Arsenal progressed to the Carabao Cup final with a 2-1 aggregate win over London rivals Chelsea.
Nacho Monreal’s deflected header in the 12th minute cancelled out Hazard’s 7th minute opener. The powerful header took a double deflection, first off Marcos Alonso and then off Rudiger to side step Willy Caballero in goal.
But Granit Xhaka ensured there was no need for extra time as he grabbed Arsenal’s winner in the 60th minute after Lacazette’s cross took a minor deflection into his path.
Ozil was at his best. Monreal is back. Iwobi was better but needs to improve with his goalscoring prowess. Lacazette can do better else Aubameyang will take his place.
The Gunners switched to a 3-4-3 after the goal and held on to yet another victory against Conte’s Chelsea. The Italian have only won one of his last eight matches against Arsenal which is a poor record compared to previous Chelsea Managers.
Few stats for you:
- Arsenal have reached their 28th domestic cup final (20 FA Cup, 8 League Cup). No side in England have reached more. – @TomEde1
- Mesut Ozil has created more scoring chances from open play for team-mates than any other player in Europe’s top five leagues this season – 58. – @Orbinho
- 8 – Arsenal will play in their eighth League Cup final; only Liverpool (12) and Manchester United (9) have appeared in more (Aston Villa and Spurs also on 8). Stage. – @OptaJoe
Enough of the stats, Arsenal will face Manchester City in the final on February 25 at Wembley. Will Wenger finally get the only domestic trophy that has eluded him? This may be Arsenal’s only silverware this season but Pep won’t mind getting a quadruple.
Hopefully Wenger won’t start the likes of Nketiah, Nelson, Maitland-Niles, Sheaf, Mavropanos and Macey against City’s powerhouse. Remember that league cup final against Mourinho’s Chelsea. Forget about the Birmingham game.
With Boom Xhaka Laca done and dusted, focus will shift to securing Aubameyang in time and the Premier League against Swansea.
Heading to the office, I am reciting “Boom Xhaka Laca! Boom Xhaka Laca!!”