Arsenal is through to the League Cup quarterfinals thanks to its 18-year-old unheralded hero.

By 90Min
October 24, 2017

Eddie Nketiah, 18, played the role of super sub as he saved Arsenal from an unlikely defeat to Championship side Norwich in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday night.

The young forward came off the bench to score in the 85th minute - 15 seconds after arriving on the pitch - and then six minutes into extra time, to send his side into the quarterfinals.

As expected for the game, Gunners boss Arsene Wenger rotated his squad and made 11 changes from the side who beat Everton on Sunday. A debut came for Matt Macey, as well as starts for fellow youngsters Reiss Nelson and Ainsley Maitland-Niles - who have been tipped for bright futures for the north London club.

Norwich came into the match fresh over a win against fierce rivals Ipswich, taking their winning run away from home to five consecutive matches. Daniel Falke made four changes from Saturday's narrow victory with James Husband, Marco Vrancic, Murphy and Nelson Oliveira coming into the starting line-up.


The Canaries made a confident start, looking to attack Arsenal rather than sit back and invite pressure and it was Murphy who had the first effort of the match as he scuffed his volley harmlessly wide. Alex Iwobi then fired over from 25 yards as the home side had their first spell of pressure but were unable to breakthrough a resilient looking Norwich defence.

Falke's side then found themselves in a 4v4 situation after good work from James Maddison as he fed Vrancic who decided to shoot rather then pass to a teammate but dragged his shot harmlessly wide of Macey's goal. Rob Holding then forced Angus Gunn into the first save of the match when he met a Theo Walcott corner five yards out but saw his header superbly tipped over by the Manchester City loanee.

The underdogs then silenced the home fans when more good work from Maddison found Murphy who raced through on goal before casually lofting the ball over the onrushing Macey, to put his side into an unlikely lead. Oliveira was then unlucky not to double his side's lead following another flowing Norwich move but saw his bending effort brilliantly thwarted by the debutant keeper.


Walcott then tried his luck with a dipping effort from range but saw his strike comfortably gathered by Gunn, as the Premier League outfit headed into the break an unlikely one goal behind. Ten minutes into the second half Norwich remained on top as Oliveira was set through on goal only to be hauled over by Mohamed Elneny, who could count himself lucky to have only received a yellow card, when he was the last man.

From the resulting freekick Arsenal struggled to clear and the ball was neatly played out to Ivo Pinto whose clipped cross was tamely headed goalwards by Murphy. The 22-year-old winger continued to be a thorn in the Gunners defence and saw a low cross palmed away by Macey as Oliveira was set to tap home.

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Wenger threw on striker Chuba Akpom for Maitland-Niles as he searched for an equaliser, but it was Murphy who had another golden opportunity as he tried to lob Macey from 25 yards but his effort sailed over the bar. A minute later Vrancic was released down the right hand side before cutting inside of Francis Coquelin and dragging his effort inches wide when he should of done better.

Arsenal continued to push for the leveller as Norwich began to drop deeper as Walcott headed over from a cross, 18-year-old Eddie Nketiah was then introduced with five minutes to play for Reiss Nelson and had an instant impact as he turned home Coquelin's flick on with his first touch off the ball. Jack Wilshere was then denied superbly by Gunn as he denied the England midfielder from point black range following Nketiah's lay off.


Iwobi then found Akpom in space in the area but the young forward could only drag his shot past the far post as the game headed into extra time. Six minutes into extra time, the tiring Canaries found themselves behind after Gunn saved brilliantly from a Walcott effort, but the resulting corner was powerfully headed into the back of the net by Nketiah.

Nketiah then showed his levels of confidence as he beat the Norwich defence for pace following a mazy run before drilling his effort at Gunn as he was denied his hat-trick. Husband then went down under the challenge of Mathieu Debuchy in the area, but appeals for a penalty fell on deaf ears.

Substitute Joe Willock then blazed over from outside the area in the dying moments of the game, before Nketiah tried his luck again with a curling left footed strike that just missed the upright. As Arsenal held on to book their place in the last eight and keep up their search for silverware this season.

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