Arsenal (1) 1 Brighton and Hove Albion (1) 3
Carabao Cup (EFL Cup) Third Round
Emirates Stadium, Drayton Park, London N5 1BU
Wednesday, 9th November 2022. Kick-off time: 7.45pm
(4-3-2-1) Karl Hein; Cédric Soares, Rob Holding (c), William Saliba, Kieran Tierney; Albert Sambi Lokonga, Mohamed Elneny; Reiss Nelson, Fabio Vieira, (Marcus Vinicius Oliveira Alencar) Marquinhos; Eddie Nketiah.
Substitutes: Matt Turner, Ben White, Gabriel Magalhães, Granit Xhaka, Oleksandr Zinchenko, Thomas Partey, Gabriel Martinelli, Martin Ødegaard, Gabriel Jesus.
Scorers: Eddie Nketiah (19 mins)
Yellow Cards: Mohamed Elneny, Karl Hein
Arsenal Possession Percentage: 57%
Referee: Jarred Gillett
Assistant Referees: Neil Davies, Steven Meredith
Fourth Official: Andrew Madley
VAR is not in operation in this season’s Carabao Cup competition
Attendance: circa 50,000
Our team tonight is a very different Arsenal side though, chock full of confidence after our superb start to the season. We come into this match off the back of a much-deserved win over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, one that has kept us top of the Premiership. For this, the third round of the Carabao Cup match against Brighton and Hove Albion, ten changes have been made from Sunday’s team, as William Saliba keeps his place, and young Karl Hein makes his Arsenal debut in goal.
Almost immediately after the kick-off, the visitors came for us quite aggressively, and there was a free header for Julio Enciso after just a minute into the game, but fortunately he could not make the most of it, but the ball fell to our former striker Danny Welbeck, who had a shot deflected over the bar, which was a real let-off so early on in the match. A couple of minutes later, the first booking of the game occurred when Moisés Caicedo was shown the yellow card for a bad foul, and the opening stages of this match were looking to be quite scrappy. Following a period of pressure on our goal, after a quarter of an hour’s play, Fabio Vieira was desperately unlucky not to score after some sterling work by Reiss Nelson; just four minutes later, we took the lead when Reiss Nelson again ran most of the length of the pitch with the ball, neatly found Eddie Nketiah on his left side, and after controlling it, somehow curled the ball into the far corner to open the scoring tonight. Everything started to look good, until Mohamed Elneny received our first yellow card of the night for a foul, just before Solly March placed a through ball onto the path of Danny Welbeck, who was unfortunately brought down in the penalty area by our young goalkeeper Karl Hein, who appeared to slip on the greasy pitch before committing himself into the feet of the Brighton striker. Sadly, he was booked, and Danny Welbeck converted the penalty to equalise the scores. Just before the half hour mark, Eddie Nketiah had a great chance to score, when his right-footed shot from the right side of the penalty area narrowly went past the left side of the post. Both sides were creating good chances, but nothing was coming of anyone’s efforts, as the match is moving quickly from end to end. After a well-taken Kieran Tierney free-kick, Marquinhos had a good chance to grab our second of the night, but unfortunately he was intercepted by Tariq Lamptey in the visitors’ penalty area. As the minutes ticked away for the end of the first half, we started to place pressure on the visitors’ goal, and had it not been for the interceptions of Joel Veltman and Levi Colwell, we could have gone into the break with another goal under our belts, but sadly it was honours even at half time.
The second half started in the same spirit as the first one ended, and the first ten minutes of this half saw us being very unlucky in not scoring, with Reiss Nelson, Albert Sambi Lokonga and Marquinhos wasting chances, that by rights, they should have put away with ease. Despite all of our pressure, the visitors broke away, and on the fifty-eighth minute they took the lead when Jeremy Sarmiento slotted the ball to Kaoru Mitoma, whose right-footed shot from the centre of the penalty area flew past Karl Hein and ended up in the bottom right-hand corner of the net. We were visibly shaken by this goal, and five minutes later, Mikel Arteta made a double substitution when William Saliba and Marquinhos were replaced by Gabriel Martinelli and Gabriel in order to try and get something out of this match. The game appeared to level out a bit, but on the seventy-first minute, our nightmare continued when Billy Gilmour passed a simple ball to Tariq Lamptey, whose left-footed shot from the left side of our penalty area ended up in the back of the net for their third goal of the night, which means that we have an absolute mountain to climb to claw anything back now. A couple of minutes later, we made another double subsitution when Fabio Vieira and Kieran Tierney were replaced by Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko to try and make some impact on this game. A superb Cédric Soares pass found Gabriel Jesus on the edge of the Brighton penalty area, but unfortunately his shot was blocked by the opposition’s defenders, and then we appeared to spend the next few minutes trying to keep the visitors from scoring a fourth goal, and with that in mind, Granit Xhaka replaced Albert Sambi Lokonga with just ten minutes of the game remaining. We got close to scoring a second when Gabriel Jesus stroked the ball to Gabriel Martinelli, whose clever shot from the left side of the penalty area was saved quite easily by the Brighton goalkeeper. We continued to create chances to score with Gabriel and Reiss Nelson getting very close to scoring after receiving quality passes, but somehow the ball just would not go into the net, which in many ways, was the story of our evening. After six minutes of injury time, referee Jarred Gillett put us out of our misery by blowing the final whistle.
It really was a bad night for everyone. Not only did we score first, but we lacked the final push to get more goals in order to finish the match off. Instead, we allowed them to come back at us, and score three very opportunist goals, all of which could have been stopped. Okay, we didn’t put out the best team that we possibly could tonight, as there were ten replacements from the Chelsea match, but we could have done a whole lot better, particularly in the second half. Certainly a match to forget.
Remember everyone, keep the faith, get behind the team and the manager, as this season is going to be crucial for our future success in all competitions. Stick with the winners. Our next match: Wolverhampton Wanderers at Molineux on Saturday, 12th November at 7.45pm (Premier League). Be there, if you can. Victoria Concordia Crescit.
Too Dearly Loved To Be Forgotten: Arsenal v Racing Club de Paris 1930-1962 by Steve Ingless (Rangemore Publications, ISBN 978-1-5272-0135-4) is now available on Amazon