Arsenal reach the EFL Cup Final after beating Chelsea
Arsenal are through to the EFL Cup Final are beating Chelsea 2-1 in the 2nd leg of their semi-final tonight at the Emirates Stadium.
They will play Manchester City in the Final on Sunday 25th February at Wembley.
For the Gunners it will be their eighth League Cup final and they will be looking to win it for a third time when they take on the runaway Premier League leaders.
Only Liverpool (12) and Manchester United (9) have played in more Finals (Aston Villa and Spurs are also on 8).
It has been a difficult week for Arsene Wenger losing Alexis Sanchez to Manchester United.
David Ospina started in-goal in place of Petr Cech, with Nacho Monreal fit to take his place in a back four.
It was the visitors though who took the lead through Eden Hazard (7).
The Belgian was set up by Tiemoue Bakayoko and Pedro, before toe-poking the ball into the net past David Ospina. The keeper got his hand to the ball but couldn’t keep it out
But the Gunners rallied to reach the Final.
They equalised from a Nacho Monreal header (12 – via a double deflection first off Marcos Alonso and then Antonio Rudiger ) from a Mesut Ozil corner.
The winner came courtesy of a close range finish from Granit Xhaka (60).
Alexandre Lacazette set up the winner. He held off Andreas Christensen and his cross took a deflection off Antonio Rudiger to fall perfectly into the path of Granit Xhaka.
The Swiss International made no mistake in finding the net with a left finish from close range to send Arsenal back to Wembley.
This is what Granit Xhaka had to say after the match.
“We changed the system in the second half and we were the better team. I think it is only my second goal from inside the box for Arsenal.”
This is what Arsene Wenger had to say speaking to Sky Sports after the match:
“In the first half we gave Chelsea too much respect and distance. We were a bit scared to go for it and we suffered from that.
We were not playing in the right position but we amended that in the second half and took control of the game. We knew we could perform better in the second half and that’s what we did. In the first half we watched them play a bit but we were tighter after the break.
We lost a great player in Alexis Sanchez but when a team doesn’t know what’s going on in the dressing room there is less clarity and focus on performances. We know we have to deal with it now.
We have some time to prepare for the final but we are happy to take our fans to Wembley. We’ve been there a few times now and we’re happy to be going again.”
Arsenal: Ospina, Bellerin, Mustafi, Koscielny, Monreal, Elneny, Xhaka, Wilshere, Ozil, Iwobi (Ramsey), Lacazette (Kolasinac)