Tottenham Hotspur 1 Arsenal 2
( Chambers og 56, Flamini 26, 78 )

Mathieu Flamini scored a double against Spurs, to ease Arsenal into the fourth round of the Capital One Cup with a 2-1 win at White Hart Lane. The passion and fire that surrounds any North London derby was evident from the off, but it was the Gunners who prevailed despite a Calum Chambers own goal drawing the home side level to Flamini’s opener. But for a Kieran Gibbs goal line clearance, Spurs could have taken the lead. Having given Arsenal the lead through the most unlikely of scorers, followed up from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s drive. The forgotten man at the Emirates then doubled his and Arsenal’s tally with an exquisite second half volley. Spurs hopes of a second leveller were not to be, and it is Arsenal who now face Sheffield Wednesday in the next round, and a repeat of the 1993 League Cup final in week commencing 26th October.

Arsenal made ten changes from the side which came up short at Stamford Bridge. With Aaron Ramsey the only inclusion from last weekend. David Ospina, Gibbs, Chambers, Per Mertersacker and Mathieu Debuchy formed an experienced defence, with Joel Campbell and Olivier Giroud forming an attack and Mikel Arteta returning as captain. Gabriel was not due to take part, with Arsene Wenger naming a strong squad side, and a strong bench, with Theo Walcott, Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Özil and Hector Bellerin amongst those also named.

Maybe Wenger now accepts that he needs to play a strong side in the Capital One Cup and not just one picked with talented youngsters and sprinkled with a little experience alongside them. Here the experienced red and white shirts proved that point. The policy would prove to be rewarding as after a frenetic start, Olivier Giroud had the best chance to open the scoring, but couldn’t connect cleanly from Gibbs’ cross while Campbell headed the rebound over the bar.

The opening goal was not long in coming after that. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain took control of Giroud’s pass to steady himself and let fly with a low powerful shot. Michel Vorm could only parry the ball, but in the right place at the right time, Flamini was first to react and clipped the ball over Vorm to give Arsenal the lead after 26 minutes.

Danny Rose hit wide after a swift break, and just before the break, Harry Kane took a touch too much when he was through, but the Arsenal defence cleared the danger.

Spurs’ leveller came after 56 minutes and a period in the game when the home side began to dominate. Nacer Chadli crossed from the left. Chambers may not have gotten a shout from David Ospina, and stuck out a boot which deflected past Ospina.

Kane did get the ball in the net, but there was a clear offside in the play, and Gibbs excellent defensive clearance from Kane’s scissors kick kept the scores level. Goal line technology showed that not all of the ball had crossed all of the line. Wenger brought on Alexis and Walcott as the Gunners went in search of the lead again.

Arsenal got what proved to be the winner when Fazio’s attempted clearance from Alexis’ forward pass rose sharply in the air. With his eyes firmly fixed on its’ trajectory, Flamini struck a sumptuous volley, low and with power, which nestled into Vorm’s net. It was his and Arsenal’s night with the Gunners now prevailing into the next round.