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Arsenal see off Liverpool in cup

Merida is surrounded by teammates after his superb opener for Arsenal.
Merida is surrounded by teammates after his superb opener for Arsenal.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Arsenal beat Liverpool 2-1 at the Emirates in English League Cup
  • Chelsea also into quarterfinals after 4-0 thumping of Bolton
  • Bayern Munich and holders Werder Bremen in last eight of German Cup
  • Holders Celtic crash out of Scottish League Cup to Hearts

(CNN) -- Arsenal's youngsters condemned Liverpool to their fifth defeat in six games with a 2-1 victory at the Emirates Stadium to reach the quarterfinals of the English League Cup on Wednesday night.

Liverpool only retained Dirk Kuyt from the team which ended a run of four straight defeats to beat Manchester United in the Premier League on Sunday while Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger famously gives his teenage hopefuls their chance in the competition.

It was 19-year-old Fran Merida who put them ahead with a superb first half strike which went in off the post but Emiliano Insua equalized with a stunning volley before the interval.

The more experienced Niklas Bendtner scored the winner on 50 minutes as he produced a powerful left foot finish.

Liverpool had several openings to level and gave a welcome first outing to Alberto Aquilani, who came off the bench to make his debut after his close season signing from Roma.

The quality of the game was outstanding
--Arsene Wenger

The midfielder, who has been battling injury, was involved in several promising moves and had a strong penalty appeal turned down when his shot struck the arm of Philippe Senderos.

But Arsenal held on for a deserved victory with Wenger applauding the contributions of both teams.

"The quality of the game was outstanding," he told Sky Sports.

"Both teams played very well and at the very end there was very little to separate them," he added.

Premier League leaders Chelsea are also in the last eight after a 4-0 mauling of Bolton at Stamford Bridge.

First-half goals from Salomon Kalou and Florent Malouda put the home side on the way to victory.

Deco and substitute Didier Drogba added further goals after the break for Carlo Ancelotti's men.

Big-spending Manchester City are still on course for silverware after thumping second-flight Scunthorpe 5-1.

Stephen Ireland gave City the lead before Jonathan Forte leveled for the visitors.

But City were ahead by halftime through Roque Santa Cruz, and second-half goals from Joleon Lescott, Carlos Tevez and Michael Johnson sealed their passage.

In the German Cup, holders Werder Bremen and Bayern Munich reached the quarterfinals with convincing wins.

Miroslav Klose scored twice as Bayern Munich crushed Eintracht Frankfurt 4-0 while Werder Bremen beat Kaiserslautern 3-0 with Petri Pasanen, Tim Borowski and Torsten Oehrl on target.

Schalke and Hoffenheim also made the last eight.

Holders Celtic crashed out of Scottish League Cup as they lost 1-0 at home to Hearts.

A Michael Stewart penalty settled the match in the second half after Danny Fox's foul on Christian Nade at Parkhead.