Arsenal put up a disappointing display in the English Football League Cup quarter final against Southampton at the Emirates. It was a poor performance which the saints capitalized to run away with a 2-0 victory and a semifinal berth against Liverpool.
Wenger made wholesome changes to the side that won 3-1 against AFC Bournemouth. Martinez, recently rewarded with a new contract and praised to be the future number 1, started in goal with the same back-line that won 2-0 against Reading in the penultimate round: Jenkinson, Gabriel, Holding and captain Gibbs.
Ramsey had the luxury of playing in his preferred role with El Neny and Coquelin making up the middle. Lucas Perez, back from injury, was flanked by Alex Iwobi and Jeff Adelaide.
It was a poor night for the Gunners, conceding two first half goals. Both goals were similar with the building coming from the right and the Gunners were unable to block the shots from the middle. Martinez could do little to save the 2 goals. Carl Jenkinson was badly exposed on the right and the Jeff couldn’t help. Upfront, Jeff was almost absent.
Iwobi huffed and puffed but you could see the lack of urgency from the Gunners to turn around a 2-0 defeat. El Neny was subbed off before the half and his replacement Xhaka steadied the ship and had shots at goal which were easy for Forster. The Gunners had 5 shots on goal but none were threatening.
Arsenal kept passing the ball around the box with no intent to penetrate. Unfortunately a couple of balls fell to Francis Coquelin who is yet to score a goal for Arsenal. Chamberlain and Maitland-Niles were introduced for Jeff and Jenkinson but they could not pull Arsenal level. Ramsey was just poor.
It was a poor game – a very poor one. The player rating on Arseblog is modest enough. It was a disappointing one and cancels my plan to see the semifinals in flesh and blood. One trophy stroked out and it seems Wenger will never win the League Cup.
In the other quarter final of the night, Manchester United were 4-1 winners over Westham United. They will face Hull City who saw off Newcastle United.
Lick your wounds, Gooners.