24 Sep 2008

Arsenal youngsters impress in League Cup

9:36 am on 24 September 2008

Arsenal's future looks to be in safe hands after a largely teenage side produced a sparkling display to thrash Championship side Sheffield United 6-nil in the third round of English football's League Cup.

19-year-old Mexico striker Carlos Alberto Vela led the way with a hat-trick, while 16-year-old Jack Wilshere ran the midfield in a performance that must have left manager Arsene Wenger encouraged.

Manchester United needed two late goals to beat 10-man Middlesbrough 3-1 at Old Trafford while Liverpool, showing 11 changes from the team who drew with Stoke City at the weekend, beat third division Crewe 2-1 at Anfield.

Gianfranco Zola, who got off to a winning start in his new role as manager of West Ham United at the weekend, tasted defeat a 1-nil loss to watford, while Fulham were also on the wrong end of an upset when they lost 1-nil at Burnley, also from the Championship.

Premiership sides Stoke City and Sunderland both needed penalty shoot-out wins to progress, Stoke beat Reading and Sunderland beat Northampton Town.