Olivier Giroud scored twice in as many first-half minutes as holders Arsenal progressed to the quarter-finals of the FA Cup by beating Middlesbrough 2-0 at the Emirates.
Boro, who knocked out Premier League champions Manchester City in the fourth round, were chasing shadows for much of the first half and managed just one shot before the interval.
After visiting keeper Tomas Mejias had kept out Santi Cazorla and Giroud in the early stages, the latter broke the deadlock in the 27th minute by finishing off a neat passing move with a low finish from Kieran Gibbs’s low cross.
The Frenchman made it two with Arsenal’s next attack by taking advantage of some sluggish Boro defending to guide home Alexis Sanchez’s quickly-taken corner on the volley.
Sanchez and Danny Welbeck could have put Arsenal further clear before half time, while Boro’s only effort saw Albert Adomah test Wojciech Szczesny with a low shot.
The Gunners’ dominance continued after half time, with Welbeck dinking wide and Mesut Ozil denied by Mejias inside the opening 10 minutes of the second period.
Former Real Madrid keeper Mejias was doing his best to give the visitors a chance of a fightback, but the Boro attack was causing very few problems at the other end.
Gibbs, Sanchez, Ozil and Theo Walcott were all kept out before Boro ended the match strongly and almost nicked a consolation goal.
Adomah fired a shot wide before Kike directed a header against the post in the final minute of added time.
Arsenal, who are trying to become the first side to win the FA Cup 12 times, will find out their last-eight opponents in tomorrow night’s draw.
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