Gunners battle past Burnley
Eduardo and Bendtner on target in Arsenal win
Last Updated: 06/01/08 4:36pm
Eduardo: Opening goal for Arsenal
Arsenal booked their place in the fourth round of the FA Cup with a hard-fought 2-0 victory over Burnley at Turf Moor.
Arsene Wenger again put faith in his youngsters and it took just nine minutes for Eduardo da Silva to give Arsenal the lead with a composed finish past Gabor Kiraly.
However, The Gunners were not allowed to settle into their usual rhythm as Burnley put them under severe pressure and carved out a couple of good chances to equalise.
Burnley were reduced to ten men when Kyle Lafferty was sent off for a foul on Gilberto on the hour mark, a decision that was greeted with bewilderment and then anger by the home support.
Owen Coyle's side continued to push forward admirably but after Nicklas Bendtner rounded Kiraly on 75 minutes to double Arsenal's advantage there was little doubt what the outcome would be.
It was Burnley who had threatened first, and came within millimetres of stunning the Gunners when leading scorer Andy Gray made a surging run down the right and clipped the ball across for Lafferty to send a thunderous header thumping against the crossbar with Jens Lehmann looking well-beaten.
Abou Diaby produced a thrilling dribble that took him into shooting territory but Jon Harley produced an excellent thwarting tackle.
In the ninth minute however Eduardo cemented his reputation as one of the coolest finishers in the game with another clinical strike to make it six goals in his last four games.
The Brazilian-born Croatian seized on to a chipped pass over the top by Kolo Toure and held off Steven Caldwell before slipping the ball neatly past Kiraly.
The Championship side responded with some accomplished and attractive attacking play. First Gray managed a shot on target that Bacary Sagna's block took the sting out of, then Robbie Blake fired just over from a right angle.
Gilberto came close to putting Arsenal two-up with a header from a corner that was cleared off the line by Graham Alexander with his chest.
Armand Traore did his level best to allow Burnley to get back on level terms with some slipshod defending. First the young Frenchman fluffed his clearance and then he dallied on the ball, allowing Burnley to claim possession inside the penalty but he escaped punishment when Chris McCann flashed his shot over the bar.
Arsenal had not been their usual fluent selves going forward but one more-typical passage of play ended with Denilson crossing and Bendtner controlling with his chest before striking an overhead kick that Kiraly was grateful came straight at him.
In the second half, Eduardo's finishing powers for once let him down.
He and Bendtner combined excellently and a one-two saw the Croatian through on goal again but this time he put the ball the wrong side of the post - and kept Burnley's hopes alive.
McCann floated a header too high as the Clarets tried to break through, then their task became mountainous when Lafferty was sent off for sliding in on Gilberto with his studs up.
It did not look a malicious challenge but given the instructions referees have been issued with, Alan Wiley had no option but to brandish the red card.
Burnley continued to give it a go right to the final whistle but with 15 minutes left Bendtner delivered the knockout blow.
Eduardo was the creator this time with a perfect pass down the middle allowing the Dane to take the ball around Kiraly and fire home.
Bendtner, Eboue and Eduardo both wasted further openings but another goal for Arsenal would have been tough on Burnley - and undeserved for the Gunners.
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|2||Shots on Target||6|
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