Granit Xhaka Outclasses Eden Hazard To Put Arsenal Into EFL Cup Final
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Arsenal advanced to the Carabao Cup final after defeating Chelsea 2-1 Wednesday at the Emirates Stadium. An opening 12 minutes of comedic defending from both sides led to goals from Eden Hazard and Antonio Rudiger — the defender scoring an unfortunate own goal to bring Arsenal level — but Granit Xhaka popped up to score the winner on the hour mark.
The opener arrived in the seventh minute after N’Golo Kante was allowed to do whatever he wanted near the halfway line. He fed it to Pedro, and Pedro then slipped in Hazard with a pretty basic pass (it was drinking Pumpkin Spice Latte). Arsenal were incinerated just like that.
A funny fact about this goal, if there would’ve been zero Arsenal players on the field, it would’ve looked exactly the same.
Arsenal vs Chelsea | Hazard (GOAL) 7' pic.twitter.com/IQQahF69Az— D9INE (@CY_LEGACY_) January 24, 2018
But five minutes later, the Gunners were level. Mesut Ozil curled a Leviathan of a corner deep into the mysterious depths the box, and Nacho Monreal wittingly dropped off to meet it. His header then spectacularly struck the face of Marcos Alonso before continuing on to strike the face of Antonio Rudiger. It then carried on into the back of the net. It was a goal of sweet, sweet symmetry.
FIFA 18 in real life ladies and gentlemen... pic.twitter.com/kiJ6gOw3G1— Mod (@HazardChaos_) January 24, 2018
Xhaka put in a great performance in Arsenal’s midfield, crunching Eden Hazard in the box when the Belgian looked poised to score and then prodding in the game-winner in the 60th minute.
Alex Lacazette was looking to play the ball towards the top of the box, but the HEAVILY deflected pass rolled toward the Swiss enforcer, and he reacted quickly to poke it beyond Big Willy.
Granit Xhaka's goal pic.twitter.com/YgPzsoSvec— Danny Welbeck (@WelBeast) January 24, 2018
With Jack Wilshere playing well alongside him, the midfield battle was won. Chelsea really didn’t offer much with Willian going off injured in the 30th minute. Ross Barkley put in a terrible 60 minutes as his substitute.
Chelsea without Hazard would just be some blue shapes moving around— Barney Ronay (@barneyronay) January 24, 2018
Arsenal will play Manchester City in the final on February 25 at Wembley Stadium. Manchester City vanquished Bristol City (the team with the gifs) 5-3 on aggregate in the other semifinal.