Nicklas Bendtner’s hat-trick helped Arsenal to an imposing 5-0 FA Cup victory over Leyton Orient and a quarter-final clash with Manchester United at Old Trafford.
Marouane Chamakh’s first goal since November got the ball rolling in just the seventh minute, before Bendtner netted a first-half double.
The Denmark international followed up his fine header and 18-yard drive with a 62nd-minute penalty to complete his treble, with substitute Gael Clichy wrapping up the result as he struck his first goal since November 2008.
Moroccan Chamakh settled any early nerves when he put Arsenal ahead from close range. Tomas Rosicky darted into the right side of the Orient box before cutting the ball back to the penalty spot, where Chamakh guided a shot into the bottom left corner to take his tally to 12.
Orient almost produced a response when Ben Chorley, a former Arsenal trainee, sent an angled volley goalwards from a corner which was deflected over.
Arsenal were soon back on the offensive and doubled their lead on the half-hour when Bendtner sent Kieran Gibbs’ cross back into the top-left corner with a looping header from 12 yards.
It was 3-0 in the 43rd minute when Bendtner cut in from the left and curled a low strike into the far corner, for his sixth goal of the season.
Abou Diaby should have made it four at the start of the second half when he waltzed through the Orient defence, but dragged his low shot wide.
Arsenal were then awarded a penalty on 61 minutes when Gibbs was tripped by Alex Revell and during the break in play, Rosicky, who had picked up an injury, was replaced by Samir Nasri. Bendtner smashed the spot-kick into the bottom-left corner to complete his hat-trick, a second for Arsenal.
Clichy drilled number five into the bottom corner for his first goal since November 2008 as Arsene Wenger’s men booked a mouth-watering clash against their Barclays Premier League title rivals Manchester United at Old Trafford on March 12