CARLING CUP: Arsenal break down Ipswich resistance
Arsenal have qualified for the 2011 Carling Cup final after defeating Ipswich Town 3-0 in the semi-final second leg on Tuesday night. The Gunners trailed 1-0 after the first leg at Portman Road and it took them just over an hour to break the Tractor Boys' resistance at the Emirate thanks to a goal from Nicklas Bendtner which leveled the tie.
Arsenal managed two more second-half goals from Laurent Koscielny and skipper Cesc Fabregas to score a 3-1 aggregate win over Paul Jewell's brave side and will now go into the decider in pursuit of their third league cup.
Venue: Emirates Stadium, North London Crowd: 59,387 Referee: Mark Halsey Yellow cards:ARS - Laurent Koscielny 33' IPS - Connor Wickham 25'
Following their 1-0 win at Portman Road in the first leg, the Tractor Boys began in positive fashion with an immediate effort on goal from Grant Leadbitter which landed on the roof after he spotted Wojciech Szczesny off his line.
But the Gunners soon made their intentions clear with half-chances to Nicklas Bendtner and Robin van Persie before right-back Bacary Sagna had to be replaced in the 18th minute by Emmanuel Eboue after he was hit hard by two Ipswich players.
van Persie hit the crossbar from a 24th minute header before skipper Cesc Fabregas' 30th minute ball into the path of the Dutchman but his flick over Ipswich keeper Marton Fulop was cleared off the line by Damien Delaney.
Five minutes later, Fabregas should have made it 1-0 when he received a neat pass from Jack Wilshere, controlling the aerial ball with his right foot before flicking goalward with his left from a tight angle but somehow it trickled past the upright after beating Fulop.
The first half went on with more than five minutes of stoppage time but neither side made the most of the added time.
Ipswich were holding the Gunners at bay in the early stages of the second term but Arsene Wenger's men hit the lead for the night, tying up the overall score with a 61st minute goal through Nicklas Bendtner.
GOAL The Dane was released by Wilshere down the left before sliding into the area past Carlos Edwards and curling the ball into the bottom corner.
GOAL Less than a minute later, centre-half Laurent Koscielny got on the end of an Andrei Arshavin header to nod home from the edge of the six-yard box despite the best efforts of an advancing Fulop to put Arsenal 2-0 up, giving them a one-goal lead over the two legs.
GOAL 13 minutes after the second goal, Arsenal essentially wrapped up proceedings when Fabregas linked up with Arshavin before slotting underneath Fulop to send his side into the league cup final for the first time since 2007 when they lost to Chelsea.
ARSWojciech Szczesny (gk), Johan Djourou, Bacary Sagna (Eboue 18'), Gael Clichy, Laurent Koscielny, Cesc Fabregas, Denilson, Jack Wilshere, Robin van Persie (Nasri 84'), Andrei Arshavin (Walcott 85'), Nicklas Bendtner
Subs - James Shea (gk), Emmanuel Eboue (18'), Samir Nasri (84'), Theo Walcott (85'), Alex Song, Kieran Gibbs, Marouane Chamakh
IPS Marton Fulop (gk), Darren O'Dea, Gareth McAuley, Damien Delaney, Carlos Edwards, Colin Healy (O'Connor 74'), David Norris, Mark Kennedy, Grant Leadbitter, Tamas Priskin (Scotland 63'), Connor Wickham