Arsene Wenger invites Lincoln boss Danny Cowley for a coke after Arsenal thrash non-league side in FA Cup

Lincoln City boss Danny Cowley has revealed how Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger invited him into his office for a ‘coke’ after his side were thrashed 5-0 by the Gunners to end their FA Cup fairy tale.

The Imps held out for almost a half before Theo Walcott broke the deadlock, but Cowley insists it has been a ‘brilliant journey.’

The 38-year-old spoke at his post-match press conference before insisting he was ready to go and see Wenger ‘to learn some more.’

“He’s invited us in for a coke so we’ll go in there and try to learn some more,” Cowley said after the FA Cup quarter-final.

Cowley screams advice from the touchline
(Photo: Rex Features)
Wenger examines the game from a low position
(Photo: REUTERS)

The Imps played nine matches to reach the quarter-finals of the competition which included four scalps of Oldham, Ipswich, Brighton and Burnley before finally coming unstuck at the Emirates Stadium.

Walcott scored in first-half stoppage-time to break Lincoln hearts before second-half strikes from Olivier Giroud, Alexis Sanchez, Aaron Ramsey and a Luke Waterfall own goal saw the Premier League side reach the last four at Wembley.

Cowley’s side also became the first non-league team to reach the last eight of the FA Cup since QPR in 1914 and the 38-year-old is delighted they have claimed their place in the history books.

Cowley told BT Sport 2: “They have world-class players and when they scored on the edge of half-time it was always going to be difficult because they got confident from there on in.

Lincoln’s FA Cup fairy tale is over
(Photo: Getty Images Europe)
The Gunners celebrate after going one up
(Photo: Getty Images Europe)

“They possessed the ball so well and you can’t help but be negative. It was really tough but listen, we are the first non-league team in over 100 years to get to the last eight of the FA Cup.

“We will never be happy when we lose but I think at some stage we need to be proud with what we have done.

“This is not the time for criticism, I think this is the time for us to be able to reflect on what we have done in the FA Cup – it’s been a brilliant journey and the key is to learn from this.

“We played against world-class players today and we will learn from this experience and come away as better footballers and better people.

“I think this is a great learning curve for us, it is a real test for us as people – it is our challenge now to go into our two FA Trophy games to find our levels.”

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