Gunners Come From Behind To Book Final Spot

Chelsea travel to North London to meet Arsenal in a delicately poised Carabao Cup semi-final second leg.

Chelsea defender Cesar Azpilicueta admits the defeat to Arsenal in the Carabao Cup semi-finals was hard to take and has urged his teammates to respond strongly.

Arsenal may have been dumped out of the FA Cup prematurely by Nottingham Forest, but the Gunners will still line out at Wembley this season after battling to victory over Chelsea at the Emirates on Wednesday night.

A deep corner was met by Nacho Monreal whose header cannoned off the head of Marcos Alonso before ricocheting of Rudiger to leave Chelsea keeper Willy Caballero stranded.

A rejuvenated Arsenal started the second period on the front foot and edged in front in the two-legged tie when Xhaka reacted quickly to prod home a deflected Alexandre Lacazette cross with about half an hour to go.

"In the first half we gave them too much respect, maybe, and we suffered from that", Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said.

"He looks a very unhappy figure and even in midweek, I thought it was a very tepid performance from them".

In part thanks to Wenger's shift to a three-man defence in the second half.

And fellow Arsenal star Jack Wilshere admitted that he feels the change in formation was needed, while praising the team spirit shown to grind out the win.

Unfortunately for Antonio Conte's side, Willian's departure robbed them of one of their main attacking threats, and his replacement would have little impact in the match.

Recent signing Ross Barkley was brought on to make his debut, but the Italian felt this game was too soon for the England global.

With this consistent tension between coach and his clubs board, it seems like it is only a matter of time before Conte leaves Stamford Bridge.

Arsenal finished in fifth place in the Premier League table last term.

Willian has now been added to that list after picking up a hamstring problem against Arsenal and he is due for a scan, though Conte suspects it to be a minor issue. Another game in the FA Cup, but it's not simple and I don't sleep because of this.

  • Julie Sanders