A first-half brace from England Under-20 international Joe Willock helped Arsenal on their way to a 3-0 Emirates FA Cup victory at Blackpool.
The forward in the 11th minute to get the Premier League side off to a strong start, before doubling the advantage prior to half-time. It was then left to Alex Iwobi to add a third late on.
As for Blackpool, they created a couple of opportunities to try and make something of the third round tie, with the best ones falling to Armand Gnanduillet and Michael Nottingham.
In terms of team selection, The Seasiders were forced to make a change to the side that faced Sunderland on New Year’s Day, with Ben Heneghan ruled out due to illness. Nottingham took his place in the line-up.
It was the visitors, Arsenal, who created the first chance, and it came from Eddie Nketiah. The forward was played into space inside the box but could only find the side netting with his shot.
At the other end, Armand Gnanduillet did well to jink past two defenders and force a fine save out of Petr Cech.
Eddie Nketiah looked to redeem himself with another opportunity for Arsenal in the seventh minute, though this time he was off target at the back post.
Not long after, The Gunners did find the net. Aaron Ramsey’s free-kick deflected onto the post and Joe Willock reacted quickest to nod in from five-yards out.
Chris Taylor tried to fashion himself a chance in response, however his shot on the turn deflected into the path of the diving Petr Cech.
Nathan Delfouneso then tried to find Taylor with a fizzing ball across the six-yard box that just evaded the midfielder.
Youngsters Eddie Nketiah and Joe Willock continued to cause problems for the Blackpool defence, mostly due to their movement. The pair interchanged on several occasions, supported by Alex Iwobi on the counter attack.
It was Willock who scored his and Arsenal’s second in the 37th minute, squeezing the ball in at the back post after Blackpool failed to deal with the delivery.
Eddie Nketiah had another glorious chance prior to the half-time whistle blowing, yet he was thwarted by Mark Howard.
Half-Time: Blackpool 0 Arsenal 2
Michael Nottingham dragged a shot wide of the target as Blackpool searched for a way back in to the tie.
Another chance fell to Nottingham moments later, though this time he skied Marc Bola’s cross over the bar.
The visitors responded by introducing Alexandre Lacazette off the bench as a replacement for Eddie Nketiah. For Blackpool, Harry Pritchard took the place of Chris Taylor.
It wasn’t long until The Seasiders were forced into another change following an injury to Mark Howard. Christoffer Mafoumbi was the man to replace him between the sticks.
Joe Willock hoped he’d secured his hat-trick when receiving a square pass from Kolasinac but the linesman flagged as he tucked the ball home.
The Gunners did soon make it three though, courtesy of Alex Iwobi. He was left unmarked to slot in from close range after Mafoumbi had denied Aaron Ramsey.
The ‘keeper did likewise as the 90th minute ticked over, rushing out of his goal to stop the Wales international from adding to the scoreline.
The final whistle ensured that Arsenal had knocked Blackpool out of cup competition for the second time this season.
Full-Time: Blackpool 0 Arsenal 3