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Eduardo is back, with a bang

February 17, 2009 10:37 IST

Eduardo da Silva made an emotional return to club action after almost a year, scoring twice to help Arsenal [Images] beat Cardiff City 4-0 in their FA Cup fourth round replay at The Emirates on Monday.

The Croatia striker was playing his first match for Arsenal since suffering a horrific ankle injury and he marked it by heading the first goal after 20 minutes and scoring the third with a 60th-minute penalty.

Nicklas Bendtner and substitute Robin van Persie were also on target and only an outstanding display by goalkeeper Tom Heaton prevented Arsenal running riot.

The victory secured a fifth-round meeting with another Championship (second division) team, Burnley, who knocked Arsenal out of the League Cup earlier this season, with a home quarter-final against Hull City or Sheffield United awaiting the winners.

"It was amazing, I think everyone has waited for him (Eduardo) to come back after that horrific thing and I'm really pleased for him," Bendtner told Setanta TV.

Cardiff held Arsenal to a 0-0 draw in their first match three weeks ago but last season's runners-up were outclassed from the first minute on Monday.

Heaton had already made four good saves before Eduardo, who played for Croatia last week, met a Carlos Vela cross to open the scoring from eight metres.

Bendtner glanced in a Samir Nasri corner to make it 2-0 then hit the post twice as Arsenal produced some mesmerising passing.

Eduardo got his second after he had been tripped in the box and immediately went to share his joy with the Arsenal medical team.

He was substituted to a standing ovation a few minutes later and his replacement, Van Persie, completed the win with a low shot a minute from time.


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