Arsenal's FA Cup success over Oxford United on Monday evening saw them end a long 39-year hoodoo by securing their first ever away victory over the U’s in their history.
Ahead of the meeting, the League One side were among just two clubs that the Gunners had not beaten away in a minimum of four attempts. The North Londoners found themselves on the end of a 3-2 League Cup defeat the first time that they came together away from either Highbury or the Emirates Stadium and followed that up with a 3-0 loss in Division One just under two years later.
The sides then clashed again in Oxford in 1987 and 1988 with both games ending in a 0-0 stalemate - each face-off being in league action. It looked as though Monday’s FA Cup meeting was set to be heading that way with the Gunners having produced a disappointing first-half showing at the Kassam Stadium.
Mikel Arteta ’s men were much improved after the break though. Egyptian midfielder Mohamed Elneny gave the Gunners the lead as he powered home Fabio Vieira ’s free-kick, whilst Eddie Nketiah twice got on the scoresheet with two cool finishes to book Arsenal ’s place in the fourth round.
They now set up a meeting with Premier League title rivals Manchester City, with Pep Guardiola’s men having found a place past Chelsea with a thumping victory. Whilst Arsenal have managed to end their away hoodoo against Oxford, there now remains just one club that they haven’t ever managed to secure an away victory against: Spanish giants Barcelona.
The Gunners have travelled to the Camp Nou on four occasions in their history and have never left with victory. All of those showdowns have come in the Champions League with the first game between the two on Spanish soil ending level after goals from Luis Enrique and Nwankwo Kanu.
Since then, Arsenal have endured a 4-1 reverse and two further 3-1 losses. The North Londoners will no doubt be hoping to end that run sooner rather than later too with it looking highly likely that they will each seal their respective returns to the Champions League ahead of the 2023/24 seasons.
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Speaking after victory over Oxford, Gunners boss Arteta said: “It's always tough to win these kind of matches. It was a physical game in many moments, we have stood by that.
“They [Oxford United] are a really direct team and we had to control certain things better. We changed in the second half and had even more control of the game and we found the openings to win the game.”
Arsenal are next back in action this weekend as they face Tottenham in the latest instalment of the North London Derby. The Gunners could potentially go eight points clear at the top of the Premier League with victory but could see their advantage cut to just two should they end up on the losing side at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Man City are also set to be in derby action against Man Utd on Saturday afternoon.