We advanced to the fourth round of the Carabao Cup on Wednesday night thanks to a 1-0 win against Brentford. Reiss Nelson gave us an early lead and a couple of impressive saves from Aaron Ramsdale kept the clean sheet in the second half.
The perfect start
After an impressive light show at the Gtech Community Stadium, it was Nelson who lit up West London when he tucked the ball into the bottom right corner after it had been given away to Eddie Nketiah.
Jakub Kiwior's cross was headed behind for an Arsenal corner as we continued to put on the pressure in the game's opening exchanges, but nothing came of the set-piece.
Vitaly Janelt had a shot blocked by Takehiro Tomiyasu as Brentford looked for a way back into the game, the rain pouring down in West London.
The Bees almost equalised after Gabriel and Frank Onyeka came together and the ball was deemed to come off the former for a Brentford corner. It was flicked on by Yoanne Wissa, but Nelson was on hand to clear the danger.
Emile Smith Rowe almost marked his 100th Gunners appearance with a goal when he created space for himself in front of the goal after being found by Jorginho, but Mark Flekken did well to stretch out his right foot and make the save.
Kai Havertz was next to be denied, cutting in from the left and seeing his shot blocked following neat link-up with Smith Rowe.
Bees come close
Brentford really should have equalised in the 34th minute. Christian Norgaard picked out Wissa with an accurate delivery into the penalty area. The forward, with the goal at his mercy, volleyed wide of the bottom right corner.
After Ben White was shown a yellow card for time-wasting, we went into the break with just the one-goal lead to show for our troubles.
Weathering the storm
Norgaard saw his shot hit Wissa as the flag went up for offside early in the second half, before Nketiah drove up the other end and failed to keep his shot down.
Onyeka scuffed the ball wide from another good Norgaard cross before Bryan Mbeumo almost played in Wissa, but Gabriel was in the right place to make the block.
It was block after block from Arsenal as we denied Aaron Hickey, who looked to curl the ball into the far corner, before Tomiyasu was on hand to deny Wissa.Saman Ghoddos had his volley blocked seconds after coming onto the pitch.
Aaron Ramsdale made a brilliant save, tipping the ball onto the post after Wissa came close to netting the equaliser as we continued to weather the storm.
Mikel Arteta then brought Oleksandr Zinchenko and Gabriel Jesus on for Ben White and Sagoe Jr respectively.
Nelson struck wide of the post following a promising counter from Havertz, before Janelt shot over the bar at the other end. Jesus played a good ball through to Nketiah, who poked the ball at Flekken, before Ramsdale made another important save, diving to his left to deny Onyeka on the volley.
Mbeumo skied the ball over the bar from a long throw into the box as Brentford continued to look for a late equaliser, before Mohamed Elneny and Martin Odegaard came on for Smith Rowe and Nelson.
Kiwior made a fantastic block in the game's dying embers to deny Keane Lewis-Potter, before Wissa fired high and wide. Elneny struck just wide as the crowd urged him to shoot, before Cedric was introduced in place of Nketiah.
Mbeumo hit the crossbar late on as the referee blew for full time.
We’ll be back in Premier League action this weekend as we travel to the south coast to face AFC Bournemouth at Vitality Stadium for a 3pm kick-off on Saturday.
The Carabao Cup fourth round draw takes place after Manchester City v Newcastle United on Sky Sports Football.
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