It was a pleasure to watch the Blackburn Arsenal game last night, which the young second string Arsenal side eventually won 3-2 after going 2-0 up after the first 29 minutes with goals by Diaby and Eduardo. But they had to go into extra time to do it, after Blackburn Rovers made another wonderful come back, and Arsenal had a man sent off just before the end of 90 minutes.
Arsene Wenger – Arsenal manager proud of his youngsters last night
The Arsenal side was much the same side that dispatched Newcastle 2-0 at the Emirates, earlier in the Carling Cup.
What a fantastic set of youngsters Wenger has got together and itâ€™s just amazing how well these lads can play together in big games like this. But play well they did last night, and they almost played Blackburn off the park in the first half.
But it was to Blackburnâ€™s credit that they came storming back and were on equal terms after an hour, following another two good goals from Roque Santa Cruz, to make his haul an impressive 5 goals in the last 2 games. Blackburn also had come back against Wigan from 3-0 down â€“ to 3-3 – last weekend, but they have to ask why they are getting behind so often in their last few matches.
Denilson had himself sent off after 90 minutes for a rather vicious tackle, and it didn’t look like there much protest from manager Wenger. The full Arsenal side never let a man getting sent off, get in the way of winning games. And it seems like Wenger has also instilled this already into his youngsters.
In extra time, with one man short, Eduardo scored his second excellent goal, showing tremendous control and skill, that made it look all too easy. So easy in fact that it had us looking for our old boots. 😀 Both teams have to be proud of their performances last night, in what was one of the best games to watch this season.
But it started us thinking â€“ or should we say dreaming, of what Newcastle’s second string may look like in 2-3 years time â€“ as we follow the Arsenal strategy for success by bringing in gifted youngsters while they are still young, and have yet to fully develop as football players. We’ve started that process already with the signing of 17 year-old Ben Tozer.
If we can come anywhere near where Arsenal are right now, Newcastle United will have done very well indeed, and our first team will have to be successful, if only by default. This Arsenal second string, if they played as a team in the Premier League, would also finish top 4, theyâ€™re that good.
Now what’s that nonsense about Arsenal not having strength in depth. If this is not strength in depth, we donâ€™t know what is.
Blackburn: Friedel, Reid, Samba, Nelsen, Warnock (Khizanishvili 120), Bentley, Savage, Dunn (Mokoena 105), Pedersen, Santa Cruz, Derbyshire (McCarthy 90).
Subs Not Used: Brown, Roberts.
Booked: Warnock, Samba, Reid, Savage.
Goals: Santa Cruz 42, 60.
Arsenal: Fabianski, Justin Hoyte, Senderos, Song Billong, Traore, Randall (Barazite 80), Diaby, Denilson, Diarra, Eduardo (Gibbs 115), Bendtner, Barazite (Perez 100).
Subs Not Used: Mannone, Gavin Hoyte.
Sent Off: Denilson (90).
Booked: Randall, Denilson, Diarra, Eduardo.
Goals: Diaby 6, Eduardo 29, 104.
Ref: Mike Riley (Yorkshire).