Emile Smith-Rowe and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored in extra time as Mikel Arteta’s side began their FA Cup defence with a hard-fought 2-0 victory over Newcastle United in the third round at Emirates Stadium on Saturday.
After arriving as a second-half substitute, Smith-Rowe had a red card rescinded for a tackle on Sean Longstaff in stoppage time following a VAR review.
The 20-year-old midfielder went on the score the opener as he latched on to a ball from Alexandre Lacazette inside the box before slipping it past Newcastle goalkeeper Martin Dubravka.
Aubameyang also found the net from close range in the final minutes of extra time to extend Arsenal’s winning run to four games in all competitions.
“I was really happy, a bit of a relief for me with the incident before,” Smith-Rowe told the BBC. “It definitely wasn’t intentional – happy to get the goal and get through to the next round.
“We knew how tough it was going to be, they’re a tough opponent. It was about breaking them down. It shows how together we are, we have been working off the pitch to get closer as a group and it shows.”
Arsenal, who have lifted the FA Cup a record 14 times, have failed to progress to the fourth round just once in the last quarter of a century.
Arsenal created the majority of the chances through forwards Aubameyang and Nicolas Pepe but the hosts were denied an opening in 90 minutes at the Emirates Stadium.
Striker Andy Carroll missed the target for the visitors from inside the six-yard box in the 56th minute before his efforts on goal in stoppage time were brilliantly blocked by Arsenal goalkeeper Bernd Leno.
“I thought Andy did fantastically well, if he had topped it off by scoring a goal it would have been good for him,” Newcastle manager Steve Bruce said.
“A lot of pleasing things, we’ve had a tough run of fixtures but we dust ourselves down and go again.”
The result left Newcastle without a win in seven games in all competitions.