Arsenal beat Chelsea at the Emirates to book a place in the Final on February 25th against Manchester City in the second leg of the Carabao Cup Semi-Final at the Emirates.
Arsenal came out winners after a formidable second-half performance against Antonio Conte’s Chelsea side after Granit Xhaka scored the winner at the Emirates to win 2-1 on aggregate. In a tale of two halves, where Chelsea, despite their dominant first-half performance could not replicate the form into goals, while Arsenal was lucky enough for both their goals scored in the night where midfielder Granit Xhaka snatched the winner midway through the second half to book Arsenal’s place in the Wembley final.
Pedro started the fire for Chelsea in the first half and had a goal disallowed for offside. A few minutes later though, Eden Hazard gave Chelsea the lead after Pedro found space and sent a ball to The Blues’ false nine for the night and the Belgian made no mistake.
Arsenal won a corner and Mesut Ozil’s delivery was met by a powerful Nacho Monreal header which bounced off Alonso and Rudiger for Arsenal’s equaliser. The equaliser was credited as an own goal, despite the initial Monreal shot being on target. After a drab first-half performance, Arsenal came into the second which much more aggression, as Arsene Wenger looked to tighten things up overall and the players looked motivated to score the decisive goal. The goal did arrive, after Lacazette’s hard work paid off, as he sent in a cross square towards goal, which deflected off Rudiger and came at the feet of Granit Xhaka, who showed a striker’s instinct to score what was the winner of the game.
Here’s how Arsenal’s players were rated against Chelsea during an exciting semi-final second leg at the Emirates.
David Ospina: 6/10
His night was made easy by a tight defence in the second half. Could not do much for the Hazard goal despite getting a touch on the Belgian’s shot. Overall commanded his area decently to keep the score as it finished.
Nacho Monreal: 8/10
Monreal has been one of Arsenal’s top performers this season. He has played 2 games since his return from injury and has contributed two goals and two assists in those games, including his hand in the equaliser which was later deemed as an own goal. In defence the Spaniard was brilliant, cutting off passes and keeping the Chelsea attack at bay.
Shkodran Mustafi: 7/10
He was aggressive, commanding and quick to defend balls thrown towards him. Was aware of Hazard’s central role and defended well against the Belgian throughout the night. The only blip was when he gave the ball away cheaply and Hazard was clean through inside the Arsenal box, only for the Belgian to rumble down on his own.
Laurent Koscielny: 7/10
Like Mustafi, performed well in a big game. Showed some versatility in, when he was performing overlapping runs into the Arsenal forward line. Otherwise was solid and aware of the Chelsea attackers’ presence.
Hector Bellerin: 7/10
Solid defensively and contributed well to Arsenal’s attack. The four-man defence seems to suit Bellerin’s attacking game more than the three-man system. Tried to send balls into the box a few times, but there was no one to attack it further on most occasions. Kept Alonso in his pocket and scuffed out any potential attack from the dangerous Chelsea wing back.
Mohammed Elneny: 8/10
One of his best games in an Arsenal shirt. Elneny was put into the team as a screening midfielder and did his job to perfection. He kept Chelsea’s attack at bay and kept the Arsenal midfield ticking with his decent distribution. After the second goal was playing in a centre-back role to add more protection to the defence.
Granit Xhaka: 8/10
At times, Xhaka gave away the ball cheaply but overall had a good performance in midfield alongside Elneny ans Wilshere. Scored the second goal and showed a striker’s instinct to be aware of the ball and finish it.
Jack Wilshere: 7.5/10
Controlled the Arsenal midfield and distributed the ball to good use. Was always supportive going forward and put in a few tackles to stop Chelsea attacks. Missed one decent opportunity to score, but otherwise solid in the game.
Alex Iwobi: 7/10
Iwobi showed his defensive side of the game well and contributed with five tackles. Kept Victor Moses at bay for most of the game. The only drawback was his decision making in the final third, which could have done much more to Arsenal’s attack.
Mesut Ozil: 8/10
Was Arsenal’s main player on the pitch, starting attacks and sending balls into the final third. Was marked well by Chelsea defence and fouled a lot of times. Had a 96% pass accuracy during the game and at the end of the first half missed scoring a goal by some inches.
Alexandre Lacazette: 7.5/10
It was his hard work on the ball that led to Granit Xhaka’s winner. Lacazette is still facing the same problem of not getting enough service. Worked on and off the ball really well and supported the Arsenal midfield well by tracking back at times.
Aaron Ramsey: 6/10
Came in to shore things up, and did his job.
Sead Kolasinac: 6/10
Like Ramsey, he too was sent to stable things at the back and did his job decently apart from a few giveaways which could have proven dangerous.