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Last Updated: Tuesday, 18 December 2007, 23:43 GMT
Youngsters can win cup - Wenger
Arsene Wenger
Wenger uses the Carling Cup to blood promising young players
Proud Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger says his youngsters can win the Carling Cup after overcoming Blackburn with 10 men in extra time to reach the last four.

Wenger picked a squad with an average age of 21 and felt they displayed impressive character to go on and win the game after Denilson was sent off.

"We want to win it and we can," he said after the 3-2 victory at Ewood Park.

Arsenal will face either Everton, Tottenham, Chelsea or Liverpool in the two-legged semi-finals in January.

"We came close last year when we lost in the final and now we have two interesting games in the semi-finals."

Wenger also paid tribute to Blackburn for fighting their way back into the game after Abou Diaby and Eduardo goals gave Arsenal a 2-0 lead.

The Beerhunter

"We had everything in our hands when we were 2-0 up," he said.

"But Blackburn came back and made it a very passionate and committed game.

"When our football was not working we had to show character - and at 10 v 11 we found resources to score a third goal to win the game.

"That was very encouraging with our young players."

After a brace from Roque Santa Cruz brought Blackburn level, Arsenal sealed their progress in extra time though Eduardo's classy finish.

And Wenger said the resilience of his players was key to victory.

"We showed quality and dug deep when Blackburn came back at us.

"At some stage we knew they would come back into the game - we knew the storm would come.

"But my players did not give in, they kept battling and the end we got the winning goal."

Blackburn 2-3 Arsenal (aet)
18 Dec 07 |  League Cup
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18 Dec 07 |  League Cup
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18 Dec 07 |  Football


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