Gunners turn on the style

2009-03-08 17:52

London - Arsenal eased into the FA Cup quarter-finals as sublime goals from Carlos Vela and Eduardo set up a 3-0 win over Burnley in the fifth round on Sunday.

Arsene Wenger's side will play Hull at home in the last eight after Vela struck with a gorgeous chip, Eduardo volleyed home a brilliant second and Emmanuel Eboue lashed in the third late on at the Emirates Stadium.

There was more good news for Wenger as England winger Theo Walcott came on for the final 20 minutes for his first appearance since surgery on a shoulder injury in November.

While the rest of this weekend's Cup ties have been last eight matches, the Gunners are still playing catch-up following the postponement of their fourth round replay against Cardiff.

Wenger had asked for the Burnley match to be played on Saturday to give his players more time to recover ahead of their Champions League clash against Roma on Wednesday.

But the French coach's request was refused and he left Robin van Persie, Gael Clichy, Denilson and Manuel Almunia out of the starting line-up with the trip to Italy in mind.

Burnley had defeated Wenger's team at Turf Moor in the League Cup in December and also eliminated Chelsea and Fulham in the same competition.

But Arsenal were determined to avoid falling victim to an embarrassing double defeat against the Championship promotion chasers.

Steven Caldwell's crunching challenge on Eboue brought cries for a penalty from the home fans, although referee Chris Foy correctly ruled that the Burnley captain had won the ball.

The Clarets were nearly undone when Bacary Sagna's miscued cross deceived keeper Brian Jensen and dipped just over the crossbar.

Arsenal were starting to weave incisive patterns around midfield and the visitors, firmly caught in the web, had no answer as Vela opened the scoring in the 25th minute.

Chris Eagles squandered possession and Andrey Arshavin instantly slipped a forward pass to Vela. The Mexican striker deftly nutmegged Clarke Carlisle and showed surprising pace to surge clear and loft a perfectly-weighted chip over Jensen.

It took a smart stop from Jensen to keep Burnley alive on the stroke of half-time. Vela's flick gave Eboue a sight of goal but Jensen managed to push away his low shot.

But it was only a matter of time before Arsenal delivered the knockout blow and it arrived in flamboyant fashion six minutes after the interval.

Alexandre Song floated a cross towards Eduardo at the far post and Burnley defence obligingly left the Croatia striker in yards of space. Eduardo, Arsenal's captain for the day, took full advantage and volleyed home off the outside of his left-foot.

Burnley boss Owen Coyle was bullish going into the tie, with plenty of bold talk of taking the game to Arsenal. In the event, home keeper Lukasz Fabianki enjoyed what must have been one of the quietest games of his career.

Eduardo wasted a chance for his second goal when he headed Sagna's cross wide from close range with only Jensen to beat.

That was the cue for Wenger to send on Walcott. He should have scored with virtually his first touch but shot straight at Jensen.

The teenager also provided a chance for substitute van Persie, only for the Dutchman to make a hash of his shot.

Instead, Eboue administered the coupe de grace with a fierce strike past Jensen after Song's backheel put him through in the 84th minute.