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Arsenal Young Gunners Knock Out Liverpool

Teenager Fran Merida netted his first Arsenal goal as Arsene Wenger’s young Gunners beat Liverpool 2-1 to reach the quarter-finals of the Carling Cup.

Just back from the Under-20 World Cup with Spain, the 19-year-old former Barcelona trainee drilled in a fine first-half strike as Wenger’s faith in youth was once again justified. Nicklas Bendtner, himself only 21 but now a regular in the side, produced a powerful finish after 50 minutes to put Arsenal into the last eight after Emiliano Insua had equalized with another scorching shot.

Chelsea cruised into the quarter-finals with an easy 4-0 fourth-round victory over Bolton at Stamford Bridge. First-half goals from Salomon Kalou and Florent Malouda put the home side in command before Deco and substitute Didier Drogba finished off Gary Megson’s side after the break. Bolton wasted a couple of chances to reduce the arrears but Chelsea were always in control despite the loss of goalkeeper Hilario through injury in the first half. The win maintained Chelsea’s 100% home record under new coach Carlo Ancelotti and even without the likes of rested captain John Terry and his England team-mate Frank Lampard, the Blues continue to look invincible at home.

Manchester City cruised into the Carling Cup quarter-finals, brushing aside a brave but outclassed Scunthorpe 5-1. The Championship side had tried their best at Eastlands in this fourth-round tie, and at one stage produced a fine first-half equaliser from Jonathan Forte after Stephen Ireland had given City an early lead. But City were ahead by the break through Roque Santa Cruz, and second-half goals from Joleon Lescott, Carlos Tevez and Michael Johnson set the seal on a commanding performance.

The draw for the quarter-finals of the Carling Cup will be made Saturday. Teams left in the competition include Manchester United, Spurs, Aston Villa, Arsenal, Chelsea, Man City, Blackburn and Portsmouth