A Christian Fuchs own goal and Eddie Nketiah’s poked finish gave Arsenal victory over Leicester City and set up a potential Carabao Cup fourth-round tie against Liverpool.There was little Fuchs could do as Nicolas Pepe’s angled effort hit him after coming off the post and went in. Nketiah settled the tie in the closing stages, stabbing in after fine work from substitute Hector Bellerin. Earlier, City’s James Maddison hit the post on his first start of 2020-21. Arsenal will play Liverpool in round four if the Premier League champions beat League One Lincoln on Thursday.
Wednesday’s result continued the Gunners’ impressive start to the season, during which they have won the Community Shield on penalties and secured back-to-back Premier League victories. Manager Mikel Arteta made seven changes but still fielded a strong side, although there was again no place for Mesut Ozil. The XI did include previously maligned club record signing Pepe, who was solid without being spectacular on Wednesday, but played a key role in the opening goal with a good run and persistence at the end of it. Bukayo Saka again demonstrated his readiness for regular first-team action, while Nketiah remains a predatory finisher. He almost scored with a chip that Wes Morgan headed off the line, before he did settle the tie by prodding the ball past Danny Ward from close range.
Arguably just as interesting as those included by Arteta were those he left out of his side, including midfielders Ozil and Matteo Guendouzi. Ozil has not been involved at all since the 2019-20 season resumed in June, having previously started every Premier League game under Arteta before lockdown.