Home > Arsenal, Blackburn Rovers, Carling Cup, Chelsea, Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspurs > Carling Cup Quarter Finals. Reaction and Preview.

Carling Cup Quarter Finals. Reaction and Preview.

After Everton’s last-minute winner over West Ham last week, Arsenal and Spurs joined the Merseyside club in progressing to the semi-finals last night.

Spurs took an early lead through Jermaine Defoe who was substituted soon after following Didier Zakora’s straight red card.

Zakora’s dismissal was harsh and Defoe was furious with the decision, expressing his anger by berating the fourth official as he left the pitch.

Steed Malbranque was the beneficiary of Zakora’s straight red. Had Steve Bennett not shown the red card on that occasion he almost certainly would have minutes later as Malbranque committed a far worse foul close to the left-hand touchline.

That Malbranque would eventually pop up with a well-taken second for Spurs in the closing stages of the game will be a source of contempt for City whose search for silverware will comprise the FA Cup this season.

Over at Blackburn a cracker of a game saw Arsenal’s second XI destroy Blackburn in the opening half with goals from Diaby and Eduardo giving them a two goal lead.

However before the break Derbyshire, in an offside position, swung over a ball hat Santa Cruz slammed into the net past Fabianski.

Blackburn were a different team in the second half. Santa Cruz made it five goals in two games from Bentley’s beautiful free-kick to level the scores and both team went close to winning it as the match wore on.

Denilson was sent off in injury time after a wild lunge at David Dunn with Robbie Savage, as ever, there to get booked in the ensuing melee.

Extra-time saw both sides tire but a terrific run from Song saw the youngster open up Blackburn’s defence for Eduardo to score his second and Arsenal’s winner.

Worryingly for the res of the Premiership, Wenger is likely to put out an entirely different team for Saturday’s game with Spurs. The youngsters were more assured than some of the best teams in the Premiership and while they can put their feet up until the semi-finals, Blackburn know that their strongest team will be the team that started the game last night and will start the game against Chelsea on Sunday.

Meanwhile tonight sees Chelsea take on Liverpool. Chelsea’s phenomenal home record is under threat with the Blues missing Terry, Drogba, Alex and with Carvalho in a race to be fit. Michael Ballack could make his first appearance of the season.

(sickening….we know)

Liverpool are missing Gerrard while Torres, Hyppia, Kewell and Mascherano are likely to be rested. Xabi Alonso could make his comeback after a lengthy absence but Agger, Finnan and Pennant remain long-term injury victims.

The draw for the semi finals will be made after the game on SkySports1.

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