Carling Cup: Arsenal 3 Ipswich 0

Arsenal had to wait until the last 30 minutes to score but eventually ran out 3-0 winners over Ipswich to reach the Carling Cup final.

Two goals in quick succession from Nicklas Bendtner and Laurent Koscielny followed by a Cesc Fabregas strike with 13 minutes left sealed a 3-1 aggregate win for Arsenal in Tuesday’s semi-final at the Emirates Stadium.

They will meet either Birmingham City or West Ham United in the final at Wembley on February 27.

Trailing 1-0 from their first-leg defeat at Portman Road, the English Premier League title contenders were still behind 15 minutes into the second half.

With an upset win for Championship club Ipswich becoming a real possibility, the divisive figure of Danish striker Bendtner – linked with a move away from north London during the January transfer window – provided the breakthrough in the 61st minute to settle the home team’s mounting nerves.

On the receiving end of a long ball over the defence, a clever back-heel inside the area took the 23-year-old past his marker before he placed a curling shot beyond Ipswich goalkeeper Marton Fulop and into the far corner of the net.

French defender Laurent Koscielny headed home just three minutes later to put Arsenal 2-0 up on the night and 2-1 ahead on aggregate.

Substitute Jason Scotland had a chance to level the tie for Ipswich but saw a low, angled shot saved by Wojciech Szczesny, before Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas put the result beyond on doubt on 77 minutes.

The Spain international capped off an excellent 40-yard run and through-ball from Andrei Arshavin by slotting through the legs of Fulop to take a 3-0 lead and secure a place in the final.

 


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