Previous
San Jose Earthquakes
Los Angeles Galaxy
1
1
FT
Game Details
Manchester United
Queens Park Rangers
4
0
FT
Game Details
Valencia
Espanyol
3
1
FT
Game Details
Sevilla FC
Getafe
2
0
FT
Game Details
Internazionale
Sassuolo
7
0
FT
Game Details
Parma
AC Milan
4
5
FT
Game Details
Hannover 96
Hamburg SV
2
0
FT
Game Details
Evian Thonon Gaillard
Marseille
1
3
FT
Game Details
Manchester United
Queens Park Rangers
4
0
FT
Game Details
Rayo Vallecano
Elche
2
3
FT
Game Details
Valencia
Espanyol
3
1
FT
Game Details
Sevilla FC
Getafe
2
0
FT
Game Details
Granada
Villarreal
0
0
FT
Game Details
Eintracht Frankfurt
FC Augsburg
0
1
FT
Game Details
Hannover 96
Hamburg SV
2
0
FT
Game Details
Sampdoria
Torino
2
0
FT
Game Details
Cagliari
Atalanta
1
2
FT
Game Details
Fiorentina
Genoa
0
0
FT
Game Details
Internazionale
Sassuolo
7
0
FT
Game Details
Lazio
Cesena
3
0
FT
Game Details
Napoli
Chievo Verona
0
1
FT
Game Details
Parma
AC Milan
4
5
FT
Game Details
Lille
Nantes
2
0
FT
Game Details
Guingamp
Bordeaux
2
1
FT
Game Details
Evian Thonon Gaillard
Marseille
1
3
FT
Game Details
Nottingham Forest
Derby County
1
1
FT
Game Details
Sporting Gijon
Girona
1
1
FT
Game Details
Lugo
Leganes
0
0
FT
Game Details
Real Zaragoza
CD Sabadell
1
1
FT
Game Details
Real Betis
Albacete
0
1
FT
Game Details
AD Alcorcon
Real Valladolid
0
1
FT
Game Details
Tenerife
Mirandes
1
0
FT
Game Details
Vicenza
Ternana
0
1
FT
Game Details
Heidenheimer SB
FC Union Berlin
3
1
FT
Game Details
St Pauli
TSV 1860 Munich
1
2
FT
Game Details
SV Sandhausen
SpVgg Greuther Furth
1
0
FT
Game Details
FC Utrecht
ADO Den Haag
0
0
FT
Game Details
Cambuur Leeuwarden
FC Groningen
3
0
FT
Game Details
Vitesse Arnhem
Excelsior
3
1
FT
Game Details
Dordrecht '90
NAC Breda
0
1
FT
Game Details
FC Volendam
FC Den Bosch
2
2
FT
Game Details
Boavista
Academica de Coimbra
1
0
FT
Game Details
Maritimo
FC Penafiel
2
0
FT
Game Details
Guimaraes
FC Porto
1
1
FT
Game Details
Paços de Ferreira
Gil Vicente
1
1
FT
Game Details
Estoril
CD Nacional de Madeira
2
1
FT
Game Details
Spartak Moscow
FK Torpedo Moscow
3
1
FT
Game Details
Krasnodar
FC Ufa
0
2
FT
Game Details
Kasimpasa
Mersin Idmanyurdu
2
2
FT
Game Details
Gaziantepspor
Erciyesspor
2
2
FT
Game Details
Trabzonspor
Fenerbahce
0
0
FT
Game Details
Panionios
Asteras Tripoli
2
1
FT
Game Details
Atromitos
Panetolikos
0
0
FT
Game Details
Giannina
FC Xanthi
2
2
FT
Game Details
Levadiakos
Panthrakikos
1
1
FT
Game Details
Kalloni AEL
Panathinaikos
1
0
FT
Game Details
Racing Genk
Club Brugge
1
1
FT
Game Details
KAA Gent
Mouscron-Peruwelz
1
0
FT
Game Details
KV Kortrijk
KSC Lokeren
2
3
FT
Game Details
Wolfsberger AC
SV Salzburg
1
0
FT
Game Details
Brøndby
Randers FC
0
2
FT
Game Details
Esbjerg
FC Vestsjaelland
3
0
FT
Game Details
Gefle IF
Falkenbergs FF
3
1
FT
Game Details
Halmstad
Mjallby
1
2
FT
Game Details
Djurgarden
Atvidabergs FF
0
1
FT
Game Details
Elfsborg
IFK
0
0
FT
Game Details
Sandnes Ulf
Sarpsborg FK
0
2
FT
Game Details
IK Start
Stabaek
2
3
FT
Game Details
Sogndal
Aalesund
1
1
FT
Game Details
Valerenga
Haugesund
4
1
FT
Game Details
Molde
Lillestrom
3
2
FT
Game Details
FC Vaduz
St Gallen
2
2
FT
Game Details
Young Boys
Lucerne
3
2
FT
Game Details
FC Zürich
FC Sion Sitten
4
1
FT
Game Details
San Jose Earthquakes
Los Angeles Galaxy
1
1
FT
Game Details
UNAM
U.A.N.L
2
2
FT
Game Details
Rhyl
Bangor City
3
2
FT
Game Details
Lanús
Banfield
1
0
FT
Game Details
Belgrano de Córdoba
Vélez Sarsfield
1
0
FT
Game Details
Boca Juniors
Racing Club
1
0
Susp
Game Details
Arsenal de Sarandí
River Plate
Postp
Game Details
Atlético MG
Gremio
0
0
FT
Game Details
Atletico Paranaense
EC Vitória
2
0
FT
Game Details
Bahia
Figueirense FC
3
0
FT
Game Details
Criciúma
Goiás EC
1
0
FT
Game Details
Flamengo
Corinthians
1
0
FT
Game Details
Internacional
Botafogo
2
0
FT
Game Details
São Paulo
Cruzeiro
2
0
FT
Game Details
Palestino
Colo Colo
1
3
FT
Game Details
Cobreloa
Audax Italiano
0
1
FT
Game Details
Ñublense
Barnechea
0
1
FT
Game Details
Antofagasta
Huachipato
2
2
FT
Game Details
Universidad de Chile
Universidad de Concepción
1
0
FT
Game Details
Cerro
Defensor Sporting
0
3
FT
Game Details
Fénix
El Tanque Sisley
1
0
FT
Game Details
Juventud
Tacuarembó FC
4
2
FT
Game Details
Nacional
Danubio F.C.
3
0
FT
Game Details
Boyacá Chicó FC
Patriotas F.C.
1
1
FT
Game Details
Once Caldas
Alianza Petrolera
3
0
FT
Game Details
Atlético Huila
Deportes Tolima
0
0
FT
Game Details
Atlético Junior
Uniautonoma
3
1
LIVE 90'
Game Details
Melgar
Sporting Cristal
1
0
FT
Game Details
Real Garcilaso
Alianza Lima
0
0
FT
Game Details
Universitario de Deportes
Cienciano del Cusco
2
0
FT
Game Details
Sportivo Luqueño
Sol de América
2
0
FT
Game Details
Nacional
General Díaz
2
0
FT
Game Details
LDU Quito
Club Deportivo Cuenca
1
1
FT
Game Details
Barcelona
Emelec
1
0
FT
Game Details
Tucanes
Portuguesa
2
0
FT
Game Details
Carabobo
Atlético Venezuela
1
1
FT
Game Details
Zulia
Deportivo Táchira
1
2
FT
Game Details
Deportivo La Guaira
Dep. Metropolitano
3
0
FT
Game Details
Estudiantes de Mérida
Deportivo Petare
1
1
FT
Game Details
Deportivo Anzoategui
Llaneros
5
0
FT
Game Details
Deportivo Lara
Trujillanos
0
0
FT
Game Details
Zamora
Mineros
1
1
FT
Game Details
Nacional Potosí
Universitario de Sucre
3
0
FT
Game Details
San José
Club Petrolero de Yacuiba
4
1
FT
Game Details
Universitario de Pando
Real Potosí
0
0
FT
Game Details
Blooming
Sport Boys Warnes
2
2
FT
Game Details
Bloem Celtic
Mamelodi Sundowns
0
1
FT
Game Details
Moroka Swallows
Chippa United
0
2
FT
Game Details
Club Sport Uruguay
Belen
1
0
FT
Game Details
Pumas Generalena
Cartagines
0
1
FT
Game Details
Santos
Perez Zeledon
2
2
FT
Game Details
CD Motagua
Marathon
0
1
FT
Game Details
Parrillas One
Honduras Progreso
1
3
FT
Game Details
Next

Semifinal matchups

#UltimateUCL 2 days ago
Read

The 22 Champions League winners

#UltimateUCL 7 days ago
Read
Dec 18, 2007

Wenger's young heart still running free

Blackburn 2 -3 Arsenal (AET)

Idealism is often misguided, beloved of dreamers but usually defeated by the forces of pragmatism. But Arsene Wenger is a footballing romantic, one whose vision is occasionally decried when a reluctance to compromise can cost them against more prosaic opposition.

Wenger's vindication, then, is as easy on the eye as it is pleasing for the purist. Progress to the Carling Cup semi-finals came courtesy of an illustration of Wenger's idealism, and one accomplished by a team shorn of 16 players. Conservatism normally accompanies the onset of greater age, but Wenger is increasingly adventurous, not least in his team selection.

While Arsenal's encounters with Blackburn are invariably laced with controversy - and this, including the dismissal of Denilson, was no exception - the abiding memories should not be of the predictable flare-up, nor even of a forceful Rovers comeback that brought a brace for Roque Santa Cruz. Instead, aided by Eduardo's calm finishing, they should be of the achievement, and the admirable approach, of a fresh-faced Arsenal side.

Though other managers talk of using the Carling Cup to involve fringe players, Wenger has taken the policy to its logical extreme by omitting almost anyone with any semblance of experience. Arsenal's ingénues responded by playing Blackburn off the pitch for much of the first half.

Only Eduardo could be described as an established player and, at 24, the Croat was the oldest Gunner by two years. The omission of Gilberto and, still more so, Jens Lehmann, reduced the average age dramatically, to 20, revealing Wenger's futuristic blueprint.

It was men against boys and ultimately a triumph for youth, even if a comparative veteran delivered it with the extra-time winner. If their immaturity was apparent in the challenge that led to Denilson's departure, Arsenal played with the zest of a team whose attacking intent has not been nullified by a need to compromise.

Optimism should abound. Ewood Park provides an intimidating enough atmosphere for seasoned professionals and Blackburn, their recent slump notwithstanding, present an awkward test for Premier League regulars. Arsenal's first team only drew there in August. What is effectively their reserves won.

Yet they are recognisably an Arsenal side. This is a club with a shared ethos, a mutual commitment to passing that seems to spread from their marquee players through the ranks at the Emirates Stadium. Overconfidence can be their undoing, and threatened to be, yet it was the assured emergence from the back of Alex Song that led to Eduardo's decisive goal.

Wenger's bold project to win a major trophy without use of his strongest side continues. 'We want to finish the job,' Wenger said. 'We got the taste of the final last year and this shows it was not a coincidence.'

Hughes was impressed, though quick to suggest they had a financial as well as a footballing advantage: 'They're a very athletic team and they can retain possession in tight areas. They will always have quality but these young kids, they don't come cheap. Arsenal have a fantastic squad and they can put out two exceptional teams. It's not a question of reserves.'

The fraught finale, with Christopher Samba heading against the post in the 120th minute, contrasted with the composed opening. Arsenal, intricate and excellent, swift and self-assured, were soon into their stride. There were flicks aplenty from Nicklas Bendtner. Such was the Dane's dexterity at skipping away from his markers that a cliché may need amending. As was evident throughout, he has a great touch for a big man. So, too, does Abou Diaby, the gangly, right-footed Frenchman who makes for a particularly unconventional left-sided midfielder but, at Ewood Park, a very effective one. Lassana Diarra, apparently complaining about his infrequent opportunities, seized this to exert control from the centre circle.

With passing as incisive as their supposed superiors', they were soon rewarded with a lead. Bendtner's deep cross was been misjudged by Steven Reid, a makeshift right-back, but Diaby's response was both delicate and devastating. Meeting it on the half-volley, he guided his left-footed shot over Reid and across Brad Friedel into the far corner.

I believe very strongly in them
Arsene Wenger
A second, similarly sublime, shot almost yielded another goal. Bendtner played a one-two with Diaby, with his curler clipping the Blackburn bar. Then it was 2-0. Denilson guided his pass past the stretching Samba and, with similar precision, Eduardo placed his sidefooted shot into the bottom corner.

Cue a Rovers recovery, a sure sign of spirit. Santa Cruz volleyed in his 10th goal of the season from Matt Derbyshire's cross. The prolific Paraguayan was denied a second by the outstretched arm of Lukasz Fabianski but, when he met David Bentley's free kick with a powerful header, his fifth goal in two games duly arrived.

When Arsenal were reduced to 10 men, as Wenger said: 'It was a mental test and we stood up to it. Denilson lost his nerves a little bit, but we cannot say anything against the red card, but we found the resources to get a third goal. 'I believe very strongly in them. I'm not surprised, today I'm very proud. They are all good Premiership players, their quality is not questionable.'

It is not. Bill Shankly famously remarked that the two best teams on Merseyside were Liverpool and Liverpool Reserves.

Judging by the manner in which they dismantled Blackburn, Arsenal's second-string side must rank among the 10 best teams in England.

• MAN OF THE MATCH: Nicklas Bendtner - His strike partner decided the tie, but Bendtner illuminated it.

• MOAN OF THE MATCH: Or the Robbie Savage category. Denilson's dismissal was inevitable, given that he had already been cautioned, but Savage's attempts to ensure it were unedifying. For someone who takes his red cards so badly, Savage certainly does his utmost to ensure others suffer a similar fate.

• BLACKBURN VERDICT: Normally one of the most consistent sides around, they have now only won one of the last eight games. An uncharacteristic lack of solidity does not help, and neither does Morten Gamst Pedersen's extended slump in form, but being outmanoeuvred in midfield was the main cause of their difficulties tonight.

• ARSENAL VERDICT: The one department where the development of the next generation is less accelerated is in the heart of the defence, and it was one cause of Blackburn's comeback. Had Kolo Toure and William Gallas played, then Arsenal would surely have won within 90 minutes. The future seems rosier for Arsenal's energetic left-back, Armand Traore, their midfielders and strike duo.


  • Any comments? Email Newsdesk