Carling Cup – Burnley upset Arsenal to reach semi-finals
Burnley reached the Carling Cup semi-finals for the first time since 1983 with a 2-0 victory against Arsenal at Turf Moor.
Kevin McDonald scored both goals for the Championship side, who had goalkeeper Brian Jensen to thank for a string of fine saves to deny Arsene Wenger’s young gunners.
Jensen was called on as early as the fourth minute, when he rushed out to deny Nicklas Bendtner with a sharp save when the striker was clean through.
Moments later Burnley went ahead. Former Manchester United player Chris Eagles crossed from the right and a mistake from Arsenal goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski allowed McDonald to pounce on the loose ball and tap home.
Arsenal responded well, and within five minutes Bendtner once again found himself clean on goal, only to be thwarted by another piece of fine goalkeeping from Jensen.
On 35 minutes Aaron Ramsey‘s neat flick gave Bendtner yet another opportunity, but for the third time Jensen came out sharply and made the save.
Soon after Carlos Vela had an even better chance, but Jensen would not be beaten. The Dane was having an inspired evening and Arsenal went into the interval trailing despite having enjoyed the majority of the chances.
Owen Coyle’s Burnley emerged for the second period with newfound defensive sensibilities, and Arsenal could no longer create chances at will.
The home side doubled their lead on 56 minutes, when McDonald brushed aside the attentions of Mark Randall all too easily before curling an exquisite shot beyond Fabianski with the outside of his right foot.
Burnley could have made it three when Robbie Blake‘s fine cross found Martin Paterson unmarked, but Fabianski made a sharp save to deny the forward.
The win for Burnley follows their dramatic penalty shoot-out victory against Chelsea in the previous round and leaves the Lancashire club just one win from an unlikely date at Wembley Stadium.