Arsenal will play arch rivals Tottenham in the Carabao Cup quarter-finals after surviving a late fightback from League One visitors Blackpool as both sides finished the game with 10 men. Gunners full-back Stephan Lichtsteiner slid in his first goal since joining from Juventus before teenager Emile Smith Rowe doubled the Premier League giants’ lead after half-time. Arsenal were coasting until French midfielder Matteo Guendouzi was given a second yellow card for pulling back Jordan Thompson, leaving them facing the prospect of playing the final 35 minutes with a numerical disadvantage.
Blackpool, who are mid-table in the third tier, narrowed the gap when centre-back Paudie O’Connor headed in from a corner. That meant the game turned into a nervier finish than it should have been for Arsenal, who fielded a much-changed side which still contained several experienced stars. However, Blackpool were also reduced to 10 men with a few minutes left to play when O’Connor was shown a straight red card for scything down substitute Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. O’Connor’s dismissal checked Blackpool’s momentum as Arsenal stretched their unbeaten run to 13 matches under new manager Unai Emery.
“We controlled a lot of moments in the match,” the Spaniard said. “At 2-0 the match is good but the red card gave more balance to them. But I think we deserved the victory.” The Gunners, who lost to Manchester City in last season’s League Cup final, will host Tottenham in the last eight during the week of 17 December.