Kazim-Richards helps Blackburn eliminate Arsenal from FA Cup
London, England, United Kingdom (4E Sports) – Colin Kazim-Richards scored against his boyhood heroes as the Blackburn Rovers booked a spot in the quarterfinal round after eliminating Arsenal from the FA Cup with a 1-0 triumph Friday at Emirates Stadium.
Kazim-Richards, who grew up in nearby Leyton and trained with Arsenal as a schoolboy, delivered the only goal of the game in the 72nd minute to give Blackburn a place in the last eight and deal Arsene Wenger his first home defeat to lower division opposition.
Blackburn goalkeeper Jake Kean also played a key role in the victory as his outstanding play kept Arsenal’s attack at bay.
Wenger rested five first-team regulars but Arsenal dominated possession and had plenty of chances to score but could not find a way past Kean and his teammates.
Kean also stood his ground in the last 20 minutes of the match after Arsenal brought in its big guns in Jack Wilshere, Theo Walcott and Santi Cazorla.
After the loss, former Arsenal legend Ian Wright blamed Wenger’s “sheer arrogance” for the team’s early exit in the FA Cup.
“You have to blame the manager for the sheer arrogance of not putting enough into the competition,” Wright said. “The fact is when you’ve got your manager talking about fourth place in the Premier League being the only priority, why are the players going to be any more up for it?”
Meanwhile, Chris Dagnall and Marlon Harewood scored in the first 20 minutes to help Barnsley reach the quarterfinal round with a 3-1 triumph over MK Dons.
Dagnall opened scoring in the third minute while Harewood added a score in the 19th minute to give Barnsley a 2-0 lead.
Dean Bowditch gave the home side hope when he pulled a goal back in the 61st minute but Dagnall netted his second of the game in injury time to put Barnsley through to the last eight of the competition.
Milwall also booked a place in the quarterfinal round after beating Luton Town, 3-0, behind goals by James Henry, Robert Hulse and Dany N’Guessan.
Meanwhile, Oldham Athletic secured a rematch with Everton when their showdown at Boundary Park ended in a 2-2 draw after Matt Smith scored a last-minute goal.