Arsenal saw off Tottenham, thanks to injury time goals from Samir Nasri (2) and Andrei Arshavin in a 4-1 win. Arsenal had taken the lead through teenager Henri Lansbury after a nice cross from Wilshere. Redknapp rang the changes at half time, Robbie Keane and Aaron Lennon coming on for Dos Santos and Livermore. Soon after Spurs were even, as Robbie Keane received a through ball completely unmarked and he put the shot past Fabianski, who could have perhaps produced a better save. In extra time the Gunners proved their superiority, with Nasri converting his first pen after having his shirt pulled by Bassong and then he converted another after substitute Chamakh was also taken down in the box. Arshavin added a fourth late in the first half of extra time and that was the game.
Wenger didn’t blood too many new youngsters in this game, although most of them were under the age of 25, they were first team fringe players such as Eboue, Denilson, Wilshere and Vela. Which could suggest that Wenger’s youth strategy he has implemented for the last 5 years or so is starting to pay off. They could end this season with 4 trophies or none, though I believe they’ll at least win something this year.
Everton were shocked by League One outfit Brentford, going out of the comp on penalties after the scores were tied 1-1. Brentford keeper, Richard Lee, made two saves from Beckford and Jagielka spot kicks as they won 4-3 on pens. Everton had a fairly strong starting 11, Phil Neville returning to the line-up, while Fellaini and Yakubu both started, and Pienaar and Arteta came off the bench. However their poor start to the season continued and they could have even lost the match in normal time, with keeper Jan Mucha saving a Brentford pen in the second half.
Elsewhere West Ham beat sunderland 2-1, and Fulham went down 2-0 to Stoke City. Owen Coyle’s Bolton meanwhile suffered a 1-0 loss to his old club Burnley.
Other teams to qualify were, Birmingham, Leicester City, Ipswich, Swansea and Wolves.
Tonight we have a few more matches,
Aston Villa v Blackburn
Scunthorpe v Man Utd
Wigan v Preston
Liverpool v Northampton
West Brom v Man City
Then the big one Chelsea v Newcastle
It will be a tough match, even if Chelsea do play a lot of youngsters. The fact is, if they put out a complete reserve side, it will still consist of 11 internationals. However there should be a few youngsters in the fold as well, notably Patrick van Aanholt, who was at loan to Newcastle last season in the Championship. For the TOON, Sol Campbell will make his first start and Ryan Taylor will get a run-out at right back, while it’s likely Tim Krul will start in goal. He has played 2 games in three days however, so don’t be surprised to see Swedish 20-year-old Ole Soderberg between the sticks as Hughton looks to the weekend. I’m also hoping that Nile Ranger gets a start, though if he does it will likely be on the right side of midfield, as Hughton wants to give Ameobi and Lovenkrands game time.
So hopefully I can stream the game somehow tomorrow morning, it would be good to have a look at some of the younger players and how they’re developing. I’m not too fazed about the scoreline, I think we all know Premier League survival is the major aim this season, as long as we’re not thudded 6-0 I’ll be happy, though I think we can have a chance here, especially with Big Sol organising the defence.
And tonight, of course, the Jets play Gold Coast away from home. A win would be a massive boost to the players and they’ll be riding high after knocking Perth down last weekend.