Arsenal secured a 2-0 win at home over Leeds United in the last 16 of the Carabao Cup on Tuesday night.
Second-half goals from Calum Chambers - with his first touch, 23 seconds after coming on as sub – and Eddie Nketiah gave Arsenal an ultimately comfortable win, taking them into the last eight of the competition and maintaining their recent good form. Leeds, on the other hand, might’ve won but instead maintained their dismal start to the season and desperately need some of their better players back.
Arsenal started quickly, Gabriel Martinelli shooting against Ilian Meslier’s undercarriage, but Leeds soon took over, Daniel James allowing a first touch and therefore a chance to get away from him, before Bernd Leno made a terrific save from a Jack Harrison effort that zipped through a crowd of players.
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After the break, Arsenal took control, quicker to the ball and able to get Emile Smith Rowe into the game. But their first goal came in bizarre circumstances, Ben White limping off prior to a corner, for Chambers, his replacement, to head home when Pepe head it back across. And on 69 minutes, Nketiah settled things with an equally strange affair, seizing on a poor back header from Liam Cooper to touch beautifully over Meslier, before dribbling home from two yards, off his shinpad.


Arsenal have been in decent form recently – admittedly with help from a friendly fixture list but nevertheless. As such, it was a little surprising that Mikel Arteta made so many changes to his team. It’s true that he has fringe players who needed minutes, but with no European football tiring out his first picks, there was no reason not to go flat-out to win a trophy.

Except, as luck would have it, Ben White got himself injured, so perhaps Arteta was right after all, gambling and getting away with it. Ultimately, though, the game revealed that below his first XI, there’s not much going on, so though he now has a team with which he’s happy, he still needs more players because any injuries, suspensions of losses of form will weaken Arsenal significantly.
Eddie Nketiah, though, has yet to be picked for a Premier League matchday squad, and perhaps is worthy of a spot on the bench. His all-round game still needs a lot of work, but he has a nose for a chance and the composure to take it, useful qualities in any substitute.


Eddie Nketiah (Arsenal) No one especially stood out, but the two touches Nketiah took to take the ball over Meslier and then control it were the highlight of the game ... until the third touch, off his shinpad, to score his goal and seal the win.


Arsenal: Leno 7, Cedric Soares 6, White 6, Holding 6, Kolasinac 6, Maitland-Niles 6, Elneny 5, Pepe 5, Smith Rowe 6, Martinelli 6, Nketiah 7. Subs: Chambers 7, Lokonga 6, Lacazette 6.
Leeds: Meslier 6, Drameh 6, Llorente 7, Struijk 6, Dallas 6, Phillips 6, Forshaw 5, James 6, Roberts 5, Harrison 6, Rodrigo 6. Subs: Klich 6, Cooper 5, Gelhardt 6, Summerville 6, Greenwood 6.


10’ - Elneny fires a pass into Nketiah, who flicks off first-time for Maitland-Niles, who's got serious wheels. He bursts into the box and looks about to shoot ... then Llorente slides in to make a tremendous tackle, the loose ball running wide to Martinelli, whose shot clips Meslier's undercarriage and goes behind.

19’ - That's better! A gorgeous long pass from someone - I think it was Llorente but perhaps it was Phillips - takes Leeds from back to front in a split-second and James is on the end of it! But his first touch is a fraction heavy, setting him for a shot but allowing Leno to come out and snaffle.

27’ - White gets the first touch on the corner but sends the ball on one to Harrison, who leathers a shot towards the near post ... forcing Leno to tip around the post! That's a good save; the resultant corner comes to nowt.
54' - White is down, and that'll be his night done.

55’ - GOAL! Arsenal 1-0 Leeds (Chambers) What a substitution! Cedric lands the corner on Kolasinac's head, Pepe nods back across, and Chambers panels the header at goal, his first touch ... Meslier scoops it away, but it's clearly behind the line and eventually the ref receives conformation. Incredible!

69’ - GGOAL! Arsenal 2-0 Leeds (Nketiah) Arsenal are going into the last eight! This is a hilarious effort! A long kick from Leno is headed on by Pepe, then Drameh heads back to Cooper, who tries to head back to Meslier. But Nketiah, who learnt that valuable lesson just a few minutes ago, is chasing in case, and takes a glorious touch to lift the ball over the keeper and collects it around the other side, then with the whole goal at which to aim and just three yards out, he kind of slips, clips the ball with his shin pad, and sees it dribble across the face of goal ... and in!
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26/11/2021 AT 10:24