March 2 (Reuters) - Arsenal cruised into the FA Cup quarter-finals with a 2-0 win at Portsmouth thanks to goals by defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos and striker Eddie Nketiah either side of halftime on Monday.
Third-tier Portsmouth had not beaten Arsenal since a 5-4 league victory in 1958, but they caused the Gunners plenty of problems before the deadlock was broken just before the break.
Reiss Nelson’s cross was met with a sweetly-timed volley inside the area from Greece international Sokratis who put the Gunners ahead in first-half stoppage time.
The goal seemed to give Arsenal an injection of confidence and Nketiah made it 2-0 six minutes after the break, controlling a cross at pace before bundling the ball home from close range.
Pompey, roared on by their passionate fans, defended well but lacked any spark in attack as Arsenal, the FA Cup’s most successful side with 13 titles, held on for a comfortable win.
The rest of the fifth-round ties are being played in midweek due to the short winter break in the Premier League, with the draw for the quarter-finals taking place on Wednesday. (Reporting by Philip O’Connor; Editing by Ken Ferris)