Super-sub Eddie Nketiah scores twice to send Arsenal through
Arsenal beat Norwich City 2-1 after extra in the fourth round of the EFL Cup at the Emirates Stadium tonight.
Eddie Nketiah came off the bench to score twice to save Arsenal’s blushes.
The Canaries took the lead in the 34th minute through Josh Murphy and seemed set to cause an upset.
But Nketiah equalised in the 86th minute with his first touch of the match to send the tie into extra time.
The young sub then headed the Gunners ahead from a corner in the 96th minute.
It was to be the match winner and sent Arsenal into the next round of the competition.
Arsene Wenger made eleven changes to the team that started at Everton in the Premier League.
Wenger has never won this competition and for much of the opening 90 minutes it seemed he would have to wait another year for the chance to change that.
The Canaries took the lead in the 34th minute.
The makeshift Arsenal defence were caught out playing a high line.
James Maddison played a decisive through ball to Murphy, who kept his composure and dinked the ball over Matt Macey into the net.
Norwich continued to have the better of the contest.
The Gunners were grateful to Macey for keeping them in the match, along with some wasteful finishing from the visitors.
Just when it appeared that Norwich would hold on for a deserved win Arsenal equalised in the 86th minute.
15 seconds after entering the pitch, substitute Nketiah poked the ball into the net from a corner past Angus Gunn with his first touch of the match.
The Gunners then had two chances to win the match in normal time.
Jack Wilshere from six yards out had his low shot saved by Gunn.
Substitute Chuba Akpom then dragged a left-footed strike wide of the goal.
The match went into extra time.
It was Nketiah again who put Arsenal ahead with a header in the 96th minute.
Gunn then saved a Giroud volley as Arsenal pressed for a third.
The Canaries keeper was on hand again in the 113th minute to deny Nketiah his hat-trick.
Norwich kept going in search of an equaliser. They appealed for a penalty with four minutes of extra time remaining.
James Husband went down in the penalty area under challenge by Mathieu Debuchy, but the referee Madley just pointed for a goal kick.
There was still time for Nketiah to curl a left-footed shot just over the crossbar.
But it was Nketiah’s night and one that he will remember for the remainder of his career.
Arsenal: Macey, Debuchy, Elneny, Holding, Nelson (Akpom), Maitland-Niles (Nketiah), Coquelin, Wilshere (DaSilva), Iwobi, Walcott, Giroud