Arsenal kids show bottle against Blackburn

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Arsenal’s kids had a night to remember as they booked a Carling Cup semi-final berth after a thrilling 3-2 extra-time win over Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park.

Traore and Diaby celebrate at the whistleAbou Diaby opened the scoring in just the 6th minute, volleying home cleverly from a Nicklas Bendtner cross and Arsenal were 2-0 up within half an hour when Eduardo da Silva punished Christopher Samba’s failed attempt to cut out Denilson’s through pass.

Blackburn pulled one back just before the break when Roque Santa-Cruz fired in Matt Derbyshire’s cross and the home side pulled level on 60 minutes when the Paraguayan striker scored again, this time heading home David Bentley’s free-kick.

There were plenty of chances but no more goals in the last half-hour of normal time, but Blackburn received a huge boost going into the extra period when Denilson was sent off for a reckless two-footed challenge on David Dunn in second-half injury time. But despite the setback Arsenal again went ahead in the first period of extra-time when Eduardo expertly finished from Alexandre Song’s assist.

Blackburn had several clear chances including a late header from Benni McCarthy that hit the post, but a combination of resolute defending, excellent goalkeeping and more than a little luck allowed Arsenal’s ten men to hang on for the win.

Fabianski was dominant in the airFabianski outstanding 

There aren’t many Carling Cup ties that leave supporters absolutely satisfied but the fans who did turn out at Ewood Park were given a real treat by two very good sides. As is the norm for games in this competition, Arsene Wenger gave his younger players a chance to impress and he was not let down. Understandably, he was delighted with the result

It was not a perfect performance by any stretch – on another day Blackburn may have even won the match – but the quality of the football and even moreso the determination and sheer bottle that the youngsters displayed was absolutely wonderful to watch. A few points to take away from this one:

Lukasz Fabianski looked superb. He was 100% blameless for the goals, pulled off some truly outstanding saves and was completely dominant in the air. The list of reasons why Jens Lehmann could ship off in the summer continues to grow.

Eduardo showed again what damage he can do when played in his natural position up front. He has a real presence in one-on-one situations and I feel that as long as the fans stay on his side his confidence will continue to grow and he can still play a big part in the second half of Arsenal’s season.

Denilson’s tackle did deserve a straight red. Hopefully Wenger will have a word to him because he was already on a yellow andit was a stupid challenge to make given the circumstances. It seems he may have just been wanting to make a point after these pre-match comments, but either way he will need to learn from this.

On the flipside, full credit to Blackburn’s Dunn for not rolling around in fake agony after the challenge and the referee for still awarding the send-off despite the absence of any simulation. I hate the fact that players feel they need to exaggerate contact to ensure the correct punishment is given and this was a clear example of why it is not always necessary to do so.

I really hope the kids can go on to win the tournament. They’ve been getting closer and closer each year and are now only two wins away from the trophy. It’s interesting because at the start of each Carling Cup campaign the young players all know that as soon as they get knocked out they lose the window of opportunity to impress Wenger to a certain extent. You would think this would put some pressure on the youngsters but the way they have played so far against Newcastle, Sheffield and now Blackburn suggests they are handling it in style. I have to say that it’s very encouraging to for the future.

A superb day for Arsenal was also capped off with the news that UEFA have decided not to extent Wenger’s touchline ban and he will be free to roam the side of the pitch against Porto/Barca/Real/Milan/Inter. Huzzah!

What do you think?

Have your say on the Arsenal kids win over Blackburn by leaving a comment.


14 thoughts on “Arsenal kids show bottle against Blackburn

  1. The young lads are such a joy to watch. They out played Rovers n won the game but definately Eduado needs more games to catch up.

  2. Super performance. Was impressed by Mark Randall and Alex Song. I love Armand Traore anyway. Eduardo played super. Bendtner played well. All these players are very talented. They can beat any team on their day. Our youngsters rule.

  3. I think Song could replace Toure on January, he was superb, the same with Diaby, Diarra and Bendtner.

  4. All the gunners should be proud of the performance by young gunners yesterday. It was a good win against especially anti Arsenal Hughes and a tough tackling side. It was nice to see Blackburn players moaning with referee about the physical game we played yesterday. The best thing Arsenal improved from the last season is we don’t fear team who play physical game..See even young guns dealt with tough rovers side so well.. I want to point out some points from the game.
    1. Answer to spanish fry’s question. It was a really good performance by Fabianski. He conceded 2 goals…one was clearly offside and the other no keeper can save that header…He also made a world class save from Dunn’s shot and most importantly I feel he cope with corners and crosses well. So he has the quality to be our future no 1. I rate him…
    2. Song is a new Toure in making… Toure also was midfielder and Wenger moulded him into a fine song can be new Toure and can solve our cb problems but I doubt he can replace Toure position this janaury….
    3. Bentdner is a real prospect and he can be an Arsenal legend. I like his vision, technigue and ball holding capacity. He totally deserved the goal yesterday after that amazing shot…Also Eduardo is our best poacher we have in our squad. It would be practical to compare his finishing with Ronaldo(Brazilian ) and Inzaghi…Adedayor has to learn a lot from from both Bentdner and Eduardo otherwise he is losing his 1st team place soon. I particularly want to see Bentdner partnering van Persie upfront for the team….
    Overall it was a performance full of heart, passion and determination…Very Very Proud….

  5. Why do you still want Adebayor out ramugunner? Can’t you see the great work he does. Honestly, take him out and it makes things very, very tough. Bendtner is great but I still feel Adebayor is not getting the credit he deserves. He’s top scorer in the league and it’s clear that everyone in the team appreciates the hard work he does. More than that, quite a number of defenders have said he is the most difficult attackers to mark in the Premiership, Rio Ferdinand included. He is essential in my eyes.

  6. could only catch highlights unfortunately. But, it’s good to see eduardo having a good one.
    Looking forward to the derby this w/e, on at a decent time too : )

  7. Ade is too good to be kept out. He is our only player who can handle high balls and is the most hardworking one on the pitch. Skillsets are superior to most strikers. His first touches are superb!. No one, I repeat no one can forget the goal against spurs and for me it is the best of the season so far. The area he is lacking is in taking strikes like RVP each time he gets the ball. That is a specific competence which is part of a players make-up and not easily inculcated.

  8. Eduarado and Bendtner looked really good working together. I’m beginning to think Bendtner is the kind of striker you want to hold on too. Randall and Song played particularly well. GO ARSENAL.

  9. I got alot of satisfaction from watching our young guns teach rovers how to play football..But, i was particularly disappointed when the linesman(assist ref)didn’t do his job on the rovers first goal. i was also very impressed with songs defending and diarra’s work rate in the middle of the park. i too hope that our young gunslingers can go all the way and win the carling cup.

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