We all remember what happened when our first team travelled here for the premiership tie last season. Christian Nade scored the winner in a grimy, bad conditioned, physical game which saw Arsenal produce one of their most woeful performances under Arsene Wenger. Sheffield United fully deserved the victory that day and Wengers carling cup boys were hoping that statement could not be claimed at the end of the night.
As the teams walked on to the pitch all gunners fans would have been happy to see Gilberto Silva included despite some daily tabloids claiming he had pulled a hissy fit and refused to play. Further suspicions were raised when Fabianski was given the captaincy over him but Wenger quelled them soon enough by saying he did not want to give him the band just to take it away again. An ethically good move from Wenger and all fans can now rest easy...... until january that is.
The match kicked off and the home team forged the first real chance but Billy Sharp's shot was saved by Fabianski in the 4th minute. Sheffield United fans may have thought then that they could pull off a shock win yet again but unfortunately for them that was the only real chance they had for what was a performance just as relatively woeful as the gunners put in last year. It only took another 4 minutes for the blades fans to realise their fate.
If there was any player which arsenal fans wanted to be impressed by during the match it was the Croatian striker Eduardo Da Silva who, due to injury, has not really had chance to make his mark this season. Expectant gunners fans were not disappointed as a blinding finish straight out of the Gabriel Batistuta book of goalscoring walloped the back of the net from outside the area after being put through by Bendtner. The Croat wheeled off in delight and the blades fans thought from then on that they were not going to lose their voices tomorrow for this match, the arsenal fans on the other hand were in fine voice and delighted.
Sadly due to Sheffield Uniteds awful mentality and lack of belief and the gunners' realisation that it will be an easy game by seeing it led to the encounter being something of a quiet affair. The passing game by the young guns was accurate and pleasing but the lack of necessity led to a lack in clear cut chances as Arsenal were happy to just pass it around and test their build up play. When half time came the gunners fans though not too thrilled were very happy and held hopes for more goals in the second half whilst the home fans were glum and i imagine the pukka pies did not taste so nice this time around.
It was likely that Arsene Wenger called for more goals and five minutes after the restart Eduardo added his second for the match to put it out of sight and secure the gunners victory. 18 year old debutant Gibbs (who impressed in the left back position) passed a delightful ball upfield into the path of Eduardo who was woefully unwatched by the opposition defence and he cooly slotted in past the oncoming keeper. A very low key celebration form Eduardo sent a message that such finishes are mere bread and butter to him, good news for all gunners fans and hopefully we will see more of the same very soon.
Theo Walcott, who had a low key first half then had two chances presented to him. The first was a rebounded ball coming back to him inside the area which he mishit rather disappointingly and reminded us all that his shooting still has a long way to go. The second however showed everything we are starting to love about the young Englishmen as he burst down the right wing, gilded past the defence and then rounded the oncoming keeper. Unfortunately for Theo his shot hit the post and he was denied his first goal in november, following a very impressive october.
Just before the 70 minute mark the third goal flew in from Denilson who has now scored in consecutive CC ties. This time it was not a flaming hadouken into the top corner although it was from outside the area again and was helped in by a deflection off Chris Morgan. Wenger clapped his team who were now in a position of pure comfort and the match was now ready to peeter out to a close.
Soon after the third goal flew in a fan managed to break rank and run up to Bryan Robson in disgust, throw his scarf on the floor and call for him to resign. It is true that league results have not been too clever for the blades but how the fan expected anything from this game considering who this team has beaten in the last two years it quite beyond me. Still i am not adverse to the concept of anything being thrown at Bryan Robson, i just would have preferred it to be a slice of pizza than a scarf
The game eventually finshed to a chorus of boos from the home fans and cheers from the away fans. Arsenal now join what is an all premiership last eight and with the prospect of a London derby a real possibilty with West Ham, Chelsea and Spurs still in there. This game was an easy game, calmly done and not a real challenge but rest assured the real challenge will come in the quarter finals as all the remaining teams are high class.
Not an unexpected match report then this time, who knows what it will be like after the next round. It is great to be a gunner this season, going well on all fronts with a big weekend ahead. So my fellow gooners, tomorrow you can grab your drinks, put on your shirts and watch intently as the two biggest heavyweights in English football go head to head at the emirates.
Then we will see who this young buzzing team will face in the quarter finals, bring on anyone, bring on everyone, bring on the world. Long live the gunners