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Arsenal knock out Cup holders Liverpool

January 07, 2007 12:19 IST

Arsenal knocked holders Liverpool out of the FA Cup on Saturday as two sweetly-struck goals by Tomas Rosicky and a late Thierry Henry breakaway secured a 3-1 third round victory at Anfield.

The Czech midfielder drove in shots after 37 and 45 minutes and, after Dirk Kuyt raised home hopes in the 71st, Henry completed the win against a team who have not lost a league game at home since October 2005.

Earlier, top-flight strugglers Charlton Athletic and Sheffield United were dispatched by third division sides as Nottingham Forest beat the Londoners 2-0 and Swansea City won 3-0 in Sheffield.

There were no such problems for Chelsea, however, as a Frank Lampard hat-trick helped them thump Macclesfield 6-1. Bolton Wanderers, West Ham United and Watford also progressed against lower league opposition while a last-minute Nwankwo Kanu header enabled Portsmouth to beat Wigan Athletic 2-1 in an all-Premier clash.

The dreams of the two remaining minor league clubs ended as Tamworth lost 4-1 at home to second division Norwich City and Aldershot went down 4-2 at third division Blackpool.

At Anfield, the stand-out tie lived up to its billing as Arsenal overcame a cautious start to surge into a 2-0 lead.

A neat build-up ended with Rosicky sweeping in a great shot from outside the box and he then dribbled through some tentative defending to drive home a low second just before halftime.

Liverpool earned a lifeline when Kuyt deflected a Peter Crouch header beyond Manuel Almunia to spark a late assault.

However, it was Arsenal who struck again, out of the blue, when Henry broke from his own half, outmuscled England defender Jamie Carragher and shot low past a rusty-looking Jerzy Dudek.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, whose side face Liverpool again on Tuesday in a League Cup quarter-final at Anfield, told BBC Radio: "It was a real cup game against a very good Liverpool side.

"We showed character, good discipline, we were well-organised and when we were under pressure from Liverpool in the first half the goals came at the right moment."

Reds manager Rafael Benitez told their web site ( "It was a bad day for all our supporters and for us and we have to be disappointed because we made some mistakes which cost us."


Charlton, knocked out of the League Cup by fourth division Wycombe last month, were well beaten by a Forest team who had been thumped 5-0 by Oldham in their last third division game.

Forest took the lead in the 28th minute through Junior Agogo and doubled it four minutes later with a Grant Holt header.

Seven months ago, Charlton coach Alan Pardew was within a minute of lifting the FA Cup as manager of West Ham but he experienced very different emotions on Saturday.

"It's a competition that brings great highs and big lows and it was a low for us," he told Sky Sports.

"The performance today frankly wasn't the standard we wish we were at and the better team won, no doubt about it."

Sheffield United fielded a much-changed team and paid the price as Thomas Butler put Swansea in control with two well-struck goals early in the second half and was then brought down to produce the penalty that Leon Britton scored for the third in the 67th minute.

Macclesfield, second-last in the fourth division, had brief hopes of glory when on-loan striker John Murphy cancelled out Lampard's opener in the 40th minute.


Macclesfield were able to bask in glory for all of a minute before Lampard claimed his second.

The Cheshire side, managed by former England midfielder Paul Ince, then had goalkeeper Tommy Lee sent off for bringing down Andriy Shevchenko and Lampard converted the 51st minute penalty to complete his hat-trick. Shaun Wright-Phillips, John Obi Mikel and Ricardo Carvalho rounded things off.

There are four more ties on Sunday including two more all-Premier games between Manchester United and Aston Villa and Everton and Blackburn Rovers.

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