FA Cup: Walcott bags hat-trick as Arsenal hammer Southampton

Theo Walcott netted a hat-trick against his former club
Theo Walcott netted a hat-trick against his former club

Theo Walcott was delighted to score a hat-trick as Arsenal eased past Southampton 5-0 to reach the fifth round of the FA Cup.

Danny Welbeck opened the scoring for the Gunners after 15 minutes as he flicked Lucas' cross over goalkeeper Harry Lewis, clipping the underside of the bar before it found the back of the net.

The England striker doubled Arsenal's lead midway through the first half as he slotted Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain's pass underneath Lewis from a tight angle.

Walcott extended the visitors' lead from Welbeck's cutback with a close-range finish 10 minutes before the break. He netted the fourth after 68 minutes and completed his hat-trick with five minutes remaining.

Walcott told BT Sport 2: "From the word go we were ready. We've been lacking on poor starts lately but we came out of the blocks running and this man next to me (Welbeck) has obviously come back with an absolute bang.

"It's great to see him back on the pitch but then again it's a clean sheet which we aim for in any game.

"It's nice that we created a lot of chances and took them away today."

The former Saints striker added: "It's not payback at all. It's been so long (since I left the club), I've had some great memories here and Southampton will always be in my heart without a doubt.

"I enjoyed playing football here at the time and obviously, I've enjoyed tonight - the guys did fantastic.

"We wanted to get the win today and we did that."