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Eduardo struck his sixth goal in four games to give Arsenal the advantage
By Nenad N. Bach | Published  01/4/2008 | Sports | Unrated
Eduardo lifts Arsenal to victory
Burnley 0 Arsenal 2 - FA Cup latest
Last updated on 6th January 2008

Thumbs up: Eduardo Da Silva celebrates his goal

Eduardo struck his sixth goal in four games to give Arsenal the advantage at half-time in their FA Cup third-round match at Burnley.

The Croatia international pounced after nine minutes soon after Kyle Lafferty had struck the crossbar for the Clarets.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger chose to rest several players for the Gunners' FA Cup encounter at Burnley but still put out a formidable-looking line-up.

Cesc Fabregas, Gael Clichy and William Gallas were all among those rested while other senior players were missing with injuries or suspension.

It meant Danish striker Nicklas Bendtner partnering Eduardo in attack with Denilson and Gilberto forming a Brazilian central midfield pairing.

Burnley manager Owen Coyle had veteran defender David Unsworth missing but included the former Celtic defender Stanislav Varga in his starting line-up.

The 35-year-old Slovakian international only signed from Sunderland on loan on Friday.

Jens Lehmann, recalled for the rested Manuel Almunia, showed he had lost none of his taste for the unconventional by heading the ball out of his penalty area instead of catching it.

Emmanuel Eboue had the first attempt after some loose play by the Clarets gifted him possession, but he was way off-target.

Burnley then came within millimetres of stunning the Gunners. Andy Gray made a surging run down the right and clipped the ball across for Kyle Lafferty to send a thunderous header thumping against the crossbar with Lehmann looking well beaten.

Abou Diaby produced a thrilling dribble that took him into shooting territory but Jon Harley produced an excellent thwarting tackle.

In the ninth minute however Eduardo cemented his reputation as one of the coolest finishers in the game with another clinical strike to make it six goals in his last four games.

The Brazil-born Croatia international seized on to a lofted pass over the top by Kolo Toure and held off Steven Caldwell before slipping the ball neatly past Gabor Kiraly.

The Championship side responded with some accomplished and attractive attacking play. First Gray managed a shot on target that Bacary Sagna's block took the sting out of, then Robbie Blake fired just over from a right angle.

Gilberto came close to putting Arsenal two-up with a header from a corner that was cleared off the line by Graham Alexander with his chest.

Eboue should have done better when Bendtner's run opened up the home side then Eduardo put a direct free-kick on target but it lacked power.

Armand Traore did his level best to allow Burnley to get back on equal terms with some slipshod defending. First the young Frenchman fluffed his clearance and then he dallied on the ball, allowing Burnley to claim possession inside the penalty area but he escaped punishment when Chris McCann flashed his shot over the bar.

Arsenal had not been their usual fluent selves going forward but one more typical passage of play ended with Denilson crossing and Bendtner controlling with his chest before striking an overhead kick that Kiraly was grateful came straight at him.

Burnley were the first to threaten in the second half when Harley bustled his way through but the former Chelsea left-back's strike was feeble.

Denilson found more power at the other end but was a couple of yards wide from 25 yards out, then Eduardo's renowned finishing powers for once let him down.

He and Bendtner combined excellently and a one-two saw the Croatian through on goal again but this time he put the ball the wrong side of the post - and kept Burnley's hopes alive.

McCann floated a header too high as the Clarets tried to break through, then their task became mountainous when Lafferty was sent off for sliding in on Gilberto with his studs up.

It did not look a malicious challenge but given the instructions referees have been issued with, Alan Wiley had no option but to brandish the red card.

Almost immediately Arsenal broke with five against three and should have made Burnley pay but Eboue's distribution, not for the first time, was woeful.

Burnley still kept going forward and Philippe Senderos made a vital interception to prevent Gray heading home.

Burnley: Kiraly, Alexander, Caldwell, Varga, Harley, Elliott, James O'Connor, McCann, Lafferty, Blake, Gray. Subs: Jensen, Gudjonsson, Akinbiyi, Jones, Jordan.

Arsenal: Lehmann, Sagna, Toure, Senderos, Traore, Eboue, Silva, Denilson, Diaby, Bendtner, Eduardo. Subs: Djourou, Fabianski, Justin Hoyte, Randall, Lansbury.

Referee: Alan Wiley (Staffordshire)


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