FA Cup – Arsenal brush aside Burnley
Carlos Vela repaid his manager Arsene Wenger’s faith in handing him a rare start with an exquisite dinked finish over Brian Jensen in the 25th minute.
Eduardo then doubled Arsenal’s lead with a stunning volley in the second half, before Emmanuel Eboue finished the game off with aplomb in the 84th minute.
The result was no less than Arsenal deserved after a commanding performance, keeping possession comfortably for long periods, with Owen Coyle’s side unable to get a grip on the game.
Eboue dallied at the crucial moment in the eighth minute as he looked to open the scoring with Vela in attendance, but Gary Caldwell made a superb last-ditch tackle to deny the midfielder, who was ten yards out.
But when the deadlock was broken in the 25th minute, it was well worth waiting for. Chris Eagles squandered possession, before Andrei Arshavin broke sharply and fed the ball to the Mexican, who drew Jensen out of his goal and proceeded to dink the ball over the keeper with incredible composure.
Vela almost doubled his individual tally after he was put clean through by Alexandre Song, but a fine saving tackle, this time from Clarke Carlisle denied the striker, who was brimming with confidence.
Eduardo showed he is coming back to full sharpness with a surge through the middle of the Burnley defence, but again Caldwell was on hand to hack the ball away at the vital moment, with the striker about to unleash his shot.
Arsenal keeper Lukasz Fabianski enjoyed a relatively quiet afternoon, but he made a complete hash of coming for a corner just before half-time, missed his punch entirely, with William Gallas sparing his blushes with Martin Paterson lurking ominously.
Eduardo, who was made captain, then doubled his side’s lead with a sublime volleyed finish to cap a composed display. Song curled a cross to the back post which the Croat met crisply to beat leave Jensen helpless.
Eduardo then found himself with a free header ten yards out, but failed to net for a second time, heading wide of Jensen’s far post with the whole ground expecting to see the net bulging.
But the pacey winger missed a good chance to score shortly after coming on, streaking through to meet Song’s pass, but striking his shot straight into the body of the diving Jensen.
Van Persie then sliced wide horribly from ten yards with the goal at his mercy, but Arsenal were not finished; Eboue scored the home side’s third with a powerful finish after Song had backheeled the ball superbly into his path.
Wenger’s side will now entertain Hull in the next round after gaining confidence from a convincing display, and buoyed by the return of key players.