Carabao Cup: Arsenal 0 Tottenham 2
PUBLISHED: 21:45 19 December 2018
PA Wire/PA Images
Arsenal were knocked out of the Carabao Cup as they lost 2-0 in the North London derby against Tottenham at the Emirates on Wednesday night.
The Gunners had chances in the first half with Henrikh Mkhitaryan missing a wonderful opportunity early on, but the away side opened the scoring with 21 minutes played through Heung-Min Son.
Dele Alli then made to 2-0 with a cool finish just before the hour mark to put the game beyond the home side, seeing Tottenham progress to the final four of the competition and take North London bragging rights.
Unai Emery made four changes to the side that had lost at Southampton on Sunday, with Petr Cech, Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Sokratis and Aaron Ramsey coming into the starting XI.
However, the most notable piece of Arsenal team news was the Spaniard’s decision to exclude Mesut Ozil from the match day squad for “tactical reasons”, further bringing in to question the playmaker’s future at the Emirates.
Mauricio Pochettino named a strong visiting side, with Alli, Christian Eriksen and Son all starting, although Harry Kane was named amongst the substitutes following an illness earlier in the week.
Arsenal had the first chance of the game with less than 10 minutes on the clock when Ramsey curled wide from the edge of the area after a good move down the left.
Emery’s men should have had the lead just minutes later but Mkhitaryan spurned a wonderful chance when one-on-one with Spurs ‘keeper Paulo Gazzaniga, following Ramsey’s neat flick.
Tottenham started to see more of the ball following that chance, and with 21 minutes played, they made Arsenal and Mkhitaryan pay for that missed opportunity.
A long kick from Gazzaniga was won by Lucas Moura, before Eriksen played through Son, who timed his run to perfection to beat the Arsenal offside trap before slotting past Petr Cech.
Following the opening goal, chances were few and far between until the final minutes of the first half.
With three minutes until the break, Ramsey miscued a back-heel inside the box with Tottenham scrambling, and the Welshman – who looks set to leave when his contract expires at the end of the season – then forced a super save from Gazzaniga with a cushioned volley from an Alex Iwobi cross.
Sokratis had the final chance before the interval when his header drifted just wide, but despite all their chances, the Gunners went in behind at the break.
Emery switched to a back three for the second-half, introducing Laurent Koscielny in place of Mkhitaryan as the home side looked for a way back into the game.
But Pochettino made a change of his own not long after, bringing on Kane, with the England striker making an immediate impact.
Picking the ball up deep, Tottenham’s number 10 was allowed to turn and lift a ball through for Alli, who kept his cool to lob the onrushing Cech and put the away side 2-0 ahead, celebrating with the Tottenham fans in the Clock End behind the goal.
Arsenal very nearly got a goal back immediately through one of their substitutes when Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang squared for Alexandre Lacazette, whose scuffed shot came off the base of the post.
But Spurs managed to see the game out and book their place in the Carabao Cup semi-finals, while also making it one-a-piece in North London derbies this season after the Gunners 4-2 win the Premier League earlier this month.