Thursday, October 29, 2009

Arsenal 2-1 Liverpool in Carling Cup

Lukasz Fabianski saves a shot

London (10/28) - Arsenal cruised past Liverpool 2-1 to join Manchester United, Blackburn Rovers, Tottenham Hotspurs, Aston Villa, and Portsmouth in English League Cup quarter-finals.


For once, Wenger's Carling Cup XI was more experienced than the team they were facing. Samir Nasri (broken leg) and Lukasz Fabianski (knee) were playing their first games of the season after medium-term injuries. Eduardo and Bendtner were also given a start after recent spells on the sidelines. Mikael Silvestre, Fran Merida, Kieran Gibbs and Aaron Ramsey had spent a lot of the season on the bench for the first team so they needed competition. Kerrea Gilbert was now a "veteran youngster" - if the term exists - so the most interesting inclusion was Craig Eastmond. The 18-year-old was mainly known as a right back in the Reserves. Tonight he was deputising for Alex Song as Arsenal's holding midfielder.

Liverpool's starting line-up was littered with players who had been on the fringes of their first-team - Andriy Voronin, Babel, Insua and David Ngog. The only regular was captain Kuyt. However Rafa Benitez did name the likes of Yossi Benayoun, Pepe Reina, Andrea Dossena and debutant Alberto Aquilani on the bench.


Fran Merida scores Arsenal's first goal

At the 19th minute, Arsenal gained the lead as 19-year-old Fran Merida got the ball on the right and cut inside to unleash a thunderbolt shot at the Liverpool goal. The ball clipped the inside of the post and hit the back of the net.

Liverpool equalized just 7 minutes later through a strike from 25 yards by Emiliano Insua. Fabianski had no chance and could only watch as the ball was lifted over him, the dip timed perfectly to drop into the back of the net.

Bendtner celebrates his goal with Eduardo

Five minutes in the second half, the Gunners got the better of the Reds again. Merida played the ball to Bendtner on the edge of the area. The Dane controlled the ball and goes past Skrtel to fire into the roof of the net.

Arsenal maintain their 100 per cent record at Emirates this season and progress to the Carling Cup Quarter-Final with a 2-1 win over Liverpool.

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