Carling Cup - Arsenal Brush Past Liverpool

[Premier] Arsenal X Liverpool : 6

Arsenal moved into the quarter-finals of the Carling Cup with a 2-1 win over Liverpool at the Emirates Stadium.

Bendtner restored Arsenal’s advantage five minutes into the second half and the Gunners held on for victory.
Liverpool fans got their first sight of Alberto Aquilani and his 15-minute cameo was filled with promise, while Arsenal will have been buoyed by the sight of Samir Nasri playing 90 minutes for the first time since breaking his leg in the summer.
Liverpool made a bright start and a neat pass from Andriy Voronin to David Ngog saw the Frenchman release Philip Degen with a deft backheel but the full-back poked his shot wide with the outside of his boot.
Arsenal responded with a slick move involving Aaron Ramsey, Eduardo and Bendtner that needed Diego Cavalieri to dash off his line and smother.
The Carling Cup has been a stage for Arsenal to blood their youngsters and another player off the Arsene Wenger production line announced himself on the Emirates in stunning style.
On 19 minutes, Voronin gave the ball away in sloppy fashion and he was made to pay a heavy price as Merida advanced towards the edge of the box before thundering a shot from 18 yards in off the near post.
It was his first goal in Arsenal colours since making the move from Barcelona and it was nothing more than they deserved.
An inexperienced Liverpool team could have found the experience of facing a dashing Arsenal side all too much, but they dug in and found a leveller from an unlikely source.
A long, diagonal ball was nodded down by Ryan Babel into the path of Insua who chested the bouncing ball into his path before lashing a dipping volley from 25 yards up and over Lukasz Fabianski.
Cavalieri almost handed Arsenal the initiative a minute before the break when dropping a cross into a crowd of players. A game of pinball ensued before the ball fell to Bendtner, but the Dane fired his shot straight into the arms of the Liverpool keeper.
Liverpool threatened with a cross from Ngog at the start of the second-half, but it was Arsenal who edged ahead following another slick move.
Merida collected a pass on the left wing before rolling the ball in to Ramsey. The Welshman allowed Bendtner to take over and he created a yard of space on his left foot before slamming a shot into the roof of the net.
Arsenal continued to play slick and incisive football, but did not kill off the game. However, unlike the first-half, Liverpool’s response was muted and Rafa Benitez threw on Aquilani with 15 minutes remaining.
The introduction of the £20 million man for his debut pepped up Liverpool and Ryan Babel should have levelled but made contact with only thin air from six yards.
Voronin and Aquilani shot straight at Fabianki, but the increased tempo also sparked Arsenal into life and Eduardo went close after breaking through three tackles.
Aquilani showed flashes of quality but he was unable to make the fairytale debut as Arsenal held on for victory.

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