OPPONENTS Arsenal at The Emirates
COMPETITION League  Cup quarter- final
DATE Wednesday 19th December 2018
PREVIEW No preview produced.
PREDICTION Arsenal    1        Tottenham Hotspur    2
League Cup Quarter FInal Kick off 19:45
Arsenal  0 (0)  
Tottenham Hotspur  2 (1)



Son  19m 59s
Dele  58m 48s

Crowd :   59,016 Weather :  Chilly, some rain
Referee :  Jon Moss (Leeds) Assistant Referees :  Mr. Marc Perry; Mr. Andrew Halliday
Fourth Official :  Craig Pawson Match Observer :   Kelvin Morton
VAR Official :  Andre Marriner VAR assistant :   Sian Massey-Ellis
Arsenal kicked off and played towards the Clock end in the first half.
Game time : -  90 + 8 minutes.
Guendouzi (foul on Lucas) 45+2
Xhaka (dissent) 77


Dele (time-wasting) 85
Eriksen (not retreating 10 yards) 90+4 


Arsenal : kit Tottenham Hotspur : kit
  1  Petr CECH

  5  SOKRATIS Papastathopoulos
34  Granit XHAKA     

18   Nacho MONREAL
11  Lucas TORREIRA
29  Matteo GUENDOUZI       (49  Eddie NKETIAH  65)
  Aaron RAMSEY (c)
  Henrik MKHITARYAN  (  6  Laurent KOSCIELNY  46)

17  Alex IWOBI  (  9  Alexandre LACAZETTE  58))
14  Pierre-Emerick AUBAMEYANG

Unused subs: 
26  Emiliano MARTINEX
  4  Mohamed ELNENY


  22  Paulo GAZZANIGA

  2  Kieran TRIPPIER
  3  Danny ROSE

  8  Harry WINKS
7  Moussa SISSOKO

  7  Heung-Min SON    (11  Erik LAMELA  79)
20  DELE Alli       
Christian ERIKSEN     

27  Lucas MOURA  (10  Harry KANE  58)

Unused subs: 
13  Michel VORM

1  Juan FOYTH
Oliver SKIPP
18  Fernando LLORENTE

Manager :  Unai Emery Manager :  Mauricio Pochettino
Sponsor :   Fly Emirates Shirt sponsor :  AIA
Kit Supplier :  Puma Kit Supplier :   Nike
Match report

What seemed like a tough task on paper was a simple task in the end, with Arsenal's new manager Unai Emery playing tactics by leaving out Ozil (no great loss), but picking some younger players, who were plainly not up to the task and a disjointed Arsenal fell feebly to Tottenham 2-0 at the Rubbish Tip, leaving Spurs to progress to the semi-final.

Spurs were much changed too, with Kane only on the bench, because of an "illness" ... there's a lot of it about !  Skipp reverted to the subs, as Pochettino shuffled his pack and restored Sonny and Christian to the starting line-up, but rested Lloris and Vertonghen from the group for the match.  

The first chance went to Arsenal, who wanted a handball when Winks slid in and the ball hit his arm, when he had his back to the player on the ball. They got a corner and Mkhitaryan won the header unmarked at the near post, but he could only guide it across the face of goal, with no red shirt close enough to reach it.  Ramsey broke onto a ball just inside the box on our right but shot wide of Gazzanigaís left hand post.

Spurs were winning the ball, but when in possession, the new shape didnít seem to suit them, as passes were not finding their targets as they usually did. It took ten minutes to have a shot at goal, when Lucas and Sissoko linked on the right and the ball was played rather easily across the pitch just outside the box. It landed at Christian Eriksenís feet, but he was closed down and fired well wide.  After Spurs had won the ball back, Trippierís cross picked out Dele and although he won the header  under pressure, he put it way too high.

Arsenal should have gone ahead in the 12th minute, as the defence was opened up a one-two between Ramsey and Mkhitaryan, who was sent clear, but his shot was much too close to Paulo and he beat it out well, when there was plenty of the goal to aim at. In retaliation, Spurs had possession for about two minutes and while Arsenal did get their foot in a couple of times, we won it back. It didnít end up with anything too dangerous for Arsenal, as Eriksenís 25 yard drive rose above the bar.
Our passing was looking crisper and more accurate and this stage of the game was like the league game, in which, we needed to make something of the domination. A corner played back to Eriksen on the corner of the box was played in low to the near post, where Ben Davies almost turned on it but didnít connect.

Arsenal looked to attack, but it was nicked away from Iwobi and Gazzanigaís long clearance was won by Lucas and Dele played the ball first-time, over Monreal and through on the right where Heung-Min Son was in on goal.  He took it to the edge of the box and as Cech came out, lifted his shot to the keeperís right and put Tottenham ahead. It meant a wait for VAR to confirm that Xhaka, who was facing away from Son, had played him onside. It was a cool finish and made it worth the period of pressure they had.

Arsenal started to get their strong-arm tactics going, with Xhaka going straight into Sonís back and then Ramsey kicking Trippier, after Kieran had taken the ball off him cleanly. Mkhitaryan went down when he ran into Rose and Arsenal fans wanted a penalty, despite the fact that it was outside the box Ö and wasnít a foul ! The only worrying moment came when trying to play out from the back, Gazzaniga put the ball out with no pressure on him and nobody where he had played the ball. Arsenal had a corner and Gazzaniga got nowhere near it. When it ran loose to the edge of the box, Lucas challenged Mkhitaryan and they both went down, with the home crowd wanting a penalty. It was too much to expect the Goons to appreciate there was a touch from Moura before Mkhitaryan kicked him. Anyway, it left Spurs with four on four as they broke away and the ball was played well between Eriksen and Sissoko, but when Christian squared it to Moussa, he struck his shot well over the bar when he had time to finish the move off for a picture book goal with half an hour on the clock. It was a shame as Moussa had done well in the build-up, but maybe a ball across to Son, it it could have cut out Torreiro might have been the better option or if Sissoko had left it, as Dele was right behind him.
Referee Moss was letting Arsenal players get away with a talking to when they had committed fouls, so it was going to be interesting to see if the same was afforded to Spurs players in the same situation.

Tottenham nearly handed Arsenal a goal, when Gazzaniga dawdled over Roseís back-pass and Aubameyang closed him down, sending the clearance spinning high into the air above the penalty area. Davies mis-kicked as the ball came down and Ramsey got there first and facing away from goal, he tried a fancy back-heel which Tottenham cleared upfield. Paulo did better a minute later, when Ramsey sent in a first time shot to the near post, getting a good hand onto the ball to push it against the post and then getting a little lucky, as it hit his head but went to a defender who put it safely out of play. From the corner, Sokratis won the header at the far post, but it flew wide of the post on the side of the goal where it had come from.

Arsenal were finishing the half the stronger and Maitland-Niles was in loads of space on their right looking to find someone with a cross, but seeing as how hadnít been able to find a team-mate all night (or the goal, when he sliced a shot that just about made the corner flag), perhaps Gazzaniga was ready, when his cross nearly ended up heading under his bar. Our keeper was in the right place to save it before it became the luckiest goal of the season so far.

Lucas shoed a nice bit of skill to show up Guendouzi, who crudely chopped him down as he had been hugely embarrassed. A yellow card was the last action of the half as the teams trooped off to receive instructions in the dressing room.

Emery swapped Mkhitaryan for Koscielny at the start of the second half, but it didnít help them stop giving the ball away cheaply. Twice Spurs could have made more of it, but the second time, Moss played advantage when there was none. The home side started more positively, but their best opportunity in the first five minutes was when a ball was pulled back from the left and it went right through to the back post, where Maitland-Niles couldnít use his left foot and by the time he had got it on his right, his low shot ended up as a cross straight at a Spurs defender.

A foul on Rose by Aubameyang gave Spurs a free-kick, with the Arsenal back-line held on the 18 yard line. It didnít matter, as Eriksen struck it at goal and even though it was going wide, Cech pushed it out for a corner. Then a couple of minutes later, Eriksen put Son clear on the left and a better ball would have found Lucas free in the middle, but Cech cut the low cross out. When Sissoko conceded a free-kick 20 yards out on the left corner of the box, Xhaka lined it up and he is dangerous from that range, but the only danger was to those in row M as he fired it into orbit.

A long clearance from Gazzaniga was chested down by Harry Kane, who had just been introduced by Pochettino. He took a touch, looked up and played a beautiful pass over Koscielny to Dele, who was in acres of room and took the ball to Cech before nonchalantly flicked it with the outside of his foot over the prone keeper to make it 2-0. For Kane to be so alert after jut entering the play and for Dele to be so cool in putting the chance away, it shows a growing maturity among the team.

From the kick off Arsenal muscled up the left and Aubameyang set up substitute Lacazette with a shot that went through some legs, including Ramsey, who jumped over it when open in front of goal, only to see the effort bounce off the foot of the post and out for a goal-kick. Arsenal were pushing to get back in the game and focus of that was using Maitland-Niles in their right wing back position.  His delivery lacked threat and Spurs dealt with it most of the time. Petty foul after petty foul was committed as Spurs tried to gain control of the ball, with Moss allowing nothing more than free-kicks as punishment. The Arsenal crowd were tiring of their youngsters and didnít fail to let them know what they thought of their mistakes. Losing to us, they couldnít take either, throwing a bottle that hit Dele in the head and then Sokratis started having a go at him for getting hit on the head with a bottle. So, when Dele indicated we were winning 2-0, Moss gave him a talking to !!

Meanwhile, back at the football. Aubameyang screwed across that came off the bar as Arsenal players screamed for fouls, every time a tackle came in. As it was Xhaka found his way into the book for a deliberate handball, followed by a good couple of mouthfuls of abuse at the lineman.

Erik Lamela came on for Son as Arsenal tried to get a way back into the game, but white shirts kept getting in the way. With Maitland-Niles off injured, a ball forward to Kane saw Harry hold the ball up and square for Eriksen to power a shot at goal. While it was moving in the air, it was straight At Cech, who had to push it up and over the bar. When Eriksen looked to released Dele, he was obviously offside, but ran the ball at goal and dinked it over Cech that brought Xhaka into the frame, grabbing and pulling at Dele, but again, Moss never considered booking the Albanian again.

A long ball towards the box by Trippier was missed by Eriksen as it bounced up, but Dele got in  behind him and tried to loft his header over Cech, but got too much on it. As the red waves swept over the Arsenal sections with fans swarming out of the ground, the red mist descended over their players, with Koscielny kicking Kane and Torreiro and Nketieh giving Danny Rose stick when he tried to take a throw-in.

As it was Arsenal couldnít get the ball or play it to one of their players, the game petered out and really, other than the shot that hit the post after we scored, there was little threat from the home team.

It was a controlled performance and showed that Poch had taught the players where they went wrong in the league match there. Getting involved in a fight was what Arsenal wanted, as they know that is the only way to try and get us to lose our shape. The goals were quite similar with balls over the Arsenal defence with nobody covering our runners from midfield, which is surprising as every Gunner is a Ö

The side wanted the ball more than the Arsenal players and went about it without trying to go for the man. Too many Arsenal players were going out to be overly physical and that made them look leaden-footed when Spurs played around them. When Spurs had their chances they took them, while Arsenal looked like they couldnít finish a light snack. And some of their players were plain shocking. Xhaka, Sokratis, Monreal, Koscielny, Maitland-Niles and Nketieh; they were all giving performances that belonged outside the Premier League.

So, the win put us in the bowl for the semi-finals and thanks to Peter Crouch, we will have to face Chelsea over two legs. Do-able, but these sort of games can go either way and we have played Chelsea a number of times at this stage of the League Cup in the past.  Should be an interesting double header.

Charlie from Enfield

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Other scores from this round :
Middlesbrough 0 Burton Albion 1 Tuesday
Leicester City 1 Manchester City (won 4-2 on pens) 1 Tuesday
Chelsea 1 Bournemouth 0 Wednesday

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