Arsenal 2-1 Blackpool - Gunners through after nervous second-half

Arsenal's Emile Smith Rowe (pic Nick Potts/PA)

Arsenal's Emile Smith Rowe (pic Nick Potts/PA) - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

Arsenal progressed to the fifth round of the Carabao Cup on Wednesday night, edging Blackpool 2-1 at the Emirates.

Unai Emery’s side got back to winning ways and extended their unbeaten run to 13 games in all competitions against the League One side, but had to work for it after going down to 10 men in the second-half.

The opening 30 minutes saw little quality from either side. With Blackpool parking nine men behind the ball, the Gunners refused to shoot from distance.

The hosts were stuck at 20 yards, waiting for some magic to break through. It was provided after 35 minutes, when Matteo Guendouzi chipped a perfect pass over for Stephan Lichtsteiner, whose darting run allowed him plenty of time to poke home his first Arsenal goal.

After the break, Arsenal quickly doubled their lead through Emile Smith-Rowe, who powered the ball into the ground and high into the net after Mark Howard had parried Carl Jenkinson’s effort.

However, the hosts struggled to adjust after Guedouzi’s dismissal for a soft second yellow, and the Bloomfield Road side began to press their back-line.

They got a goal back after 68 minutes, when Paudie O’Connor powered in a free-header from a corner, and began to make pressure the Gunners.

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However, their man advantage was gone with five minutes left, when O’Connor was shown a straight red for a late challenge on substitute Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

Arsenal continued to look disjointed towards the end but Blackpool’s threat was gone, and the hosts saw out the game - completing the job, but not as comfortably as they’d have liked.

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