By James Agberebi: Arsenal have qualified for the final of this season’s Carabao Cup after defeating Chelsea 2-1 in the second leg semi-final at the Emirates on Wednesday night.
Arsenal won 2-1 on aggregate after the first leg ended 0-0 at Stamford Bridge weeks ago.
Super Eagles duo Alex Iwobi and Victor Moses started for Arsenal and Chelsea respectively before both players were replaced in the second half.
An own goal by Antonio Rudiger and a Granit Xhaka strike saw Arsenal seal the nervy win over Chelsea who took the lead through Eden Hazard.
The last time Arsenal played in the League Cup final was in 2011 when they lost 2-1 to Birmingham City.
Arsenal will face Manchester City in the final which will be played on 25 February 2018 at Wembley Stadium .
Chelsea thought they had gone ahead on five minutes but Pedro Rodriguez’s header was correctly ruled out for offside after the use of the Video Assistant Referee (VAR).
In the seventh minute, Chelsea went 1-0 up through Hazard who raced on to Pedro’s pass before shooting past David Ospina with a left-footed strike.
Arsenal went close to equalising in the 10th minute but Willy Caballero stopped Jack Wilshere’s initial effort before also denying Monreal from converting the rebound.
In the 12th minute, Arsenal were back on level terms as Monreal’s header from a corner came off Marcos Alonso before reflecting off Rudiger and ending inside the net.
Chelsea were forced into an early change as Willian went off with a hamstring injury and was replaced by new signing Ross Barkley who was brought on for his debut for the Blues.
With 10 minutes remaining in the first half, Arsenal were awarded a free-kick in a decent position but Granit Xhaka’s effort took a deflection before going off target.
On the stroke of half time, Mesut Ozil had a chance to put Arsenal ahead following a pass from Wilshere only to see his shot take a deflection off Andreas Christensen and go inches off the post.
In the early part of the second half, Arsenal were on top possession wise but Hazard took off in his trade mark runs but was excellently stopped with a sliding tackle by Laurent Koscielny.
In the 60th minute, Arsenal went 2-1 up thanks to Xhaka who poked home after Alexandre Lacazette’s cross took a hefty deflection.
Arsenal should have extended their lead in the 77th minute through Iwobi but the Nigerian was denied by Caballero.
Few minutes later Alonso brought down Davide Zappacosta’s cross and hit a volley which was blocked by Hector Bellerin.
And in the 88th minute Chelsea won a free-kick after Barkley was tripped around 30 yards from goal but Alonso’s effort went off target.