Danny Welbeck goal sends Arsenal into the Carabao Cup Semi-Finals
Danny Welbeck scored the only goal of the match as Arsenal beat West Ham United in their quarter-final tie of the Carabao Cup at the Emirates Stadium tonight.
Arsene Wenger made 11 changes to the team that beat Newcastle United in the Premier League on Saturday.
This a competition that Wenger has never won in his time as Arsenal manager. He has lost in two finals, but will now contest his seventh semi-final in the competition.
This only the third time that Arsenal and West Ham United have met in the competition and it’s a match that won’t live long in the memory.
The Gunners dominated possession in the match (67%), but Welbeck’s goal was their only attempt on target in the match.
The desperately disappointing Hammers didn’t manage a single effort on target in the match.
In a match of few clear-cut chances Theo Walcott should have put Arsenal ahead in the 38th minute from Sead Kolasinac’s cross, but he sent his diving header wide from 10 yards out.
Arsenal did make the breakthrough 4 minutes later when Welbeck got on the end of a header back across goal from Mathieu Debuchy, and he beat Joe Hart from close range.
It was Welbeck’s 4th goal of the season.
Welbeck was also involved in the most controversial moment of the second half.
He was fouled on the edge of the penalty area by Hart. It looked as if the challenge by Hart was in the penalty area. But referee Kevin Friend gave a free-kick just outside the penalty area and yellow-carded Hart.
West Ham were content to sit back and defend for most of the match. They were given a little late impetus by the introduction of Andy Carroll as a substitute. But his teammates were unable to fashion a goal scoring opportunity for him and his contribution was restricted to a couple of hefty challenges on Arsenal players.
Before tonight Arsenal had lost their past four home League Cup games against fellow Premier League sides, losing 2-0 against Southampton at the last-eight stage last season.
Arsenal are joined in the last four of the competition by Manchester City, who beat Leicester City 4-3 on penalties in the other quarter-final tie tonight at the King Power Stadium.
The semi-final line-up will be completed by the winners of the quarter-final ties between Chelsea and AFC Bournemouth, and Bristol City and Manchester United tomorrow night.
Olivier Giroud limped off with a hamstring injury and is now a doubt for the matches over the festive period.
The news on Francis Coquelin, who was also substituted late on, is more positive, with Arsene Wenger saying his has a chance to be fit to face Liverpool in the Premier League on Friday night.
This is what Arsene Wenger had to say after the match.
“I felt we played with quality and spirit and pace in the first half. Overall for 90 minutes we looked solid defensively and weren’t tested at the back too much. Tested, but not in danger.
“Second half we lost a bit of pace and were less creative and then couldn’t the game off. So it was down to not making a mistake.
“Overall it’s a positive night for us, other than we lost Olivier Giroud. Francis Coquelin looks less problematic, but Giroud looks to be out for Friday night.”
Arsenal: Ospina 6, Debuchy 7, Holding 7, Chambers 7, Kolasinac 7, Coquelin 7 (Da Silva), Elneny 8, Willock 7 (Sheaf), Walcott 6, Giroud 6 (Nelson), Welbeck 7