We maintained our 100 per cent start to the season with a Carabao Cup third-round victory against Leicester on Wednesday night, courtesy of a second-half own goal and Eddie Nketiah’s late strike.
The game got off to a frantic start as Kelechi Iheanacho blasted a shot wide in the opening 60 seconds, before Reiss Nelson sent an effort arrowing towards the top corner – only for Danny Ward to produce a fingertip save to divert it over.
Moments later Marc Albrighton played a fine ball in behind our backline for Kelechi to run on to, but Bernd Leno was quickly off his line to block the striker’s first-time effort.
If it felt like there was barely time to take breath in those early stages, but soon we began to assert control and dominance on the game, pinning the hosts back as we prodded and probed.
The lively Bukayo Saka sent a fine ball right across the face of goal and then, not long afterwards, went down under a tackle by Daniel Amartey in the area but the referee waved play on.
Nelson had a golden chance just after the half-hour mark when a corner skidded at his feet, but he could only prod his shot wide while, at the other end, James Maddison sent a curling effort on to the inside of the post and back into Leno’s hands.
The second half got off to a quieter start than the first, but 10 minutes in we took the lead as Nicolas Pepe’s shot deflected off the post and into the legs of Christian Fuchs and in.
We continued to press and came close to doubling our lead when Nketiah lobbed Ward, only to see Wes Morgan race back and head off the line.
Leicester pushed for an equaliser in the closing stages, and nearly had one but Ayoze Perez headed wide from close range, before Nketiah made sure of our place in the fourth round in injury time after poking in from close range.
HOW IT HAPPENED
WHAT IT MEANS
We’re into the fourth round of the Carabao Cup, where we will travel to the winner of Lincoln’s tie with Liverpool, which takes place on Thursday night.
It doesn’t get much tougher than our next match – a trip to Merseyside to take on champions Liverpool on Monday night.
We haven’t won there since September 2012, but will be buoyed by our last two performances against them – winning 2-1 at Emirates Stadium back in July, before beating them on penalties in the Community Shield last month.
Copyright 2020 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source.