Defensive errors cost Arsenal again – Birmingham 2-1 Arsenal
Obafemi Martins’ 89th-minute winner following a defensive mix-up from Wojciech Szczesny and Laurent Koscielny gave Birmingham a 2-1 victory over Arsenal in the League Cup final on Sunday for its first trophy since 1963.
The Nigerian came off the bench with seven minutes of normal time remaining, and in the 89th minute capitalised on a calamitous mix-up in the Arsenal penalty area to tap in the goal which lands the Blues only their second ever major trophy.
Nikola Zigic had headed the Blues in front near the half-hour mark to send fans of the underdogs into raptures, only for Robin van Persie to equalise with a stunning volley 10 minutes later.
Sagna – Djourou – Koscielny – Clichy
Wilshere – Song – Rosicky
Nasri – van Persie – Arshavin
Alex McLeish’s side spent much of the second half repelling attack after attack from the Gunners – with goalkeeper Ben Foster making a string of vital saves – before Martins was in the right place at the right time to pounce as Laurent Koscielny and Wojciech Szczesny conspired to let the ball loose inside the box.
The Blues held on to win their second League Cup to add to their victory in the competition in 1963, and go some way to overcoming the heartache of their penalty shootout defeat at the hands of Liverpool in the final in Cardiff a decade ago.
For Arsenal, their six-year wait for a major trophy continues, and their attention must now turn to Wednesday’s FA Cup fifth round replay against Leyton Orient on Wednesday and then a Champions League trip to Barcelona the following week.
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