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Sheff Utd 0-3 Arsenal

Eduardo (right) celebrates with Nicklas Bendtner
Eduardo (right) scored twice on a comfortable night for the Gunners

Striker Eduardo scored a superb brace as Arsenal's young guns eased into the quarter-finals of the Carling Cup.

Billy Sharp wasted a rare chance for Sheffield United before Eduardo struck with a sizzling left-foot shot after eight minutes.

The Croat made it 2-0 shortly after half-time, coolly slotting home debutant Kieran Gibbs's long pass.

Denilson finished off a comfortable win for the Gunners with a deflected shot from long-range.

Sheffield United boss Bryan Robson picked only four of the players that started Saturday's draw with Hull, striker James Beattie among those to get a rest.

And as expected, Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger overhauled his team completely.

606: DEBATE
AFCGunnerChris

Gibbs, 18, was handed a first-team debut alongside fellow teenagers Denilson, Theo Walcott and Nicklas Bendtner.

Only the presence of 31-year-old Gilberto - who was overlooked for the captaincy in favour of keeper Lukasz Fabianski - pushed the average age of the team over 21.

But despite the unfamiliar names in Arsenal's line-up, the Blades seemed overawed and failed to put Arsenal's inexperienced defence under any prolonged pressure.

Sharp's shot - which was well saved by Fabianski after four minutes - was as close as the Blades came to a shock.

Four minutes later, Bendtner slid the ball through for Eduardo and with Chris Lucketti standing off him, almost daring the Croat to try his luck, he did exactly that.

The summer signing hammered an unstoppable left-foot shot into the top corner.

The hosts' inability to keep possession allowed Arsenal's youngsters to stroke the ball around confidently in midfield, dominating possession without creating too many clear-cut chances.

Fabianski, meanwhile, was tested only by the odd long throw and free-kick from the disappointing Blades.

Eduardo deservedly made it 2-0 on 50 minutes before Walcott hit the post from a tight angle after ghosting past keeper Ian Bennett.

And as Sheffield United's beleaguered defence stood and watched, Denilson roamed forward and unleashed a shot which deflected off Chris Morgan and looped over Bennett.


  • Sheffield United boss Bryan Robson:
    "The early first goal put us on the back foot but the players worked hard and kept in the game.

    "But the start of second half was a killer. It was poor defending. Eduardo was away without anybody being aware.

    "And whether it's their first XI or their squad players, Arsenal are too good to throw away a 2-0 lead because of the way they pass the ball."

  • Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger on Eduardo:
    "It was a quality first strike and technically he played well.

    "We do not put any pressure on the timing, we just know when a player comes to a club it takes more or less six months."


    Sheff Utd: Bennett, Bromby, Morgan, Armstrong, Lucketti, Carney, Montgomery, Tonge (Gillespie 74), Stephen Quinn (Webber 63), Sharp, Stead (Alan Quinn 63).
    Subs Not Used: Gerrard, Kilgallon.

    Arsenal: Fabianski, Justin Hoyte, Song Billong, Diarra, Gibbs, Diaby (Perez 88), Denilson, Silva, Walcott (Lansbury 83), Bendtner, Eduardo (Barazite 85).
    Subs Not Used: Mannone, Gavin Hoyte.

    Goals: Eduardo 8, 50, Denilson 69.

    Att: 16,971

    Ref: Mike Dean (Wirral).


    see also
    League Cup as it happened
    31 Oct 07 |  League Cup
    Carling Cup photos
    31 Oct 07 |  Football


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