It’s out of the frying pan and into the fire for Arsenal as they now have a home meeting with Chelsea in the fourth round of the Capital One Cup after disposing of West Brom in a penalty shootout on Wednesday. The Gunners and West Brom played to a 1-1 draw at the Hawthorns and nothing could be settled in 30 minutes of extra time. The match went to the shootout with Arsenal converting on four of their five chances and West Brom scoring on three of theirs. It was the London side’s eighth win in a row in all competitions and 11th consecutive away from home.
The never ending debate about fielding a weakened team will a hot topic again tonight after manager Arsene Wenger fielded a squad of youngsters mixed in with a few veterans. However, that’s another story for another day. Lukasz Fabianski started in goal for the Gunners along with veterans Per Mertesacker, Thomas Vermaelen, Nacho Monreal, Carl Jenkinson and Mikel Arteta. Youngsters Ryo Miyaichi, Serge Gnarby, Isaac Hayden, and Thomas Eisfeld also started along with Nicklas Bendtner. All three substitutes were also youngsters in the form of Chuba Akpom, Kris Olsson and Hector Bellerin.
West Brom also made several changes from their 3-0 win over Sunderland on the weekend. In fact they made eight of them, just one less than Arsenal. Craig Dawson had the best chance to open the scoring in the first half, but Fabianski managed to push the ball over the crossbar. The Gunners didn’t threaten too much in the opening 45 minutes and they might consider themselves lucky that the 18-year-old Hayden was given a yellow card rather than a red for a reckless challenge on Youssouf Mulumbu in the 33rd minute.
The first half ended goalless and Fabianski kept it that way on the 60 minute mark when he made a fine save on Mulumbu. It was a turning point at the time as Arsenal opened the scoring about 60 seconds later when Mulumbu lost the ball and Bendtner picked it up and fed it to the 20-year-old Eisfeld. The German midfielder slid the ball into the net to make sure his first Gunners start will never be forgotten.
The lead lasted exactly 10 minutes though as West Brom made it 1-1 when Saido Berahino scored on a close-range header after meeting a cross from Shane Long. Bendtner was sent in alone on goal late in the match by a fine pass from Gnarby, but he waited too long to shoot and was tackled cleanly in the box. There weren’t too many clear-cut chances after this and the score remained level after 90 minutes. West Brom had a couple of good chances in the second half of extra time with Morgan Amalfitano coming the closest when he rifled a shot off of the crossbar.
The match went to a shootout. West Brom shot first with Steven Reid scoring to jump out to the lead. Bendtner was the first Gunner to shoot and he leveled the score. Markus Rosenberg put West Brom back in front and Gnabry had his shot saved by Luke Daniels to give the home side the advantage. James Morrison scored for West Brom to take a 3-1 lead with Olsson scoring to narrow the gap to 3-2. Things were even after Dawson missed the net on his attempt and Akpom slotted his home for Arsenal. Amalfitano also missed his shot and the Gunners wrapped up the win when Monreal scored on his spot kick.
Arsenal’s next game is a Premier League encounter against Swansea in Wales on Saturday September 28.
Arsenal Player Ratings-Wed. Sept. 25
West Brom 1-1 Arsenal (3-4 on penalty kicks) –Capital One Cup Third Round
Lukasz Fabianski – 7
This was the Polish international’s first match this season and he played well. He made several big saves and took charge when he needed to.
Carl Jenkinson – 6.5
Jenkinson put in a good effort and tried t help out in the attack whenever he could. Also did his job defensively.
Per Mertesacker – 6.5
Mertesacker did well when it came to clearances and was solid in his own end.
Thomas Vermaelen – 6.5
The skipper got better the longer the game went and put in his usually steady effort.
Nacho Monreal – 6.5
Monreal also played a steady game without any noticeable errors. Played better in the second half and his penalty won the game.
Isaac Hayden – 6
Hayden, making his debut, could have arguably been sent off for a bad challenge, but got a break with a yellow card instead. He worked hard and was replaced by Kris Olsson after 84 minutes.
Mikel Arteta – 6
This was Arteta’s first start of the season and he played well enough, but understandably wasn’t at his sharpest. Was replaced by Hector Bellerin after 95 minutes.
Thomas Eisfeld – 6.5
The young German scored the Gunners goal and was trying to link up the attack with the midfield. Not bad at all for his first start. Came off after 82 minutes for Chuba Akpom.
Serge Gnabry – 6.5
At times Gnabry looked like a seasoned veteran and at other times he looked like the youngster he is. He tried, which is the main thing, but had his penalty saved in the shootout.
Nicklas Bendtner – 6
Bendtner was set up a few times, but his timing was well off. He lasted the entire game though and scored in the shootout. He also set up Eisfeld for Arsenal’s goal.
Ryo Miyaichi – 7
The Japanese youngster didn’t always achieve the results he was looking for, but he showed creativity and imagination on more than one occasion. He tried the unexpected and that’s why his passes often didn’t find the mark.

Chuba Akpom – 6
Came on for Eisfeld after 82 minutes. He showed some energy and scored in the shootout.
Kris Olsson –  6
Came on for Hayden after 84 minutes. He didn’t look out of place and the Swedish youngster was calm when scoring in the shootout.
Hector Bellerin – 6
Came on for Arteta after 95 minutes and fit right in with a good effort.

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