Arsenal 2-1 Blackpool

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Watch the goals from our win over Blackpool

We booked our place in the last eight of the Carabao Cup on Wednesday - but we were given a scare by Blackpool on Halloween.

After Stephan Lichtsteiner's first Arsenal goal gave us a first-half lead, Emile Smith Rowe doubled our advantage shortly after the break. 

At that stage, things were comfortable - but then Matteo Guendouzi was sent off for a second bookable offence before Paudie O'Connor pulled one back to ensure a nervy finish.

You can now watch our goals above - plus an extended highlights cut and full match replay available to view below.

Press conference

Emery press conference: every single word

Unai Emery did his homework on Blackpool and it paid off as we earned a place in the last eight of the Carabao Cup.

The head coach spoke to the media shortly after our 2-1 win. Here’s what he said:

on it being an off night...
First, congratulations to them because they are a very organised team and I think today they competed very well against us. In the 90 minutes, a lot of things happened in the game in the 90 minutes but I think we controlled a lot of moments in the match and we were 2-0 up and the match is, for us, in a good moment. This red card to Matteo affected the balance more for them and their goal also, we can and we need to continue our work to the last minute with our performance and our players to win today. But I think that doing our work, we deserved this victory also.

on Guendouzi's suspension and missing Liverpool...
That is football. When you are playing, when you are on the pitch, you can have things positive or negative. Like an injury, a red card or 90 minutes of hard work. With the red card, it's like that. It's football. We have a lot of players looking to play and to take this responsibility to show their performance, their quality for the team and I am going to prepare with other players and thinking that we can also have a performance for a big match on Saturday.

on facing Tottenham in the next round...
We are here to do one thing in this title and we are going to play against the big teams. I think this is the moment also to play the first derby against Tottenham. For us, it's different if we play away or if we play here at home. I think it's important for us to play here with our supporters at Emirates. I think this is the moment for both clubs, a great moment, but only one can win.

on whether Guendouzi was naive...
He is playing well and he is playing with one very important thing: good spirit. He is competitive. The action is one action. He plays this action, normally, he is pushing behind the player and the second yellow card… I don't know if it is experience, but he is playing with the spirit like I want today and in every match. We spoke in the dressing room at half-time. I said it is very important to keep control, but I don't think that he really lost control in this action. He played how the action demanded and the red card is one circumstance in the game.

on if he thought Cech looked nervous with the ball...
It's normal, the centre backs when they are with the ball and have pressure from the opposition, they need to play with the goalkeeper and continue building up our attacking moments. I want to give them confidence, give them calm and it's true, today after this mistake the supporters also when the ball was arriving to him, I think it's better in my opinion to continue giving him and the other players also, confidence to continue our style and our ideas in the game. He has experience and also he can do good and we are going to continue with this idea with the security and with the confidence.

on whether the Spurs rivalry has been explained to him...
Yes, I knew this rivalry. Not like you or like every supporter here in London or for supporters of Tottenham or Arsenal. But we are going to play against them in the Premier League or like now in the Carabao Cup and I am going to research a lot of information about this.

on Ramsey's contract...
The most important thing for me with Aaron is that I spoke with him last week and his spirit, his quality, his performance and his focus is with us. In training, in matches and again today and also on Sunday when he played 20 minutes at Crystal Palace. He played with this spirit and his focus with us and in training and every match, like today also, he is working very well.

on what he thought of Blackpool...
For me, it's a very organised team. Tactically they do very well and it was difficult to win against them. They have players with quality. I don't know the level in League One for this team against other teams, but for us I know, and I spoke before the game with people to know the level of this team. They are in League One but they said they watched every match and in every match it is difficult. I know that this team was in the Premier League eight years ago. It's a reason also that firstly I have respect and secondly because I want to win each match, like today against Blackpool. We needed our performance with a big preparation.

Interview

Pleguezuelo - The story behind my Arsenal debut

What a night for Julio Pleguezuelo, or ‘Pleggy’ to pretty much everyone he encounters.

The Spanish defender was meant to playing in Cheltenham on Tuesday night, but instead he was elevated to the first team for his debut at Emirates Stadium.

And Pleggy did himself proud. Assured on the ball and decisive in his duels, the 21-year-old stood firm when Blackpool threatened to peg us back after Matteo Guendouzi’s red card.

“I was meant to be playing yesterday for the under-21s in the Checkatrade Trophy, but I got a phone call that the first team needed me for training and I literally found out in training that I was starting,” explained Pleggy. “Everything happened so quickly and I’m so happy.

“I tried to stay very calm and I knew it was going to be a very important game for me. I tried to take a lot of pressure off before the game and the performance couldn’t have been any better from myself and the team.

“I couldn’t be any happier and I think I’ve been waiting a long time for this. There’s a lot of hard work behind this and to be fair thank you very much to the boss for giving me the chance.

“I think after six years at the club I had some experience of going out on loan and I knew this was going to be a very important year for me and I kept working and I think I got the reward for that.”

Pleggy walked in for his interview just as the news broke that we will face Tottenham in the quarter-finals of the Carabao Cup.

“I think it’s going to be a very good game,” he said. “I think north London derby… well let’s make sure we win that.

“I want to play for Arsenal. That’s my dream. I want to keep playing for the first team and I’m just going to have to keep working, that’s all.”

Press conference

Did Guendouzi deserve to be sent off?

Matteo Guendouzi was walking a tightrope from the moment he picked up a booking for a foul in the first half of our Carabao Cup win over Blackpool.

And sure enough, having bossed the game from midfield, Matteo was on the wrong end of a tight decision in the second half.

Did he deserve to be sent off? Here’s what Unai Emery thought of the decision:

on Guendouzi's suspension and missing Liverpool...
That is football. When you are playing, when you are on the pitch, you can have things positive or negative. Like an injury, a red card or 90 minutes of hard work. With the red card, it's like that. It's football. We have a lot of players looking to play and to take this responsibility to show their performance, their quality for the team and I am going to prepare with other players and thinking that we can also have a performance for a big match on Saturday.

on whether Guendouzi was naive...
He is playing well and he is playing with one very important thing: good spirit. He is competitive. The action is one action. He plays this action, normally, he is pushing behind the player and the second yellow card… I don't know if it is experience, but he is playing with the spirit like I want today and in every match. We spoke in the dressing room at half-time. I said it is very important to keep control, but I don't think that he really lost control in this action. He played how the action demanded and the red card is one circumstance in the game.

Post-Match Report

Arsenal 2-1 Blackpool: How it happened

Smith Rowe

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