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Carling Cup final: Arsenal 1 Birmingham 2

Arsenal’s six-year wait to win a trophy continues after Birmingham City’s Obafemi Martins scored an 89th minute winner at Wembley on Sunday.

Martins late clincher came from a defensive blunder between Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny and centre-half Laurent Koscielny.

The match was billed as the moment when Arsenal would finally be able to celebrate for the first time since lifting the FA Cup in 2005.

But instead underdogs Birmingham clinched a dramatic victory to win the club’s first trophy since 1963 and deny Arsene Wenger’s side yet again.

Former Newcastle striker Martins sent Birmingham fans home delirious with his late winner. He celebrated with a series of somersaults.

Arsenal, without injured captain Cesc Fabregas and winger Theo Walcott, dominated much of the second half and created a string of chances – with Birmingham keeper Ben Foster named man of the match.

But Birmingham can say they deserved to lift the trophy after a battling display.

Nikola Zigic headed them in front on 28 minutes before Robin van Persie equalised with a fine volley, set by Andriy Arshavin, following a superb Arsenal breakway move

Arsenal then forced Foster into some fine saves, notably from Samir Nasri, but Fahey also hit the post for Birmingham.

All Arsenal’s work was undone when Szczesny spilled Zigic’s knockdown after Koscielny’s mis-kick and Martins had a simple task to tap the ball home with a minute left.

Sun 27 February, 2011
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