Arsenal reach Carling Cup Final
Arsenal booked their place in the Carling Cup final after scoring three second half goals against a determined Ipswich side at Emirates Stadium.
The Tractor Boys led 1-0 from the first leg, and held on for a little over an hour, but two goals in three minutes turned the game Arsenal’s way.
Goals in quick succession from Nicklas Bendtner and Laurent Koscielny, though, turned the tie Arsenal’s way. Cesc Fabregas added a third.
Arsenal’s Starting XI & Subs
Sagna – Djourou – Koscielny – Clichy
Fabregas – Denilson – Wilshere
Bendtner – van Persie – Arshavin
Subs: Shea, Gibbs, Eboue, Song, Nasri, Walcott, Chamakh.
Fabregas had riled Ipswich before the game by dismissing them as a ‘rugby team’, leading their fans to sing the England rugby song ‘Swing Low Sweet chariot’ as Arsenal struggled to break them down in the first half.
Robin van Persie headed against the bar on the half-hour, and Fabregas skewed a shot wide from a good position a few minutes later, but Ipswich, defending diligently held on to their advantage until half-time.
The deadlock was finally broken 16 minutes into the second half, Bendtner cutting in from the left with an extravagant piece of skill, then curling a finish inside the far post.
Three minutes later Arsenal had a second, Andrey Arshavin crossing for Koscielny to head home.
It was the Russian, out of sorts for much of this season, who laid on the third as well, latching on to Denilson’s long pass and crossing for Fabregas to score.
Arsenal will face the winners of Wednesday’s semi-final between Birmingham City and West Ham United in the final. West Ham lead 2-1 from the first leg.