Spurs strike back at Arsenal
Written By: Robert Halter
Arsenal against Tottenham Hotspur became the joint most played fixture in League Cup history as both the North London clubs went toe to toe in the quarter final of the Carabao Cup at the Emirates Stadium on December 19. In the second minute from a Granit Xhaka corner, a glancing header by Henrikh Mkhitaryan, went past Nacho Monreal, who was prowling at the far left post. During the eighth minute, after playing a one two with Alex Iwobi, from outside the box, Aaron Ramsey, drilled a low drive narrowly past the right post. On the eleventh minute, after build up play with Moussa Sissoko and Lucas Moura, a wayward strike by Christian Eriksen, flashed past the left post. A minute later from a Kieran Trippier delivery, a header by Dele Alli, was ballooned over. But in the next move, Arsenal created the first clear cut opportunity, as Iwobi sent the ball through to Ramsey, whose flick off his heel, put Mkhitaryan in on goal, but his first time strike was kept out at full stretch by Paulo Gazzaniga,. In the sixteenth minute, from an Alli assist, a well struck shot by Eriksen, drifted high over the upright. On twenty minutes, Danny Rose fed Eriksen, whose pass forward was just out the reach of Ben Davies, as the ball was recovered, at Petr Cech’s near post. Although in their next attack, the Lilywhites went ahead from a long goal kick by Gazzaniga and as Sokratis Papastathopoulos slipped under the challenge of Moura, a flick by Alli, sent Son through on goal, who struck the ball into the left side of the net. The Gunners pressed in the twenty seventh minute, from a pass across by Matteo Guendouzi, which was struck low and narrowly past the right post from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. But on the half hour mark, following a Xhaka corner and flap at the ball by Gazzaniga, from a crunching tackle by Moura on Mkhitaryan, breaking forward Eriksen supplied Trippier, who combined with Sissoko, who was played back in by Eriksen, before blazing the ball over. In the forty third minute, from Iwobi’s cross, a snap shot by Ramsey, was deflected onto the inside of the right post, from the outstretched palm of Gazzaniga. After Xhaka played a short corner with Lucas Torreira, a cushioned header by Sokratis, drifted past the right post, near the end of the first half. Before the re-start, Laurent Koscielny replaced Mkhitaryan. On fifty four minutes, after Aubameyang pushed over Rose, a curling free kick by Eriksen was kept out by Cech, with a double handed block at his near post. Two minutes later, an over the top ball by Eriksen, cleared the way for Son on the left, but at a tight angle, Cech collected the ball comfortably. In the fifty seventh minute, after Sissoko clipped Aubameyang, a free kick by Xhaka sailed over. Spurs then brought on Harry Kane for Moura, while Arsenal took off Iwobi for Alexandre Lacazette, but it was the Lilywhites change that made the impact, when from a long goal kick by Gazzaniga, the ball was brought down by Kane on the chest and flicked through to Alli, who chipped the ball past Cech, into the right side of the goal, in the fifty ninth minute. The Gunners response was a combination with Aubameyang and Monreal, then through a cross by Aubameyang, a low shot by Lacazette, struck the foot of the right post. On sixty five minutes from a Harry Winks delivery, a downward header by Son spun wide under the challenge of Xhaka. The Gunners then replaced Guendouzi with Eddie Nketiah. In the seventy fifth minute, from a Monreal assist, a cross by Aubameyang on the left, cannoned onto the top of the crossbar. Another change was made by Spurs as Erik Lamela took over from Son. On eighty three minutes from a pass across by Kane, a curling strike by Eirksen was pushed over by Cech. In stoppage time from a Trippier delivery, and knock on by Kane, the ball was headed out of play from Alli. Following a foul by Sissoko on Monreal, from a free kick by Xhaka, the ball was struck wide by Torreira, as Arsenal were eliminated 2-0 by Tottenham Hotspur.