Arsenal 3-2 Blackburn
Arsene Wenger took his young guns to Ewood Park tonight and maybe where slight underdogs but nobody expected to see a game of that standard from the so called “Second String” Arsenal side. The “Young Guns ” led by the fighting Lassana Diarra who was not the captain but he sure played like it, came out and shocked Blackburn and possibly even their own fans in the first half and controlled the game nicely taking the game to Blackburn.
The first goal came in the 6th minute from Abou Diaby who got on the end of a Nickalas Bendtner cross to finish with a lovely chip over Brad Fredel. But the overall control of the game did not finish their in the first half and the deserved second goal came after a few chances went and it looked like the in-ability to score could have been fatal but the calmness of Eduardo Da Silva paid off and he finished with a cool head.
From then on some in the Ewood Park crowd including the Gooners could have been forgiven for thinking that Arsenal were going to run away with the game but Blackburn Rovers were granted a lifeline through the in form Roque Santa Cruz. Arsenal could have said that it was offside but with a bit of luck for Blackburn they were back in the game.
Then you might think that both teams swapped shirts at half time as Blackburn came out fighting and you would say that these kids were just that. Blackburn kept knocking on the door and they equalized on the hour mark once again through Santa Cruz. Arsenal were very disappointed to have let Blackburn back in the game and rightfully so. From then on the kids needed maturity to not concede again and that is exactly what they produced other then tempers boiling over at one stage thanks to Robbie Savage who seems to always play mind games, Denilson getting sent off with not long to go which meant that Arsenal were forced to play extra time of proceedings with 10 men.
From then on every Arsenal fan including myself must have felt that Blackburn were going to nick it. Luckily and thankfully I was wrong and the coolest head in Blackburn was Eduardo who was set clear and took his chance for the second time of the night on the 105″th minute of the game to send Arsenal in the semi finals of the Carling Cup for the third season running.
Also good luck to Nacer Barazite who picked up an injury during game. Lets hope he makes a speedy recovery.
Lukasz Fabianski: 8. Cool head from the young keeper, saved us on a few occasions.
Justin Hoyte:8 A great performance from the loyal Justin hoyte.
Alex Song:8 I never thought I would say it but well done Alex Song he kept Blackburn at bay well.
Phil Senderos:6 Let Santa Cruz run clear on more then one occasion.
Armand Traore:8 Produced what you would expect from Gael Clichy.
Marc Randell:7 Not a bad debut. Did well.
Lassana Diarra:9 Man of the match performance. If he is a want away player he is not playing like it. Ran the show tonight and was the key player in midfield and made a number of great tackles.
Denilson:7 Did well until that little bit of immaturity got him sent off.
Abou Diaby:8 Another key performer tonight. Took his goal well.
Eduardo:9 Stepped up tonight. Was there when needed and showed why he is an out and out forward. He played well too.
Nickalas Bendtner:7 Worked hard tonight and did not have a bad game
Fran Merida: Did well when he came on.
Nacer Barazite: Picked up a shoulder injury when he came on. It is a shame as he was playing well. Good luck with getting back.
Kieran Gibbs. Did not have much time on the pitch.