since 1878

Arsenal (0) 3 - 0 (0) Ipswich Town

Carling Cup Semi-Final 2nd Leg 2010-11

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Referee: M Halsey

Manager: Arsene Wenger

Emirates Stadium 19:45

Attendance: 59,387

Manager: Paul Jewell

Match Number: 3392


 Nicklas Bendtner (61)
 Laurent Koscielny (64)
 Cesc Fabregas (77)


Bacary SagnaEmmanuel Eboue (18)
Andrei ArshavinTheo Walcott (84)
Robin VanPersieSamir Nasri (84)


 Laurent Koscielny (32)
 Connor Wickham (24)



Wojciech Szczesny

Bacary Sagna

Laurent Koscielny

Johan Djourou

Gael Clichy

Cesc Fabregas


Jack Wilshere

Andrei Arshavin

Robin VanPersie

Nicklas Bendtner



James Shea

Emmanuel Eboue

Kieran Gibbs

Samir Nasri

Theo Walcott

Alexandre Song

Marouane Chamakh

Match Report

Arsenal 3 Ipswich Town 0 (agg 3-1)

The game ended to the sound of Arsenal fans chanting “olé” and a Spanish matador, Cesc Fabregas, certainly played his part but this was far from a stroll. For an hour, Ipswich Town were magnificently resilient. Arsenal were made to sweat to reach Wembley.

Lent magnificent backing by their 9,000 fans, who filled the away end with blue and white balloons and a huge banner reading “Time For Heroes”, Ipswich protected their first-leg edge for an hour.

Ipswich’s centre-halves, Gareth McAuley and particularly Damien Delaney, summoned up the spirit of Terry Butcher in repelling Arsenal for so long. The Suffolk glee club chorused their delight, mocking Fabregas’s pre-match comment in which he had belittled Ipswich as a “rugby team”.

So the Ipswich fans launched into a rousing rendition of Swing Low Sweet Chariot and “one-nil to the rugby team”. The Emirates sounded alarmingly like Twickenham.

But class told. The siege organised by Fabregas was too intense, the punishment for even a split-second loss of concentration too severe. Individual mistakes by Carlos Edwards and Marton Fulop allowed Nicklas Bendtner and Laurent Koscielny to score. Arsenal’s third was a deserved one for Fabregas.

Arsenal will face either Birmingham City or West Ham United in the Feb 27 final at Wembley. The north London derby scheduled for 24 hours earlier will have to be rearranged as a result.

For all of Arsenal’s understandable joy at reaching a first Wembley final since 1998, Tuesday night’s events at Bloomfield Road will have tempered Arsène Wenger’s side’s Premier League ambitions. But the road to Wembley remains a treble-carriageway with hopes in the Carling Cup, FA Cup and Champions League.

“This team is hungry for success,’’ said Wenger afterwards. “We want to go forward in all competitions. We have a good opportunity in the final to win one trophy. You could see in Cesc’s attitude that he’s hungry for it. He’s a born winner.’’

His captain, Fabregas, added: “It is going to be a very difficult final but we will do our best because I think the fans deserve a trophy again at the Emirates. We wanted to score an early goal but the key was patience and we did it really well.’’

For Ipswich, left on the hard shoulder within sight of the mighty arch, there will always be the memory of how they worried Arsenal for so long and how their wonderful fans gave the Emirates a real atmosphere.

Ipswich should return to their fight against relegation from the Championship buoyed by the memory of keeping Arsenal at bay for those two and a half hours.

Ipswich had known the scale of the task from the moment Fabregas began moving fluently forward. Arsenal’s chief sorcerer was quickly joined by the talented apprentice, Jack Wilshere, who delivered some exceptional eye-of-the-needle passes.

It was mainly one-way traffic in the first half. As the game unfolded, as the blue and white balloons floated up from the Ipswich end, Bendtner set up Fabregas, whose effort was saved by the busy Fulop.

There was no let-up. Robin van Persie volleyed wide. Bendtner was frequently involved, lifting over a cross met by Van Persie, whose header thudded against the bar.

Arsenal lost Bacary Sagna, who collided painfully with Wojciech Szczesny, but the focus remained on the other end. Fabregas went down far too easily when challenged by McAuley, who was not the only Ipswich player aggrieved at the Spaniard’s act.

Fabregas was soon sent through by Wilshere, a superb pass threaded down the inside-left channel. Fabregas’ first touch teed the ball up but his second sent it wide. Wilshere and Fabregas combined again, setting up Bendtner, whose shot was saved by the alert Fulop.

The half finished with Van Persie racing through the middle, stopped only by a magnificent challenge from Darren O’Dea.

Frustration began to seep through red veins. Still Arsenal pressed. Still Ipswich stood firm. Delaney was exceptional, sliding in to cut out a Wilshere cross and then nicking the ball away from under the dancing feet of Wilshere.

They couldn’t hold out. Just after the hour mark, Arsenal made the tie level on aggregate and it came when Edwards switched off momentarily.

Cutting inside Edwards, who was caught out far too easily, Bendtner bent the ball in around McAuley and Fulop. Occasionally criticised for failing to live up to his self-proclaimed billing as one of the world’s best strikers, Bendtner was understandably lauded by the home fans as he slid across the pristine turf in celebration.

Arsenal sensed that Ipswich were tiring and went for the jugular. When Andrei Arshavin, hitherto quiet, drilled in a corner, many within the Emirates expected Fulop to emerge from his lair and intercept the ball. The keeper hesitated and Koscielny pounced, powering a header into the empty net.

Arsenal saved their best until last. Denilson, patrolling central midfield, swept the ball forward to Fabregas, who exchanged passes with Arshavin and darted into Fulop’s box. His finish was both emphatic and elegant, placed expertly past Fulop.

“We needed to be patient,’’ added Wenger. “Great credit should go to Ipswich over both games. But this meant a lot to our team, who have an outstanding attitude and spirit.”

Henry Winter (Daily Telegraph)

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2010-11 Reports