Arsenal overcome Leeds to reach last eight

Goals from substitute Calum Chambers and Eddie Nketiah earn Gunners a place in the Carabao Cup quarter-final

Tuesday, 26th October 2021 — By Sam Ferguson at the Emirates Stadium


Carabao Cup: Fourth Round

ARSENAL 2 (Chambers 55, Nketiah 69)

MIKEL Arteta predicted big things for striker Eddie Nketiah after another fine Carabao Cup goal helped the Gunners to a 2-0 win at the Emirates Stadium tonight (Tuesday).

But, speaking after his team were safely through to the quarter-final, the Arsenal manager hinted contract talks were not progressing as well as could be hoped, with Nketiah’s deal set to run out at the end of this season and the forward struggling for minutes.

“There are a lot of issues that we have to resolve and I have full belief that he will be a top, top player, and hopefully with us,” said Arteta.

“I’m happy to have him in the team. He’s our player and is regarded really highly. And from my side, I want him to stay.”

Nketiah’s goal was enough to settle nerves at the Emirates, with Arsenal initially struggling to navigate a tricky tie against visitors Leeds United.

With 69 minutes on the clock, the lively striker reacted first as substitute centre-back Liam Cooper’s poor headed back pass fell well short of Leeds keeper Illan Meslier. A deft first touch flicked the ball over the stranded Meslier and Nketiah finished, albeit just, from a tight angle.

The goal topped a much improved second half performance from the Gunners, who had gone ahead on 55 minutes after super-sub Calum Chambers scored with his first touch of the game – his first goal for Arsenal since September, 2019.

Skilful play from Gabriel Martinelli on the left led to a corner for the home side, who used the break in play to bring on Chambers for the injured Ben White.

With play resuming, Emile Smith Rowe’s corner found Nicolas Pepe, who powered a header back across the face of goal, and Chambers tucked the ball away 23 seconds after coming onto the pitch.

Play continued briefly after Leeds scrambled the ball away, but referee Andre Marriner eventually signalled for the goal with replays confirming the ball had crossed the line.

Arsenal looked comfortable after Nketiah added the second goal, with Leeds barely threatening. Substitute Alexandre Lacazette missed a glorious chance to make it three after strong work on the edge of the Leeds box.

Leeds had looked the better team before the break, with winger Jack Harrison forcing a good save from Bernd Leno midway through the half after the ball broke to the midfielder from a corner. His low drive was saved well to Leno’s left, prompting huge roars from the raucous Leeds fans in the Clock End.

In a poor opening 45 minutes for both sides, the visitors almost capitalised on the pace of Daniel James with the Welsh winger bungling a big chance in the first 20 minutes. James beat Arsenal’s offside trap from the left wing and found himself one on one with Leno. But his poor first touch allowed the keeper to gratefully gobble up the ball.

The Gunners will now look forward to finding out who they will face in the Carabao Cup quarter-finals tomorrow (Wednesday). In the meantime, Arsenal will hope to extend their unbeaten run when they travel to Leicester City in the Premier League on Saturday.

Arsenal: Leno, Soares, White (Chambers, 55), Holding (Tavares, 76), Kolasinac, Elneny (Lokonga, 72), Smith Rowe (Lacazette, 72), Maitland-Niles, Pepe, Nketiah, Martinelli
Substitutes not used: Ramsdale, Partey, Saka, Balogun, Oulad M’Hand

Leeds United: Meslier, Forshaw (Klich, 45), Roberts (Gelhardt, 53), Llorente (Cooper, 59), Dallas, Moreno (Greenwood, 70), James (Summerville, 70) Struijk, Harrison, Phillips, Drameh.
Substitutes not used: Klaesson, Hjelde, Cresswell, McKinstry

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