Arsenal’s youngsters are still on track to win the Carling Cup after being matched at 2.38 on Betfair to beat a similarly second-string Liverpool side. Fran Merida was matched at 17.5 to open the scoring and the Gunners were matched at just 1.17 to be leading at half-time before Emiliano Insua hit back for Liverpool. In the end it was a relative veteran, Niklas Bendtner, who scored the winner for the home side in the second-half. At 6.6 they might not be everyone’s idea of a value bet to win the competition given they’re unlikely to change their policy of playing youngsters but their name is certainly in the hat for the next round.
It was far more straightforward for fellow Premier League giants Chelsea and Manchester City. Mark Hughes fielded virtually his best eleven and that was good enough to beat Scunthorpe 5-1 with City never touching any bigger than 1.4 on the exchange. At 6.2 to win the Cup, only Chelsea at 4.1 and Man Utd at 5.8 are shorter. The former had no trouble disposing of Bolton. They were matched at a high of 1.4 and those who predicted Chelsea would get four by backing the “any unquoted” runner secured a high of 5.6.
Tottenham (7.4), Aston Villa (12.0) Portsmouth (26.0) and Blackburn (27.0) complete the teams who will be in the draw for the quarter-finals.