Sutton’s FA Cup story is over after Arsenal got the job done with a 2-0 win against the non-league side.
What should have been a heart-warming, magic-of-the-cup affirming clash between the two sides became something of a bizarre media spectacle.
From the farce of the pie-eating goalkeeper to the streaker in a giraffe hat, this was ultimately a strange game the likes of which no Arsenal player is likely to experience again.
On the pitch, Sutton did themselves proud and had two or three good opportunities against a sloppy Gunners outfit.
Yet, to Arsene Wenger’s credit, he did take the tie seriously and fielded a strong XI, even introducing Alexis Sanchez with 15 minutes to go.
Lucas Perez and Theo Walcott got the goals, but it’s not as if Arsenal had much breathing space, with Sutton going for every ball.
And in recognition of their hard-fought encounter, Walcott surprised the part-timers with a great gesture in the dressing room, as captured by BBC Sport:
Theo Walcott thanked every player in the Sutton dressing room after the game last night. Classy 👏pic.twitter.com/4JiGfBkmL2
— Troll Football Media (@Troll__Footbal) February 21, 2017
Arsenal will now face Lincoln City, another non-league opponent in the quarter-finals, and Danny Cowley’s side have plenty to learn from Sutton.
Lincoln will do well to focus on the football, but it’s fair to say Sutton deserved all the credit they received.