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Thursday, 26 September 2013

Youngsters shine as Arsenal win on penalties

Arsenal are through to the next round of the League Cup, but only just. Nacho Monreal's penalty was the difference as the Gunners and West Brom couldn't be separated even in extra time. Eisfeld's goal midway through the second half opened the scoring before the Baggies hit back with Berahino. With injuries and people needing to be rested, Wenger played a weakened side. Eisfeld as mentioned was given his first start for the club whilst Issac Hayden made his senior debut in midfield. The likes of Gnabry and Ryo featured whilst Olsson, Akpom and Bellerin came off the bench. There was also a start for Nicklas Bendtner, featuring for the club for the first time since 2011.Thomas Vermaelen and Mikel Arteta, the captain and vice captain were given their first starts since their injuries.

Thomas Eisfeld scored on his first Arsenal start
The first chance of the game went West Brom's way as the ball was swung in from the right but Long failed to make good contact with it and Fabianski was able to collect.

Then came Bendtner's first action back in an Arsenal shirt. Ryo did well to get beyond Reid and then find a cross. However it was too high for Bendtner who then ran into the post.

It was a game of few chances so far as Craig Dawson then forced Fabianski into tipping the ball over the bar from a corner.

Graham Dorrans was to try his luck from range with a free-kick but he wasted it by blazing the ball high and wide.

Issac Hayden then almost grabbed a debut goal. Gnabry's corner came to the near post in the direction of Hayden but he failed to make contact with the ball. If he had then it would've surely been a goal.

All of the chances seemed to be coming from dead ball situations as Steven Reid was to come close with a dipping free-kick that hit the bar.

The score at half time was 0-0.

The first attempt on goal in the second half came from Eisfeld as Jenkinson did well to find him on the edge of the area but the German's effort flew over.

Then came the first real save of the match. Sessegnon teed up Mulumbu who then hit a fiercesome shot which Fabianski had to be at his best to deal with.

Just after the hour mark, the deadlock was broken. Nicklas Bendtner played a perfectly weighted ball into Thomas Eisfeld who managed to get it out of his feet and then find the back of the net. 

10 minutes later, West Brom were level. Shane Long picked out Berahino in the box who headed past Fabianski to make it 1-1.

Berahino then had a chance to win it as he was set free down the right hand side but his shot found the crowd.

Into injury time and Arsenal could've won it. However Jenkinson's low cross evaded three men in yellow and went out for a throw-in.

That was to be the final chance of normal time and into extra time we went.

Nicklas Bendtner was to have the best chance of extra-time and should've sealed it. Gnabry's ball found him in acres of space but he took too much time and back came a Baggies defender to deny the Dane from getting a shot away.

Chuba Akpom was to then come close as his effort was a whisker away from finding the far corner.

The next youngster to get a shot on goal was Hector Bellerin as he found space on the edge of the area before firing wide.

West Brom were then to be denied by the cross bar as Amalfitano turned and then smashed the ball against the wood work. Rosenberg also came desperately close but Bellerin got back to clear a shot off the line.

That was the end of extra-time and the game went to penalties. Steven Reid smashed home the first before Bendtner comfortably sent Daniels the wrong way. Up next was Rosenberg who also scored but Gnabry's penalty was saved. Morrison and Olsson then scored theirs. However with West Brom having the advantage, Dawson and Amalfitano both missed with Akpom tucking his away. Monreal then found the net to take Arsenal through to face Chelsea in the next round.

The final score finished West Brom 1-1 Arsenal (3-4 on penalties)

The teams lineups:

West Brom: Daniels, Reid, Dawson, Lugano, Popov, Mulumbu(90), Dorrans, Sessegnon, Sinclair, Berahino(100), Long(90). 
Subs: Camp, McAuley, Olsson, Jones, Morrison(90), Amalfitano(100), Rosenberg(90).

Arsenal: Fabianski, Jenkinson, Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Monreal, Hayden(84), Arteta(95), Eisfeld(82), Gnabry, Miyaichi, Bendtner. 
Subs: Viviano, Bellerin(95), Flamini, Olsson(84), Iwobi, Park, Akpom(82).

My man of the match: Carl Jenkinson. 

Referee: Robert Madley
Attendance: 18,649

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