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Thursday, March 1, 2007

FA cup fifth round replay, BlackBurn 1-0 Arsenal

McCarthy's late strike breaks Arsenal's hearts.

Substitute Benni McCarthy came off the bench to finish a strong left-wing run with a superb 87th minute shot to settle this FA Cup Fifth Round replay in Blackburn's favour and deliver a second cruel blow to Arsenal's cup aspirations in the space of four fateful days.

McCarthy's 16th goal of his inaugural season in English football was an extraordinary strike in an otherwise ordinary tie, a moment of genuine class in a game that had hitherto been as colourless as tap water. The upshot is that Arsenal, the beaten Carling Cup finalists, have been dumped out of two competitions in the space of four days and have lost three games in succession for the first time since October 2002. Blackburn, eliminated from the Uefa Cup last week, will go on to face Manchester City at home in the FA Cup quarter-finals on March 11 and there were scenes of wild jubilation at the final whistle. As Mark Hughes pointed out, Blackburn have already beaten City at home and away this season.

FA CUP fifth round replay, Blackburn 1-0 Arsenal, highlights and goals video:

Blackburn: Friedel, Emerton, Samba, Nelsen, Warnock (Khizanishvili 46), Bentley, Tugay (Dunn 63), Mokoena, Pedersen, Nonda (McCarthy 63), Derbyshire. Subs Not Used: Enckelman, Roberts.

Booked: Tugay, Dunn, Derbyshire, McCarthy.

Goal: McCarthy 87.

Arsenal: Almunia, Eboue (Walcott 61), Senderos, Gallas, Traore (Clichy 66), Hleb, Denilson, Silva, Ljungberg, Aliadiere, Julio Baptista. Subs Not Used: Poom, Gavin Hoyte, Randall.

Booked: Traore, Clichy.