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Rediff.com  » Sports » Arsenal reach FA Cup last eight

Arsenal reach FA Cup last eight

March 08, 2009 22:50 IST

Arsenal set up an FA Cup quarter-final against Hull City when they cruised past Championship (second division) side Burnley 3-0 in their delayed fifth round match at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday.

Arsenal avenged their League Cup defeat by Burnley in December with superb goals from Carlos Vela and Eduardo da Silva, captain for the day in only his second match for Arsenal of an injury-ravaged season.

Emmanuel Eboue, who has been maligned by the home fans this season for some poor performances, wrapped up the victory with the third seven minutes from time, smashing in a low, unstoppable shot after being set up by an Alex Song back-heel.

Burnley, who reached the semi-finals of the League Cup with wins over London clubs Fulham, Chelsea, Queens Park Rangers and Arsenal before losing on aggregate to Tottenham Hotspur in the last four, never looked like causing another upset.

They rarely tested the Arsenal goal apart from when goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski missed a punch and Burnley skipper Steven Caldwell headed on to the top of the Arsenal bar two minutes after they had gone three behind.

It was Arsenal's third successive FA Cup win over Championship opposition and they have now scored 10 goals in the competition, conceding just one.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger told Setanta Sports: "When you score goals it always lifts the confidence and the belief and it is important for us to go to Roma (in the Champions League on Wednesday) with a feeling that we have done the job well."

He also said he was delighted that Eduardo and Theo Walcott, who has been out since November with a shoulder injury, were able to play with Walcott coming on as a late substitute.

"It is important to know that even if they are not completely there yet we have the resources on the bench who can come on and score goals and be dangerous. It was a big boost for us."

SUPERB CHIP

Vela opened the scoring after 25 minutes when he raced away from the Burnley defence after being played in by Andrei Arshavin who capitalised on a mistake by Chris Eagles. Vela kept his poise to chip left-footed over Burnley keeper Brian Jensen.

Eduardo's goal was even better, volleying in a perfect cross from Song with the outside of his left foot which gave Jensen no chance. He also scored twice against Cardiff City in his only other appearance of the season in the last round.

Arsenal will play Hull at the Emirates on March 17 or 18, with both sides seeking to join Manchester United and Chelsea in the semi-finals. Everton were facing Middlesbrough later on Sunday in the third quarter-final at Goodison Park.

Mike Collett
Source:
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