Arsenal's Olivier Giroud celebrates his second goal during their FA Cup fifth round soccer match against Middlesbrough at the Emirates StadiumReuters

Arsenal progressed to the quarter finals of the FA Cup following a comfortable 2-0 win over Championship side Middlesbrough at the Emirates Stadium.

Two early goals from French striker Olivier Giroud proved to be enough as Boro, who beat Manchester City at the Etihad in the fourth round, were completely outclassed by the Gunners on Sunday.

January signing Gabriel Paulista was handed his Arsenal debut and Alexis Sanchez was brought back to the squad as Arsene Wenger made seven chances to the side that beat Leicester City in the Premier League on Tuesday.

Boro boss Aitor Karanka, on the other hand, made eight chances to his side that emerged victorious during their midweek clash against Blackpool.

The game started with Arsenal in the attack as Middlesbrough were pushed back into their own defensive third.

Santi Cazorla tested Tomas Mejias with a well struck free-kick in the sixth minute and the Boro goalkeeper did very well to dive to his left and palm the ball away for a corner.

The Spanish goalkeeper was needed again in the 16th minute as he made a brilliant one handed stop to keep out a curling effort from Giroud. The rebound fell to Sanchez but the Chilean was only able to find the side netting.

Despite Mejias best efforts, the Gunners finally took the lead in the 27th minute through Giroud. Cazorla picked out Kieran Gibbs with a brilliant pass and the left-back in turn sent a low cross towards Giroud, who easily slotted the ball into the back of the net.

Before Boro could recover from the shock of the first goal, Giroud went and doubled Arsenal's lead in the 29th minute. The France striker, after escaping his marker, did brilliantly to volley Sanchez's corner past Mejias from six yards out.

Arsenal nearly added a third in the 36th minute when Mesut Ozil picked out Sanchez with an excellent pass from the left flank. The Chilean managed to beat Mejias with a lofted effort but the ball was cleared by midfield Adam Clayton before it could reach the goal line.

After the break, the Gunners continued attacking and Mejias was kept very busy as was tested by Ozil and Gibbs in the opening stages of the second half.

The former Real Madrid goalkeeper then produced an excellent save to keep out Sanchez's glancing header following a free-kick from Cazorla in the 64th minute.

With five minutes remaining on the clock, Mejias made yet another save to deny Theo Walcott, before Kike missed a good chance to net a consolation for Boro in injury time at the other end.

Arsenal 2-0 Middlesbrough FA Cup Highlights... by john-king5

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