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Burnley knocks young Arsenal out the League Cup
by Ian Plenderleith, December 3rd, 2008 7AM
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[ENGLAND] In the English League Cup quarterfinals, second-tier Burnley followed up its win in the last round over Chelsea by beating Arsenal, 2-0, on a brace from striker Kevin McDonald. Another Championship team, Derby County, progressed at the expense of the Premier League's Stoke City (1-0).
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger stuck with the formula that had seen his young guns so comprehensively beat Sheffield United (5-1) and Wigan Athletic (3-0) in the previous two rounds, naming eight teenagers to his starting lineup. But although his team, including Mexican forward Carlos Vela, impressed again, they were denied by a series of saves from the home team's veteran goalkeeper Brian Jensen. McDonald scored his two goals early in each half.
"We played quite well, we had six one-on-ones with the keeper, we lost 2-0 -- that sums it up quite well," said Wenger. "That fraction of superiority and the focus in front of goal that we did not have tonight, that made the difference. But overall, we lost a game we shouldn't have lost."
"We are so much more than just Kevin's two goals," said Burnley manager Owen Coyle. "There's the effort, the application, the work ethic, the quality of the passing." He knew that Arsenal would enjoy a lot of possession, "but the pleasing thing was that when we did get the ball...we passed it well and created real goal scoring chances."
In Tuesday's other quarterfinal, Derby's Nathan Ellington scored a penalty kick in the fourth minute of stoppage time to give his side a 1-0 win at Stoke City. Andy Griffin was the culprit who handballed in the box after his teammate Richard Cresswell had had a goal disallowed for the same offense before halftime. "We're on the back end of two bad decisions today," complained Stoke manager Tony Pulis. "I'm sure [referee] Rob [Styles] will ring me when he sees Cressy's [disallowed] goal and apologize. I'm sure he will."
While Pulis waits by the phone, his Derby counterpart Paul Jewell will continue to clutch his sprig of lucky heather. "Even if it isn't a penalty," said Jewell, "the way some of the results and refereeing decisions have gone against us this season, we're due a bit of luck."
In Wednesday's other two quarterfinals, Manchester United hosts Blackburn Rovers, while Watford welcomes Tottenham Hotspur (live on Setanta Sports, 2:45 pm ET).



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