A second half goal from Granit Xhaka was enough to grab us a Carabao Cup final spot against Man City at Wembley, and it was our second half display that saw Chelsea wilt under pressure.

Our lineup was a strong one, and if it wasn’t then Wenger would have a lot to answer for, seeing as this match was one step away from a Wembley final. Nacho Monreal and Laurent Koscielny were in defence, in fact, it was the exact same side that had defeated Crystal Palace in the weekend.

Why change a winning formula? Especially when our next game isn’t until next week.

The deadlock was broken quickly between these two well matched teams. Eden Hazard was the usual suspect, and the Belgian was the man to upset us home fans with the opener after just seven minutes. Hazard was found by Pedro and he toepoked home under the sprawling Ospina.

We had started well though, and we found an equaliser through an unlikely source. Nacho Monreal limped off after an action packed 34 minutes in our 4-1 win over Crystal Palace in the weekend, and it appeared he was to be ruled out of this game. The Spaniard made a miraculous recovery however, and he was the man to fortuitously head home from close range via Rudiger’s head to restore parity to the scoreline.

This game was ebbing and flowing, and the challenges were beginning to fly in. Ross Barkley, an early sub for the injured Willian, was guilty, just as Jack Wilshere and Hazard was too for going in with a little too much gusto.

Our team was tracking back and attacking as one, and it was particularly heartening to see Alex Iwobi tracking back and Jack going forward. What wasn’t so uplifting was Hazard running rings around Koscielny, and Ozil dropping deep to instigate spells of possession.

It was still even though. Both sides looked like they could take the lead at any moment, and
every blade of grass was hotly contested.

VAR was again in focus as it was being used in this game to aid referee Michael Oliver, and there wasn’t any decisions for it to be scrutinised, but an incorrect offside call for us in the 35th minute shows that it could be utilised for the benefit of adding a goal, rather than simply ruling them out.

Chelsea started to gain a little more possession in our third of the pitch toward the end of the half, but with little penetration. The reassuring aspect of this was that our pressing never abated, even in long spells of chasing the ball.

On the last seconds of the half, Ozil was slipped through by Wilshere and a deflection saw it drift agonisingly wide.

That was it for the first half, and honours were even. Again.

The Wembley spot would go down to the final 45 mins. If it went to extra-time and the scores stayed the same, then Chelsea’s away goal would then count. Either way, we needed to score again.

We came out of the blocks quickly and made sure Chelsea weren’t afforded the space they had at times in the first half. We looked up for it, and we had to be. We were harrying them, and Conte could shut up shop if he so wished, but it wasn’t that type of game. This was a real ding-dong affair.

Ozil was playing in a more advanced role than he was in the first 45, and it showed, we were playing some neat football in the final third, and the German was at the hub of it all.

So was Tiemoue Bakayoko too, the Chelsea man was responsible for breaking up nearly every move we made thanks to some cynical challenges.

Then we scored!!!

We won possession and Lacazette was wide in Chelsea’s box. He persisted and poked a ball across to Xhaka, who got a vital touch to send the ball looping over Caballero in Chelsea’s goal.

Get in!

Victor Moses could’ve been sent off minutes later, as his rash, two-footed challenge took Iwobi out, but Oliver opted for a yellow. Chelsea were rocking on the ropes.

Another goal would give us precious breathing space and we were gunning for it, but we had to be careful. Chelsea may be on the ropes, but they were more than capable of producing a knockout blow of their own.

They made a change on the 65th minute, replacing the ineffectual Pedro with Michy Batshuayi, perhaps looking to utilise pace on the counter.

Arsenal were doing all of the attacking since the goal, and there was only one team in it. We looked vibrant and were changing tack at the drop of a shoulder. Chelsea couldn’t be counted out though, especially as we couldn’t get the better of them in all of our encounters this season.

Iwobi had a great chance to seal our passage through to the final after some great passing from Bellerin and a great ball from Ozil, but Cavallero kept his side in it with a save low down. This was going to the wire.

On the 83rd minute, Alexandre Lacazette and Alex Iwobi were subbed for Aaron Ramsey and Sead Kolasinac. Both players had put in some hard yards, and we needed legs to keep tabs on some desperate Chelsea runners. We needed to see out the game.

We were standing firm, but there was no unrelenting Chelsea pressure. There was just tenseness, as we were so close to going through.

Four minutes of extra time to navigate through, to get to the Carabao Cup final against City.
Chelsea couldn’t break through our impressive rearguard, and we were into the final.

This saw us achieve the hat-trick - We defeated Chelsea in the FA Cup final, the Community Shield and now we had dumped them out of the Carabao Cup at the penultimate stage.

Entirely deserved, and we can now look forward to another trip to Wembley. Well played lads.