Post-Match Report

Arsenal 2-1 Blackpool: How it happened

Smith Rowe

Blackpool -

Emirates Stadium
Carabao Cup
Carabao Cup
  Arsenal
      
                  Lichtsteiner (34)
                   Smith Rowe (49)
            
   crest
Arsenal
Lichtsteiner (34)
Smith Rowe (49)
2 1
  Blackpool
      
              O'connor (64)
          
   crest
Blackpool
O'connor (64)

WHAT HAPPENED

We battled into the last eight of the Carabao Cup on a night of milestones in north London.

Stephan Lichtsteiner scored his first goal for the club, making a darting run into the box to divert a lofted pass from Matteo Guendouzi into the bottom corner.

Emile Smith Rowe scored his first senior goal at Emirates Stadium, converting from close range after former Arsenal academy goalkeeper Mark Howard had palmed away Carl Jenkinson’s effort.

A less desirable milestone: Guendouzi received his first red card in an Arsenal shirt after two bookable offences.

In another first, Julio Pleguezuelo made an accomplished debut at centre back after being given his chance by Unai Emery.

And on top of all that there were welcome returns for Petr Cech, Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Jenkinson - all back from injury lay-offs.

It was Halloween but this was no Thriller, especially in the first half. It took us time to get going after nine changes to the side that started at Crystal Palace.

But we soon wrested control and, with the impressive Guendouzi pulling the strings, Blackpool were forced back.

Goals for Lichtsteiner and Smith Rowe followed, and there seemed no way back for the visitors. But they were thrown a lifeline when Guendouzi was sent off.

Blackpool rallied for a while and Paudie O’Connor pulled a goal back with a header from a corner.

That set up a tense finish but O’Connor was dismissed for a bad challenge on Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. And we saw out the remaining moments.

HOW IT HAPPENED

See how our fourth-round win unfolded with our play-by-play commentary

THREE THINGS WE NOTICED

Guendouzi steals the show, the tactic that troubled Blackpool, and a solid debut for Pleggy

TEAM NEWS

Unai Emery made nine changes from the side that lined up against Crystal Palace on Sunday.

Shkodran Mustafi and Guendouzi kept their places but in came youngsters like Smith Rowe and Pleguezuelo alongside older hands like Lichtsteiner and Ramsey.

Hector Bellerin missed out with the injury he picked up at Selhurst Park.

With Nacho Monreal and Sead Kolasinac also ruled out, Jenkinson started at left back - ending a wait of 701 days since his last first-team appearance.

WHAT’S NEXT

The second of four consecutive home games sees Liverpool visit Emirates Stadium on Saturday.

Then it’s Sporting Lisbon in the Europa League and Wolves in the Premier League ahead of the next international break.

THE PICTURES