Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Sheffield United vs. Arsenal: Match Review

Match Preview

Arsenal's youngsters came out 3-0 winners at Bramall Lane, following an impressive performance from the club's up-and-coming stars. A brace from Eduardo and a goal from Neves Denilson wrapped up a Carling Cup game which had been completely one-sided.

Arsenal had sixteen shots to United's six, and had an equally lopsided share of possession, controlling the ball for no less than 68% of the game.

The Gunners have booked themselves a berth in the next round of the competition where they could end up playing the likes of Liverpool, Chelsea, Everton, or cross-town rivals Tottenham.

Arsenal: Lukasz Fabianski; Justin Hoyte, Alex Song, Kieran Gibbs, Lassana Diarra; Neves Denilson, Gilberto Silva, Abou Diaby; Nicklas Bendtner, Eduardo da Silva, Theo Walcott

Sheffield United: Ian Bennett; Chris Armstrong, Leigh Bromby, Chris Lucketti, Chris Morgan; David Carney, Nick Montgomery, Steven Quinn, Michael Tonge; Billy Sharp, Jonathan Stead

The first five minutes of the game started relatively slowly, with neither side troubling the other's goalkeeper. That all changed, though, as Nicklas Bendtner played Eduardo into the box in the eighth minute.

The Croatian goal machine launched an unstoppable drive into Bennett's top left corner, showing some of the finishing that prompted Arsene Wenger to pick him up in the Summer.

Arsenal almost picked up a second soon after when Theo Walcott passed to Nicklas Bendtner who teed up the ball for Denilson. The Brazilian midfielder completely botched his shot though, sending the ball into the stands.

Lukasz Fabianski was rarely troubled in goal, but the young Polish keeper looked less than convincing as he punched at a ball that it seemed he could easily have caught. Nonetheless, the Blades couldn't put one past the Pole, and it was once again Arsenal who were the biggest threat in the second half.

Some slack defending was taken advantage of by the young Kieran Gibbs who's splitting pass fell perfectly into the path of Eduardo. The Croatian striker once again finished clinically, putting Arsenal 2-0 ahead after fifty minutes.

Theo Walcott almost grabbed a goal when his pace took him around Bennett, but the young England international could only hit the post from a tight angle.

It wouldn't be too long before Arsenal's third though, as Denilson made up for his earlier mistake, scoring from 25 yards out. The shot took a deflection and looped over the head of Bennett who could only look on in horror as Arsenal hit the back of the net for the last time of the night in the sixty-ninth minute.

Arsenal still pressed forwards and Eduardo was denied a hattrick by Bennett before being taken off in favor of Nacer Barazite. Henri Lansbury and Fran Merida also came on as late substitutes but the game was already over as the current table-toppers put away Sheffield United's Carling Cup hopes.