervinho (Cazorla, 71).
Blackburn Rovers: Kean; Orr, Dann, Hanley, Martin Olsson, Pedersen, Williamson, Lowe, Markus Olsson (Bentley, 62), Kazim-Richards, Rhodes (Goodwillie, 83).
Referee: Mike Dean
Arsenal 0-1 Blackburn Rovers