Final Score: Arsenal 2-1 Chelsea
Arsenal crashed Chelsea’s hopes of silverware by sending them packing from the Carabao Cup last night. They secured a 2-1 victory to progress to the final, to face Manchester City. An own goal from Antonio Rudiger and a Granit Xhaka strike helped the cause. The visitors started off brightly and left the Gunners defence flat footed in the early stages.
As a reward, Pedro played a fine through ball between the centre-backs to set up Eden Hazard, who finished it in some style. The affair then became a cagy one after Monreal’s cross hit Alonso’s head and deflected off Rudiger next, into the back of the net. It was all square in the first half but a Xhaka special gave Arsenal the eventual winner. The Blues then threw the kitchen sink at everything but failed to capitalise.
Alex Iwobi had the chance to kill the game when he was given a scoring opportunity via a counter but the scoreline remained as it is. Since the first leg was a 0-0 stalemate, Arsené Wenger’s Arsenal qualified with a 2-1 aggregate.
Arsenal Player Ratings
David Ospina: 6/10
He looked shaky in the first half and should have closed Hazard down for the first goal. An inconsistent display.
Hector Bellerin: 7/10
Had to play narrower with four at the back. But as the game went on, he got better defensively. When Arsenal reverted to a back three in the second half, he had more say in the final third.
Laurent Koscielny: 7/10
Was beaten and left in tatters by Pedro’s through ball for the opener but came back into the game and tackled brilliantly, as he always does.
Shkodran Mustafi: 7/10
Learnt from his early mistakes and settled in well. Koscielny and the German complemented each other well as the game went on.
Nacho Monreal: 9/10
Barely allowed any Chelsea activity in his defensive area and smartly went forward when required. His touch and delivery were so decisive.
Jack Wilshere: 8.5/10
Brought control to the game and was the dictator yet again. He kept hold of possession well and chipped in with vital tackles.
Mohamed Elneny: 8/10
Was outplayed in the first 20 minutes or so, but settled in and sat back to defend and not allow any quick attack from Chelsea. A good display again, after the one against Palace.
Granit Xhaka: 8/10
Much better defensively, was one solid midfielder in the first period. His finish was brilliant and so was his awareness to get into the box and advanced areas of the pitch.
Mesut Özil: 8/10
Stunning display after the break as he outplayed the Chelsea defence with some well-weighted passes and through balls. When Özil is in such flow, he really makes it look like he has all the time in the world to destroy an opposition and pick his pass.
Alex Iwobi: 6.5/10
Improved in the second half, got into key positions. But in the first, Iwobi just gave the ball away and struggled to cause problems on the break.
Alexandre Lacazette: 7.5/10
Worked hard to create something despite being isolated at times. He held the ball well and bought time for the other players to get into the act.
Aaron Ramsey: N/A
Came on in the 84th minute.
Sead Kolasinac: N/A
Came on in place of Alex Iwobi in the 84th minute.