Report: Arsenal 3-0 Burnley
By Randy Osae
Various exquisite strikes from Vela, Eduardo and then Eboue, ensured Arsenal swept into an FA Cup quarter-final tie with Hull City on March 17/18.
It was retaliation on the giant-killing clarets who had conquered Arsenal’s Carling Cup youngsters and accomplished cup scalps over Premier League sides including Chelsea.
And the verdict was Burnley were easily dispatched by an on-song and on-course Gunners today.
Nearly a month ago, Eduardo da Silva charmed the Emirates Stadium with a memorable homecoming against Cardiff and the Croatian appeared with another bang today – looming out of the tunnel first among Arsenal’s queue of players with the captain’s armband.
He was leading a much revamped Arsenal side from midweek with Fabianski, Gallas, Gibbs, Diaby and Vela all benefiting from rotation. Walcott returned from his four-month lay-off to add some frill to an already rich bunch of substitutes.
Burnley showed warnings signs of their ability to muddle Arsenal on their own turf as an early spell of pressure from the clarets kept the cup tie on the boil.
But it only took the Gunners some assembling and soon they took control.
They had been patiently releasing guns until Carlos Vela decided to flick Arshavin’s pass through the legs of Clarke Carlisle, race towards goal while shrugging of obstruction from Burnley’s rushing defenders and then wrapped his foot under the ball and over goalkeeper Brian Jensen.
With the ball landing into net, every spectator relished a phenomenon worked by the Mexican whiz-kid.
The 20-year-old could have completed a brace before half-time, but was denied a strike by a last ditch tackle after receiving a quality pass from Song in danger zone. Eduardo then suffered a similar fate on the hands of Cardwell.
Arsenal were cruising but were almost pegged back by the visitors after Fabianski scrambled a corner. Burnley were then outclassed six minutes after the restart.
Song looped in a ball for Edurardo who made light of his marker on the edge of the box and volleyed it with that famous left ankle of his.
With the best of the job done, it was time for the rest.
Vela, Diaby and Eduardo all paved way for a much fresh trio of Ramsey, Walcott and Van Persie. The latter duo were the leftover of Wenger’s armoury and they made it obvious – Walcott testing Jensen with 13 minutes to go and then setting up Van Persie who could not find his feet well to volley.
If Arsenal had another goal in them, those two were likely to be accountable but it was a much different pair which provided the icing on the cake.
Gallas sent through a seeking low pass to Song who held and back-heeled it to an arriving Eboue right into the box. The Ivorian allayed his sorrows with one thunderous finish into the left corner of the net.
Burnley – bound to pull a goal back late on – struck the cross bar with a header and had a considerable penalty call ignored, but somehow Arsenal ended flawless victors.
And Chelsea awaits at Wembley, should they make little matter of another Hull visit to the Emirates in the next phase.