And just like that, Arsenal are into the semi final of the Copacabana Cup.
Without even trying, putting in zero effort, Arsenal are still on course for a visit to Wembley in early 2018 and a chance of a first bit of silverware for the season.
Having already beaten Doncaster Rovers 1-0 without breaking a sweat, Arsenal fans got a little bit of excitement with the late Eddie Nketiah equaliser and subsequent extra time winner. The 1-0 win over West Ham was back to boring boring Arsenal in the League Cup.
1-0, muted celebrations at the end, fans barely bothered to turn up, even less staying till the end, and even less celebrating making a semi final of a domestic competition.
The fact that Arsenal have made the semi final without putting any effort in is testament to our current status as the premier cup kings of English football.
Whilst the likes of Liverpool and Tottenham failed in the competition, ensuring a continuation of their trophy droughts, Arsenal made the semi final in 1st gear.
Contrast the muted celebrations of Arsenal to that of Manchester City.
The Premier League runaway leaders celebrated making the semi final like it was a World Cup quarter final that they had just one.
Yes, they had the excitement of penalties, which always raises the adrenaline, but seeing their fans and celebrate like mad, and Pep Guardiola fist pump and sing along to his own song, well it was a little cringe. Although in hindsight, making any semi final is something to celebrate for a small club like Manchester City.
The League Cup is the only trophy they have won in the last 3 years and Guardiola is still searching for his first piece of silverware in England, despite spending half a billion quid.
The players City used to beat Leicester cost them over £250m. When you take into account this was their B team, it shows how much they have invested. It was only a little less than what Arsenal’s entire squad cost.
With City through, and Chelsea and Manchester United with fairly routine ties, it could make for 2 gigantic match ups in the semi finals.
It will be interesting to see who sticks and who twists in terms of squads.
League Cup semi finals, and progression into the 4th round of the FA Cup, will make it 8 games in January. A heavy work load. I have already expressed my opinion that Arsenal should prioritise the cups over the league, putting our resources into competitions we can win rather than a competition that is impossible to win this season,
Do that and we might have a final to look forward to. A trophy to lift at Wembley. A 4th trophy in 4 years.
Not bad for a team in crisis.